Níamh Ní Dhomhnaill : He controlled me, mocked me and abused me in the place we... regarded as a home
As her former partner walks free despite admitting raping her in her sleep, Níamh Ní Dhomhnaill says she can't believe he escaped any significant consequences
I never thought that I would be raped. It seems like an utterly naïve thing to say, but it is the truth.
I thought that I was too smart, and that I would outrun, outsmart any potential attacker. I kept my eyes glued when walking home late at night, something I frequently did, despite friends and my parents advice not to. I used to love the freedom of walking home after a night out, or an evening debrief over tea in town with friends about some latest minor scandal. I was always aware that rape happened but, perhaps like many reading this, I just didn't think it could happen to me.
On reflection now, it is probably a fairer assertion that I did not want to believe it could happen to me. All too aware of stranger danger, I succumbed to the most dangerous of complacencies within a relationship: that I was safe with this person who, on the surface campaigned ferociously for women's rights and LGBT issues, to name two of many.