'Give me your name or I'll rape you'

2011-04-05T13:33:39+00:00 April 5th, 2011|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , , , |

Not the Congo, not Saudi Arabia… Mayo.

Officers of the law, speaking in a modern, Western democracy, where there is a right to equality for men and women, and speaking about a person they have had direct (physical) contact with, and were likely to have again.

Here’s the full audio.

Speaking about a woman, a woman not Irish but Canadian or American, and joking that they will rape and deport her if she does not give her name. A Shell to Sea protester.

If this is the experience of a woman where sexual violence or questions about her sexuality have nothing to do with the case in question, or the event in question, what the hell must it be like for a woman who has been raped or attacked, confronting these same men? Men who are meant to help and protect.

What must it be like for a woman who is a foreign national from another country, to whom the fear of rape and deportation, and threats from police, are to be taken very, very seriously?

Gardaí get a bad rap all the time. Brendan Behan said they were recruited after being lured down from the Kerry Mountains with hunks of raw meat. To these men, that may as well mean women.

I’ve had nothing but positive dealings with the Gardaí . I have contacted them to report a crime, to report anti-social behaviour, to make enquiries.

Once, I contacted them to report a stalker and register that I was in fear of this person and make sure his name was on a record in case he attempted to make his threats real. They were perfectly pleasant, polite and helpful.

To my face.

Did they turn to one another once I left the station and joke about raping me?

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