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Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Engage: 'Unconsiderate' sex with partner can be worse than stranger rape - Germaine Greer

Written by Andrew Woodcock

Constant "unconsiderate" sex with a partner can be worse than rape by a stranger, feminist writer Germaine Greer has suggested.

While rape by a stranger is "bloody bad luck", it does not necessarily force a woman to reassess her whole life in the way that abuse by loved ones can, said Ms Greer.

The Australian writer was speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme as part of a round of publicity for her essay On Rape, which has sparked controversy around the world.

She told Today: "I think it is important we don't diminish the effects of constant unconsiderate use of a woman's body by the man she loves.

"In some ways, it is worse to be abused and treated without consideration by the people who are at the centre of your life.

"Stranger rape is bloody bad luck, for sure, but it is like being run down by a bus. You don't have to internalise it and look at the structure of your whole life from that point of view. It is way out there on left field."

Ms Greer said she would like to see the law changed so that women are a formal party in any court case relating to their rape or sexual assault.

Current laws mean that when women make complaints, their assaults are treated as alleged offences against the state, with the victim playing the role a witness or a piece of evidence, she said.

"The woman who complains of rape is herself not party to the action," said Ms Greer. "She is a piece of evidence and she will be examined to find out if the claims she is making that the offence has occurred is true."

She added: "The better way would be to begin again to look at it from a woman's point of view, rather than the point of view of the patriarchate.

"When you go to the police, you are asking the state to clean up an offence against itself, whereas if we were in Belgium you would be a party to the action as the victim and you would have a voice in court.

"As it is now, you have no voice in court, you don't have anyone representing you and you can't be helped to deal with the cross-examination. You are being treated almost like a child."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Yui Mok / PA Wire.