This will be a really difficult day for many survivors who have been following this case.
Regardless of the verdict, the detailed descriptions and court coverage has been triggering and very hard for many people. As the volume and nature of calls to our helpline show, whenever there are public conversations about sexual crimes, survivors are listening.
We fear that the nature of the defence in this case which focussed on trivialising behaviours that would amount to sexual assault risks turning the clock back on any progress we have made moving towards a better conversation about sexual violence.
In amongst the noise we cannot forget that it takes a great deal of courage and bravery to report any kind of sexual crime. The vast majority of survivors don’t even see a court room, let alone justice, and today like every day we stand firm in our belief in survivors.
Our message today and every day is to all survivors of sexual harassment, assault and abuse. We believe you. You are not alone and there are so many people on your side. To those women who had the courage to report and speak in court, thank you.
Our helpline is open 08088 01 03 02 from 6pm – midnight for anyone affected, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org .