We at FFFBuzz.com are continuously talking about consent and safe play. These are two of the most important things when partaking in a kink/BDSM play session, whether it is in relation to a pro-session or those of a casual nature.
The issue is some people go far beyond the line of the consent and even go as far as to use BDSM as an excuse for abuse – or sometimes even murder! Shocking I know, but it happens! What is even worse is that, quite often, the abuser uses “the rough sex defence”, which ends up turning the blame back on to the victim.
There are sooooo many different cases of abuse where (normally, but not always) women have been victims and suddenly become slut-shamed because of their sexual interests.
Grace Millane is one such murder victim that has made international news in the last few years.
Grace was a 21-year-old English girl who went travelling for a year after college and ended up in New Zealand. While in New Zealand she met a guy (the courts are suppressing his identity) on Tinder and went on a date with him for drinks on December 1st, 2018.
Sounds lovely. Sounds like a fun part of an exciting trip. Where it turns is, Grace went back with him to a hotel room, but did not leave alive. The defendant claims to have had rough sex with her (including choking), because that is what she had asked for.
He then claims he went into the shower and “fell asleep” for a while, then returned to the room, doesn’t see Grace so believes she has left. After this, he claimed he goes to sleep.
When waking the next day, the defendant claims that he then saw Grace, dead on the floor. Instead of calling the police he panicked, puts her into a large luggage bag and buries her in the Waitakere Ranges, which is just to the west of Auckland, where they had met.
This is what he claims. Seems far-fetched, but what police discovered will make his story seem even less believable. When police check his phone records at 01:29 that night it is revealed that he had Googled “Hottest Fires” and “Waitakere Ranges”, before at 01:41 watching eight pieces of hardcore pornography. His claims aren’t really adding up at this stage.
But here is where he loses even more credibility.
Six hours later he searched, “Large Bags near me”, “Rigor mortis”, “Duffle Bags with wheels”, “Car hire”, “Industrial Strength Cleaner” and “Flesh eating birds”. I’m not going to lie; the last search blew my mind. He then took intimate photos of her naked body after her death. He even went on another Tinder date that same evening!
Look, I’m not here to convince you of this man’s guilt. That’s not the purpose of this article. He has been found guilty by a jury. I’m merely outlining the events of the night to set the scene for the way the media and defence team dealt with the news of this tragic death.
The villain becomes the victim
The news story broke and the defence had announced that he was making a “not guilty” plea by way of “rough sex”. What follows is what I really want to talk to you about.
The man’s identity is protected by New Zealand legislation, which seeks to keep defendant’s identity anonymous to give the person a right to a fair trial. Keep them innocent until found guilty. But by giving out Graces name this makes her very vulnerable to the press, who sought to scrutinise. And scrutinise the press did.
They instantly came out and focused on the fact that Grace was interested in BDSM and frequented fetish dating sites. They focused their articles completely on this part of the story while using language that completely pointed the finger at Grace for her own death.
They kink and slut-shamed her and made out that it was her own fault that she was murdered. Yes, she was interested in the BDSM scene. Yes, the defence team had an ex-boyfriend of hers say that they had previously included choking in their sexual encounters, BUT he clearly stated that they had not only pre-arranged a safe word, they had also arranged a safe action. If it were getting too much Grace would tap him three times.
This is how choking can be a safe and enjoyable form of play – when safety procedures are put in place and followed.
The Female gets the blame
And yet when Grace and this unknown man were playing it didn’t end safely and happily. When writing articles, the media didn’t focus on the fact that other women had come forward about the defendant.
Several women who had been on dates with this man came forward to tell their story about how uncomfortable and unsafe he had made them feel. One of the women he’d actually sexually assaulted. But no, it was Grace, the girl, the victim who was torn apart by the media and the defence team. The unknown man claimed that it was just an accident and that he was choking her because he wanted to satisfy her sexually. That was what she had wanted.
As the prosecution stated, “you can’t consent to your own murder”. As soon as Grace fell unconscious then her possible previous consent was no longer valid. But he kept going until she died. She was the victim and yet she became the one who was blamed.
The need to spread knowledge not fear
I am not writing this article to scare you, the reader, but merely to provoke. The world needs to stop using BDSM and kink to shame a victim of abuse. Grace is by no means the only victim to fall foul of the “rough sex defence”.
There are women all over the world who are either being abused, or even dying, and their abuser is getting away with claiming “they liked it” or “It was a sex game gone wrong”.
We need to take care of ourselves and make sure boundaries are set and followed. We need to make sure we are playing safe and consensually. We need to speak out when abusers are using kink as an excuse! Because it is not ok!
BDSM and kink can be amazingly invigorating and uplifting experiences, when done correctly. It’s getting the rest of the world to see that is the tough part.
Play safe everyone.
If you’d like to hear more about this case, please have a listen to the show “RedHanded” on Spotify.