A woman from Hackney who was allegedly raped has set up a crowdfunding page to raise £100,000 for a private prosecution after the Crown Prosecution Service declined to press charges.
In 2015 Emily Hunt, a 38-year-old strategy consultant, who has waived her right to anonymity, claimed that she was drugged and raped after waking up on a hotel bed next to a stranger at the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green.
In an interview with EastLondonLines, Hunt said: “I was out to lunch with my Dad at a local restaurant in Tower Hamlets and we were having lunch and that’s the last thing I remember. I woke up five hours later, naked, in a hotel bed next to somebody I’d literally never seen before.”
Despite immediately reporting the incident to police, the CPS declined to take her case to court in 2016.
Hunt added: “Perhaps, the worst part is. I kept telling the police I needed help because they are the gateway to a lot of services. They didn’t actually send my file to victim support until that December, I was raped in May.”
In a statement the CPS said: “Having looked carefully at all the available evidence, a specialist prosecutor decided there was insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction in this case.
“At the request of the victim, the case was subject to a further review by the head of our rape and sexual offences team, who upheld the original decision.
“We met the victim to explain the decision further and answer any questions she had. While we are of course sympathetic to the complainant, this is not a prosecution we were able to bring to court.”
Hunt is now asking people to help her raise £100,000 on GoFundMe to initiate what is believed to be the UK’s first ever private rape prosecution.
When speaking about the crowdfunding page, Hunt said: “I want this to be a movement. I want it to be that I can bring private prosecution after private prosecution to make it clear that if someone is thinking about drugging someone and raping them that suddenly “Ooh, this can land you in jail.” Right now it doesn’t land you in jail and that’s horrible.”
The full interview will be up on ELL+ on Friday; you can access it here.
According to Statista, there were approximately 41,150 recorded offences of rape in England and Wales in 2016/2017.
Croydon, making up just 4 per cent of London’s population, accounts for 10 per cent of recorded rape offences, with 46 reported in the last 3 years, the highest in London. There were 17 recorded rapes in Hackney, 21 in Lewisham and 20 in Tower Hamlets.
Hunt’s ‘Rape Should Be Prosecuted’ campaign has raised just over £23,000 in less than a month.
We've just raised over £20,000 in less than 20 days to #ProsecuteRape! Thank you to everyone supporting this cause and supporting me. Our supporters are the best people in the world – at least I think so. #MeToo #crowdfunding #give #share https://t.co/iJNUowaIOv pic.twitter.com/2mUJ5UJzgh
— Private Prosecutions (@ProsecuteRape) November 9, 2017
“From my point of view, our criminal justice system is completely broken when it comes to rape and I shouldn’t have to be doing this and my supporters shouldn’t be having to give between £5 and £5,000 but I feel like we can do this together, we can force change.”
If Hunt reaches her target, she plans to also set up a charity to fund other private rape prosecutions that were dropped by the CPS.