News

Woman in London uses crowdfunding to pay for private rape case

Prosecutors did not press charges after Emily Hunt "woke up naked and terrified" next to an unknown man in a London hotel. She has since been seeking another path to justice.

Stock photo for sexual assault (picture-alliance/pixsell/G. Zucko)

A 38-year-old woman from London is seeking £100,000 (€114,000/$132,000) on the crowdfunding website, GoFundMe, to start a private prosecution against a man who allegedly drugged and raped her in 2015.

Emily Hunt — who waived her right to anonymity — started the funding campaign "Rape Should Be Prosecuted" in October after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the English authority in charge of criminal prosecutions, said there was insufficient evidence to publicly prosecute the man.

'Naked and terrified'

According to the campaign's description, Hunt realized she had been drugged after she "woke up naked and terrified" in a hotel bedroom next to an unknown man in May 2015.

Watch video 06:06

Forgotten Victims of Abuse - The Difficulties of Dealing with Sexual Assault

She told news agency BBC that she could not remember having sex with the man.

But Hunt said she eventually concluded she had been raped after police found used condoms in the hotel bedroom and a video recording of the man performing a sex act on her while she was "naked and unconscious."

CPS officials reviewed a toxicology analysis and CCTV footage showing Hunt and the man in the hotel bar on the night of the alleged attack. Yet they concluded that the evidence would not be enough for a rape case to hold up in court.

Read more: 'In principle it is complicity': The social psychology of sexual violence

No consent possible

Hunt has since claimed that CPS carried out the toxicology analysis improperly. She has also said they did not interpret the CCTV footage accurately. "I was drugged. In the CCTV I'm literally falling over so it's very clear that I'm heavily intoxicated … It was impossible for me to have given consent," she said to the British daily Evening Standard.

Unable to press charges publicly, Hunt opted to pursue private prosecution through a hired lawyer and use GoFundMe to collect the necessary funds via online donations.

The campaign has so far outpaced Hunt's initial expectations, garnering £7,546 from 257 donors since it began 16 days ago.

She praised her backers in her most recent campaign update, saying: "My faith in people has been tested, and then seriously restored. Our supporters are the best people in the world."

Read more: As #MeToo reaches 'highest political levels,' #IDidThat stokes debate

Watch video 26:00

Sexism: Male Perpetrators, Female Victims?

DW recommends

WWW links

Audios and videos on the topic

Albanian Shqip

Amharic አማርኛ

Arabic العربية

Bengali বাংলা

Bosnian B/H/S

Bulgarian Български

Chinese (Simplified) 简

Chinese (Traditional) 繁

Croatian Hrvatski

Dari دری

English English

French Français

German Deutsch

Greek Ελληνικά

Hausa Hausa

Hindi हिन्दी

Indonesian Bahasa Indonesia

Kiswahili Kiswahili

Macedonian Македонски

Pashto پښتو

Persian فارسی

Polish Polski

Portuguese Português para África

Portuguese Português do Brasil

Romanian Română

Russian Русский

Serbian Српски/Srpski

Spanish Español

Turkish Türkçe

Ukrainian Українська

Urdu اردو