Tuesday 25 October 2016

I've had no justice over sleep rape

Brave Niamh appears on chat show in hope of helping other victims

Published 04/10/2015 | 02:30

BRAVE: Rape victim Niamh Ni Dhomhnall spoke about her ordeal on the Ray D’Arch show last night
BRAVE: Rape victim Niamh Ni Dhomhnall spoke about her ordeal on the Ray D’Arch show last night
GUILTY PLEA: Magnus Meyer Hustveit admitted to rape

The woman who was raped by her boyfriend as she slept has waived her right to anonymity to tell - in her first television interview - how she does not feel justice has been done.

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There was uproar after Niamh Ní Dhomhnail's former boyfriend wrote to her and admitted he had been using her "body for my gratification" for nearly a year without her knowledge - but received a suspended sentence.

Norwegian Magnus Meyer Hustveit (25) pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to one count of rape and one count of sexual assault between 2011 and 2012.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy said it was a very exceptional case, adding "in truth this case comes here today out of his own mouth".

He handed down a seven year sentence, suspending all of it.

Appearing on the Ray D'Arcy Show on RTE One last night she said she hoped her interview would help other people.

"I hope that it helps anyone who feels in any way that it resonates for them. I suppose there's the hope that you don't always preach to the converted. You want to hopefully reach people who are cynical about these things or who don't know what to think about it so I suppose if I had one hope it would certainly be that."

Speaking about her life before the attacks, she described herself as outgoing.

"I suppose I would have been first on the dance floor quite a bit and just enjoyed being silly really with my friends. I enjoyed going for walks with my mom, with my dog ... I enjoyed teaching a lot and I enjoyed working with young people.

"I had a lot of ambitions and always had a lot of drive and realistically I don't think that those things have changed a whole lot. I think that they've been altered. I think that the focus of a lot of things has changed but I don't see that necessarily as a negative."

Appearing on the show to front an 'Ask Consent' campaign, she pointed out that it was aimed at both men and women:

"I do think that sometimes [with] a lot of the rhetoric around this, I think men tend to feel a bit demonised. I think it's an important addition in this campaign that there is the addition of 'Did you ask him?'

"And again I think that it is an issue within domestic violence, domestic abuse, sexual violence, that it's far too often regarded as a male on female action, which it's absolutely not. The majority are but that doesn't negate that there are male victims."

The 28-year-old said she will not let the incident define her.

She said: "I think that it's obviously changed a lot of things but you make a decision on how it changes you and how it defines you and for me I can't be who I was before that but I nearly don't want to be now.

"And I'd like to find that I'll have focus and that some of that focus will come from the experiences that I've had. My hope for the future would be that it helps, that I find a way to make this positive, to make constructive change," she told Ray.

Sunday Independent

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