Rape victims will get help

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RAPE victim Danielle Elliott is probably one of the bravest women you will ever read about.

Not purely because of the ordeal she has been put through at the hands of an evil, dangerous man.

But because she wants to speak out publicly about the abuse she received to tell other women they need not suffer in the way she has done.

Danielle is entitled by law to lifelong anonymity about the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of Michael Dennett, but she has agreed to waive her rights to tell her story.

She could have told that horrendous story anonymously, but she knows it would have far more impact and will be far more widely read by other women if she identified herself.

Her message is for men, too, that brutes such as Dennett, may think they can get away with it, but they can’t.

It is hard to believe the level of violence this survivor has suffered, the panic, the fear and the degree of degradation.

Danielle wanted to speak out because she felt when she was going through her nightmare there was no way out.

She felt that because she knew the man who raped her, she would not be listened to. And she feared there would not be the support to help her escape.

But there is help and it is important for women to know that no matter what the circumstances, they have every right to be given that help and support.

By some distance, the number of rapes committed are by those who are known to the victim - that does not make it any the less rape.

So we urge women locked in their private nightmares to use the numbers printed on this page to find help, in the knowledge they will be believed.

When justice is seen to be done

WE are firm believers in being tough on crime and want those resposible to face the music in court..

But there are occasions when an alternative is the right way, particularly when dealing with children.

Restorative justice, which means offenders avoid going to court, is a useful tool in these cases.

Take the nine-year-old boy and his sister, 10, who pushed over gravestones and destroyed floral tributes.

They could not have faced court, but needed to learn that what they had done would not be tolerated. So restorative justice - which can include writing letters of apology to the victims of crime - was used.

This was a sensible choice, which satisifes the need for justice to be done without criminalising juveniles.

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