Home UK News ‘Because I’m a man, I can’t be raped’

‘Because I’m a man, I can’t be raped’

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Ciaran Kenny

In January 2022, Ciaran Kenny, 23, of Walthamstow, was raped by a man he met for the first time from a dating app. He reported it to Thames Valley Police but was told the case would be dropped because he was a man. He says he wants to speak out about it to raise awareness.

Kenny describes not truly understanding the severity of what happened to him until speaking to his flatmates.

“I had started speaking to this guy on a dating app and we had been speaking for about three weeks, FaceTiming etc as he lived outside of London. I felt I was in a comfortable situation to meet him in person and go on a date on a weekend as we had a good chemistry from Facetime etc.”

“In my idea it was just a chilled date, I didn’t go there with any sort of specific things we wanted to do, there was no goal, it was just to get to know each other more. Unfortunately going through what I went through, sort of coming back it was a month until I said it out loud to my housemates.”

“I shared my experience and they looked at me and said that wasn’t a bad date you had gone through that was sexual assault. The penny dropped. It took me a few days to take it all in, a lot of long night walks. Unfortunately my anxiety wasn’t great at that time of the year.”

Kenny took the matter to the Met in February of 2022, roughly a month after the incident. He waited four hours before a female officer handled his report, who he described as “fantastic” in executing her duties.

“She really took her time with me. She was ensuring I was okay going forward and then after explaining it a few days after I got in touch with the team who handle sexual violence”

The matter was transferred to Thames Valley Police because of where the rape occurred. It was them that said they would be dropping the matter as he is a man.

“I didn’t think you had to be a certain person to go through such a thing. If you get robbed or assaulted they don’t attach a gender to it. That really took me back and made me feel less confident in it (the police).”

“The communication wasn’t great from Thames Valley Police, every two months or so I would get an email on how the case was going. Eventually I was told if it went to court it would be a hung jury, a 50/50 decision, as they would either believe me or they would believe him.”

“It was a rollercoaster of emotions, but I wanted to stick with it because I really wanted to be able to help other male survivors – and also for the perpetrator to think he couldn’t get away with it.”

Ciaran Kenny
Kenny’s experience could be due to homophobic attitudes that pervade Britain’s policing bodies //OWNCONTENT

Recently the Met has been deemed institutionally racist, misogynistic, and homophobic by Baroness Louise Casey.

A spokesperson for Thames Valley police said: “Thames Valley Police does not comment about complaints, as it would be inappropriate to do so.

“The force has a complaints procedure, which allows members of the public to make a complaint about the force or a member of our workforce.

“Details of our complaints procedure can be found via our website.”

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