Female judge's rape warning for drunk women

A female judge has warned women who get drunk they are putting themselves in danger of being targeted by rapists.

Lindsey Kushner QC said women were entitled to “drink themselves into the ground” but their “disinhibited behaviour” could put them in danger.

Judge Kushner made the courtroom plea as she jailed a man for six years who raped a girl he met in a Burger King in Manchester city centre last year.

But, Rape Crisis slammed her comments as “outrageous” and “misguided”.

Yvonne Traynor, chief executive of Rape Crisis South East, said: “As a judge and a woman she should know better.

“The only person who is responsible for rape, is the rapist.

“Women are yet again being blamed for rape.”

The judge spoke out as she retired from the criminal bench.

‘Time and time again’

Judge Kushner, 64, said “as a woman judge” it would “be remiss” if she did not beg women to protect themselves from predatory men who ”gravitate” towards drunken females.

The mother of two, who has sat as a senior circuit judge since 2002, said judges have been criticised for “putting more emphasis on what girls should and shouldn’t do than on the act and the blame to be apportioned to rapists”.

“There is absolutely no excuse and a woman can do with her body what she wants and a man will have to adjust his behaviour accordingly,” she said.

But she said she does not “think it’s wrong for a judge to beg woman to take actions to protect themselves”.


Analysis by Danny Shaw, BBC home affairs correspondent

Judge Kushner’s plea to women to protect themselves was strongly – but carefully – worded: she was emphatically not blaming them for an attack but warning them that when drunk they’re more vulnerable.

Other judges who’ve stepped into this tricky territory haven’t always framed their remarks so delicately.

Judge Mary Jane Mowat’s comment in 2014 that “the rape conviction statistics will not improve until women stop getting so drunk” was designed to highlight a point Judge Kushner also made – that victims are less likely to believed if they’ve had a lot of alcohol – but she made it sound as though women were responsible for rapists getting off.

But even more insensitive was the comment made by Mr Justice Leonard in 1987 when he declared that the trauma suffered by Ealing vicarage rape victim Jill Saward “had not been so great”. He later apologised.


Judge Kushner said “potential defendants to rape” target girls who have been drinking because they are “more likely to agree as they are more disinhibited, even if they don’t agree they are less likely to fight a man with evil intentions off”.

She said a woman would be less likely to report a rape “because she was drunk or cannot remember what happened or feels ashamed to deal with it”.

“Or, if push comes to shove, a girl who has been drunk is less likely to be believed than one who is sober at the time,” she said.

“It should not be like that but it does happen and we see it time and time again.”

She said women “are entitled to do what they like” but asked them to “please be aware there are men out there who gravitate towards a woman who might be more vulnerable than others”.

“That’s my final line, in my final criminal trial, and my final sentence,” she concluded.

Judge Kushner jailed factory worker Ricardo Rodrigues-Fortes-Gomes, 19, after Manchester Crown Court heard he ignored his 18-year-old victim’s screams as he attacked her on a canal bank.

A witness heard the teenager, who had been drinking lager and vodka as well as inhaling the party drug amyl nitrite, begging Rodrigues-Fortes-Gomes to stop.

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