UPDATE #2 12/08/2014
Deeeear Daily Maaaail, It has come to my recent atten-shun…
Okay, I won’t do an Amanda Palmer on you, but apparently I broke down on the stand. Wrong model. Not that crying’s a bad thing but I’m sure you want to have our actions in the right order and matched to the right people.
Colclough was also only charged for four offences and acquitted of two. Thanks.
If you have arrived via the Times, I’m afraid I have been Rita Skeeter-ed*. 😦
I agreed to be named in today’s article only after reading the original text, which gave equal coverage to the other women who testified against the rapist Shaun Colclough. The editor has cut out those stories and stuck my face on top of the piece like the cherry on top of a butchered cake. I did not give my permission for my image to be used in any way- in fact I forbade it. I feel these actions trivialise the harrowing experiences suffered by the other women and in light of this, I have withdrawn all co-operation with The Times newspaper.
I would like to make clear that the journalist responsible for writing the article bears no responsibility for the heavy-handed editing his original words were subjected to.
*If you are not a Harry Potter fan, Rita Skeeter embodies the worst journalistic stereotype possible.
I must apologise to all of the people who have sent such kind and inspiring comments and messages for me- the whole Colclough experience has been exhausting and so I went offline for a few days in order just to breathe (and attend the wedding of a friend.) I’m writing replies to you all right now.
So, we’ve hit the papers! Colclough’s face and story are in the Times, the Standard, the Hackney Citizen, the Daily Mail (who credited me with yelling “victim” at his retreating back. What I actually said was “you look vulnerable to me”- the same words he repeated during my shoot). More articles are pending and a very unflattering photo of the man himself is doing the rounds. There is now a nationwide appeal for more witnesses to come forward. If you are one, please call the police and tell your story- support is available from now and through the entire court journey.
By virtue of being a writer with a strong online presence, I was able to shout the loudest. However, please let me stress that my experience was minor compared to the other women involved and these are the real warriors behind the conviction. My case was one of ‘unauthorised touching’ and hinged on a hug he denied giving- nearly impossible to prove or convict on. All I did was sound the alarm.
A few days ago I had a lovely stay on the Isle of Wight- shooting on a farm, meeting kittens, girly chats with the fantastic photographer Luci-Alice and her family, brushing through meadows full of wildflowers and stripy cinnabar moth caterpillars- pretty idyllic, right? It had been a much-needed break, friends are a good sadness remedy and I was enjoying my phone-caught memories on a high-speed train though I’ve forgotten where I was going. While I hate the cliche of a world going cold, I remembered the judges’ words describing Shaun and suddenly felt as though the train couldn’t go fast enough. I had an urge to get up and run.
I have the highest respect for those who work with the sickest, most twisted in society- I couldn’t do it. I met this one man, who radiated such a sense of menace that I was more afraid than I have ever been in my life- and as a result, something has changed. Perhaps it’s just the gaining of the knowledge that these people who lurk in CSI’s dark corners and grin like sharks in straight-to-video thrillers really exist.
Still, I know myself a little better. Should I be attacked, raped, threatened- I can and will defend myself- all of the four women wo testified have done so and though not all of us achieved a conviction, in one way we still have won. Should the same thing ever happen again, I would report immediately and take it all the way to court. I think most of us would agree on that.
And so I’ll answer the questions, do the interviews and continue this blog- which has been a huge source of comfort for me. And I’m going to get on with my life. I’m eating Green and Blacks (which I doubt you get in prison), watching four fluffball moorhen chicks (which you don’t get in prison) and enjoying the freedom to work and chill on my own terms (which you sure as hell don’t get in prison.)
Shaun Colclough called us vulnerable. Not any more- if ever we were.