Men’s Testimony is Considered Valuable. Women’s Testimony is Considered Irrelevant.

Testimony By Clair Louise Mcconchie

I was walking home one night , on my way home from work. I always went down a main street but even though I got a strong feeling and thought I heard a voice saying “don’t go that way tonight” I ignored it as I was shattered and it was quicker than the other route. I walked down the main street and then when I hit my street turned as I always did. I had my music player on ( and if I had a dollar for everyone I know who told me that I brought it on because I was walking at a : around 7pm at night and b: i was listening to music as I walked, I would have quite a bit of money) I saw this man ahead of me sitting on a power box and I knew he was up to no good, so I pulled my headphones out. I looked across the road but the blocks of flats were not that safe and the guy had started talking to someone across the road. I thought just keep calm and you will be ok. I kept walking and as I passed him he said something . I stupidly turned to ask him what he said and found him right behind me. He then pushed me and moved to the road side and started shoving me into fences and trying to get me into drives. Meanwhile he was telling me the sick things he was going to do to me and he had something in his hand. I just had this awful feeling he was going to kill me (something I have never shared with my family and friends ) and I for a second prayed it would be over quickly and then I got angry and started trying to get my ph out. These days I always try to keep it easily accessible no matter how messy my handbag is. I started telling him I was going to ring the police but this only amused him. Then a woman biked past me and I begged her for help. She (who biked past me every night)kept going and I later learned had not even rung the police. Then just as I saw a community garden up ahead he started telling me faster and faster what he was going to do to me and I knew I was in serious trouble two cars going the other way approached. The first flashed his hi beam at him which made him pause. I froze and then I just started walking and praying. He then came at me again and a second car shone it’s lights. He then turned and slowly walked back in the direction I came from. I have never run so fast as I did that night . Then when I got home my flatmate at the time gave me an alcoholic drink for the shock and urged me to ring the police. I did and they sent a car out and asked if I would mind coming to look for him with them. We soon found him and he had the cheek to approach the car and tell us that the guy we were looking for “went that way” I told the police officers I was sure that was him and though they thought it too they left him with a dog handler and drove in that direction. He bolted and was caught by road workers. That night I told the story more than once and thought each time I was going to be sick.. however the twist to the story is the fact that he declared cockily he had done it but he was underage and they could not charge him. I was then told I shouldn’t walk down that street anymore even in daylight as he lived with his mother just across from it. Going back to work the next day my manager made me leave my role to delete my fb status of the night before which simply stated I had had a crap night and been attacked on the way home. I was probably in shock when I wrote it and then to make matters worse was told it must be deleted so none of my then coworkers got upset over it..then that same day was told that some of the girls had found a way to make it fun…we could do self defence lessons..not very sympathetic I have to say. The police asked me to change my shift for a few weeks but this wasn’t possible so I stayed on the late shift. I was rung days later to be told by a community constable at work that he had struck again. At the time a woman was seriously raped in a park in the same area. Then I think it was the next day a cyfs worker ( his social worker ) rang to tell me that the victims assistance meetings they hold when their charges attack others was to be at his house and therefore I could not attend..when it was meant to be for me. Apparently a small woman is threatening to this giant of a boy? Soon I began to feel like I was being watched and then twice I actually saw him the first time across the street, the second hurrying behind me as I ran for my front door. I felt at the time that noone would help me but after sharing his stalking with my friend and her husband they made me report it. The police however could do nothing as they had accidentally made a mistake with the restraining order and put the same date as the expiry as it occurred..unless I rang while he was there. Soon the police decided to charge him and asked me to testify. I took my mother and a friend to support me and had to tell the whole story including the disgusting things he said to me in front of the people in the court. I was then cross examined by his lawyer who told me apparently he liked the look of me and was “serenading me ” from an eminem song. The song she quoted had no such rubbish in it and I told her that. Throughout this he laughed at me and noone even asked him to stop. His drugged up mother was actually sitting beside my friend which appalled me for some reason. Then during his testimony he laughed and said something about a small dog in my handbag and to me seemed to infer I was up for it. I cried and cried during that testimony which seemed to inspire him. The other victim by the way had dropped her charges for some reason. The judge found him guilty and I expected he would get a punishment but no..months later I got asked to attend a victim support meeting. I took my mother and my friend’s husband but “somehow” the social worker had given me the wrong time and the meeting was already going on. He also hid in another room when he saw us come in and would not come out. Some of his other victims were there including a teacher who had left her handbag with him and come back to find her ph gone..apparently according to the meeting she was the real victim here. His grandparents who had never been to the court spoke about me like I was not there and inferred I was a liar and their grandson would not do that..Noone at that meeting told them off..til later when they read out his latest crimes . I never got even a written apology and when victim support had been given my details by the two police officers who I met the first night told me I was eligible for free counselling..I went ( and had to take time off work) to find out I had to pay over $100 a session. She also made me repeat the things he had said to me and asked me if I knew what parts of his body he might have been referring to. Then I also since the attack have had comments made about what colour was he? Why didn’t you fight back if he was just a teenager? Well it really was your fault you were walking at night and my personal favourite that I should be flattered a young man would find me attractive. For a long time I would triple check locks and when I bought my first home in 2011 I actually would put heavy things in front of the door as it was the only way I could get some sleep. I would scrub myself over and over in the shower to make myself clean until a medium last year whilst reading my cards told me I was safe and to ask the angels to protect me from harm. Though apparently I should feel lucky as he never penetrated my body one well meaning friend said. What was my problem?