Robert Sutherland, an Australian NSW Court Judge cleared a man (Nick Drummond) of all convictions after he assaulted a young woman.

According to the victim, Drummond has reportedly called her a “slut” and told her to “put her tits away” in Sydney. He then proceeded to punch her in the face and break her phone. The victim took him to court, where he was cleared of all convictions. Judge Drummond explained Nick’s behaviour due to the “unhappy year” he had had as well as down to the victim’s dress being “provocative”.

Drummond, a football coach to young pupils, has not faced any consequences and still has his job to this day. Judge Drummond even wished him good luck with his coaching, telling him to “thank his lucky stars” for clearing him of the conviction. Unfortunately, this is very common. 

In Australia alone, it is estimated that 2.85 million women have been physically abused and 1 in 5 women have experienced sexual violence, and 1 in 2 has experienced sexual harassment. Despite how common sexual violence is, only 1.5% result in convictions, with the perpetrator only being charged one-quarter of the time. This tends to lead to an (understandable) mistrust in the broken system, which means 87% of the estimated crimes go unreported.

The victim’s voice did not stay quiet for long, however, as the women’s health company Ovira stood right behind her. Over the past week, 5 billboards popped up in Sydney. The first one was in front of the private school Nick went to, which read “You will not silence our pain”, and the other four appeared in front of the NSW court, quoting the judge. Ovira also set up a donation website which they cleverly named “your lucky star”, with the money going towards victims of sexual abuse in Australia, amplifying and advocating for female voices.

Although this case took place in Australia, women worldwide can relate. This is a small example of a broken system, and it fits too well with recent events with women being silenced, killed during a 5-minute walk, and brutally murdered by a police officer.

Change starts with holding perpetrators accountable.