Transgender rape victim speaks out after
13 Oct 2017 15:00 PM[View Full Size]
A transgender victim of rape has spoken out in support of Northumbria Police ahead of National Hate Crime Awareness Week.
Scott Wilson, who has waived his right to anonymity, was raped by Shelton Dube in April last year.
Dube, 24, of Westgate Road, Newcastle was today sentenced to 15 years at Durham Crown Court for raping two people. Today, Scott has spoken out to encourage other victims to come forward and support Northumbria Police as part of National Hate Crime Awareness week.
Scott said: " At the time of the rape I was happy and enjoyed living independently. As a result of the rape I moved back with my family. I used to live in Newcastle city centre and I used to spend most of my time there, I used to socialise in the bars with friends, I have virtually stopped going into Newcastle.
"During the rape ordeal I felt helpless and numb, I just didn’t know what to do, Shelton Dube just did not listen to me, and I was in a state of shock and disbelief.
"When he was convicted of raping me it came as a great source of relief to me and my mother. I don’t think I will ever fully recover from what he did to me; it has had a significant impact in my trust and confidence in meeting and getting to know people."
Scott also talked about being transgender and how police have fully supported him throughout the case and says there is a whole network of support for LGBT victims. He encourages others to report any hate crime to police and is showing his support for Northumbria Police as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week.
He said: “I was a little apprehensive coming forward to police but they have been hugely supportive and I can’t thank Simon and the team enough. I do think it is more difficult as someone who is transgender to feel confident enough to report incidents to police but I can hand-on-heart say, in my situation - it saved my life. I reported the incident to police the night of the rape and it was the best thing to do in such horrific circumstances. From the first point of contact I was believed, listened to, supported, and most importantly treated with dignity and respect.
“I really want to support Northumbria Police as part of the National Hate Crime Awareness Week as I think it’s important that I can give something back and reassure others in the LGBT community that their concerns will be heard and police will support you.”
DC Simon Dobson of Northumbria Police's Safeguarding department who was the officer in charge of Scott’s case hopes this encourages any victim of rape to report it to police.
DC Dobson said: "This has been an awful experience for Scott and I want to commend him for his bravery throughout this investigation. He has remained composed and dignified throughout.
"Dube has shown no remorse for his actions and made the two victims endure the further distress of a trial. Dube is a dangerous man and today, thanks to the bravery of these victims coming forward, he is now off our streets for a considerable amount of time.
"I hope this gives others the courage and confidence to come forward to police in the knowing that we will fully support them and seek justice for them. Victims are at the heart of everything we do and we work with some fantastic partners to provide the best level of care to support victims.
"I want to thank our LGBT partners, in particular DISC for their support and advice in this case. It has been of huge comfort to the victim and these service are vitally important to help provide the best support to any victim."
Northumbria Police Chief Inspector Steve Hails from Northumbria Police 's safeguarding department, is the force lead for Hate Crime and explains that people like Scott should never be treated differently for just being themselves.
He said: "Targeting anyone because of who they are is not acceptable - this is a hate crime.
"If you have been hurt, threatened, abused, harassed or intimidated or suffered any other crime because of your Race, Faith, Disability, Sexual Orientation, Age or Gender Identity, this is Hate Crime.
"Report hate crime to the police, or if you prefer confidentially via a third party reporting scheme such as a Safe Reporting Centre, True Vision or Arch.
"If you are the carer of a disabled person or one of your family members is disabled and you are hurt, threatened, abused, harassed or intimidated or suffer any other crime because of a prejudice or hostility based on this individuals disability this is also a Hate Crime. You must report it.
"Hate Crime is an issue that we take incredibly seriously as a force and we can not underestimate the impact it has on victims. We absolutely support National Hate Crime Awareness Week and will taking part in many activities this week with our partners and the community to help raise awareness in what is a very serious issue."
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Dame Vera Baird QC added: “First and foremost, I’d like to commend Scott for his courage in stepping forward for the benefit of breaking down barriers to speaking out about this type of horrendous crime. Thank you for allowing the force to make sure that the offender paid for his actions.
“I’d ask anyone who has been raped, whoever they are and no matter their circumstances, to allow Northumbria Police’s specialist officers to listen to them, support them and vigorously pursue those responsible. We work with support agencies and partners to provide a wrap-around service and this is something we are so very proud to deliver to victims. You will feel valued and safe at all stages of the criminal justice process and most importantly of all, you will be believed. I’m pleased to hear that Scott feels he was treated with dignity and respect throughout.
“The conclusion of this case marks the start of Hate Crime Awareness Week, which I’ll be fully getting behind. I will be taking part in many activities this week with our partners and the community to help raise awareness in what is a very serious issue.”
National Hate Crime Awareness Week runs from Saturday, October 14 - Saturday, October 21. For more information follow @NorthumbriaPol or Facebook/NorthumbiaPolice #NHCAW #WeStandTogether #NoHaters #BeingYou
Anyone who has been a victim of any sexual offence or has concerns for someone else is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 or contact independent charity Victims First Northumbria on 0800 011 3116.