Victim furious, sickened after man who filmed her without consent during sex gets away with police warning

A woman who caught her ex filming her during sex without her permission says she will never recover from the humiliation, shame and shock – made worse when police would not charge the man with a crime.

The Hawkes Bay woman is furious that while her life is in tatters, the man has walked away without facing any consequences.

She decided to speak out to highlight the issue, which she feels is not taken seriously enough in New Zealand.

She reached out to the Herald after reading about a Christchurch woman’s fight for justice including a six month wait to hear if police would take any action at all.

The woman and her partner had been together for about six years when she caught him filming her during sex in 2019.

They had not discussed filming nor had he asked her if he could.

“When I turned around and saw him filming on his phone I was shocked and disgusted,” said the woman, who spoke on the condition that her name was not published.

The pair broke up soon after the incident – after attending counselling did little to help her feel less violated and devastated.

“I couldn’t settle with it – he took away my dignity, I was humiliated, I felt ashamed, I was so confused about why he had done this, why he took away my basic human right to say yes or no.”

In March last year the woman finally summoned up the courage to report the matter to Hastings police.

About a week later her formal statement was taken.

The woman told police that while the footage had been deleted from the man’s phone, she had no idea if he had uploaded it to cloud storage or the internet.

She wanted to make sure it was never seen by anyone – and for the man to face the full force of the law for his actions.

Two days later the man’s home was searched, computers and phones seized and he was arrested.

When spoken to by police he admitted making the unauthorised recording and the woman was told he “expressed remorse”.

She said then police told her it was “not in the public interest” to prosecute the man.
He was given a warning, and the complaint was closed.

The woman said she was appalled with the decision.

“I have lost trust in everyone – in life, in relationships and in the police,” she said.

“This happened to me, but I don’t have a voice in this …I went to the police because what he did was a crime – a sex crime – and I felt he needed to be prosecuted.

“But they said it was not in the public’s interest to take it to court – what about my interests? This happened to me, this was a crime against me …but I have no voice in this.

“My life has forever changed and his just goes on as normal? The police kept asking me ‘why do you want to do this’ … it’s simple, this was a crime and it should have been put before a court.”

The woman is being supported by the Sensible Sentencing Trust and is planning a complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Authority.

“All of my power is gone, he took advantage of me and it was premeditated – I feel so exposed, it’s so overwhelming,” she said.

“It took so much courage to go to police, that’s why it took me so long … and I expected them to do the right thing, I expected them to act on this and that it would just be over and done with by now.”

The Herald questioned police about the case and a spokesperson confirmed the complaint had been received and investigated.

“Police conducted a thorough investigation and executed a search warrant, seizing devices for analysis,” said the spokesperson.

“No evidence of file sharing was established.

“The offender was interviewed, admitted the offending and advised the recording had been deleted.

“Police sought advice from their legal section and based on the evidence available it was determined that the Solicitor General’s guidelines for prosecution were not met.”

Police said they outlined the reasoning behind the decision not to prosecute with the woman.

“The offender received a formal warning,” the spokesperson confirmed.

“The victim was supported throughout the investigation by police.”

The woman told the Herald she felt failed by the police, that they did not take her seriously, that her feelings and trauma were disregarded and her complaint trivialised.

“This has been such a horrible journey,” she said.

“I feel absolutely sick … but I am going to fight for myself, I want to have my voice back.”

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