Dear Judy Finnigan,ITV and Sheffield United,
This is regarding your comments/sympathy for Ched Evans that appeared on the talk show.
I am sure you have heard this before but let me explain and ask you a few things-
Causing bodily harm
You said “he did not cause any bodily harm”. Isn’t the act of rape itself an act of violating someone’s physical boundaries and causing them physical and mental harm?
I am not sure if you are aware but may be you must dig deeper about the mental trauma that any victim has ever gone through. Especially if their rapist has a celebrity status which makes the victim vulnerable to secondary victimization and a target of his fans and followers. Rape is violence. Period.
If by ‘causing bodily harm’ you meant raped by an iron rod or hanged on a tree to death (as happened in India) then yes, I agree. Ched may not have done that. But what are you implying here? That unless a woman is no longer a woman but a dead piece of meat, the rapist deserves just a 2 year jail time?
Who suffered more?
You mentioned that the girl was drunk and in no position to give consent. However when she did realize what had happened, do you have any idea of the amount of trauma she must have gone through for the rape alone? Moreover, being raped by someone with name and fame, making her the easy target of his fans, causing threat to her life? Being raped is in itself a mountain of trauma to handle and to top it off this poor girl may have to spend the rest of her life hiding her identity from the rapist Ched Evans and his misogynist fans.
Please don’t trivialize the experiences of thousands of survivors out there by encouraging celebrities like Ched to rape them and get away with it so easy. You defend him by saying that ‘he served his time’ and that somehow gives him the right to get on with his life as if nothing happened. Do you have any idea about the impact of this rape that the girl will have to live with for the rest of her life?
For this girl, it didn’t end when he was convicted and certainly not when he comes out of the prison. For her, the trauma can be lifelong like most survivors and this need to be understood and respected by the society.
I am unhappy that he is even getting out in just 2 years but personal opinions aside, let’s talk about a regular sex offender. When a regular street man is registered as a sex offender, how is he treated by the society and by the police? How many places is he prohibited to go and how many careers he is denied? I totally believe in restorative justice but as the law dictates, preventive measures need to be taken with sex offenders.
Just because Ched Evans is a celebrity, he must be allowed to go back to his original job and enjoy the same status and fame? Remaining in that position, how many other fans including children are going to be around him? How is that going to ‘keep the sex offender under the cautious eyes of the police’?
You asked what he would do after he is out. As media reports, he has been honing painting and decorating skills while inside the prison. He can come out and practice those skills as a professional builder may be.
If ITV and Judy, you are so worried about his welfare and how would he pay his bills, may be you can offer him a janitor’s position at ITV or offer him painting your office?
Keep Football RAPIST FREE
And if somehow he does get a chance to play football, should we label football as the career choice for rapists? People like Craig Thomson, Peter Storey, Graham Rix, Marlon King, Ched Evans and of course thousands others involved in using their partners as punching bags cannot work at other reputed places such as schools, hospitals, retail industry etc and the football will always welcome them back. Is that what football really is?
I am sorry but there are thousands of other dignified and gentlemen footballers out there who do not take advantage of their position and the love offered by their fans. By welcoming rapist Ched Evans back, the industry will discredit the trust and image of the industry in the minds of all people around the world. Since stereotyping is one of the many flaws of human nature, trivializing rape and welcoming rapists back will soon label athletes and sports as a rapist’s profession (many people already do believe in that).
Please help save the sport industry and keep it ‘rapist free’.
Sign the petition here