Belize Other Travel

The Cave of the Crystal Maiden; Exploring Belize’s Mayan Underworld

I am woefully behind with blogging. Writing on the road is hard!

We’re currently in Antigua, Guatemala and we love it. It’s by far and away my favourite destination so far and I really, really want to write about it, but first I have to do another post on Belize – in particular the Actun Tunichil Muknal cave tour.

The Actun Tunichil Muknal cave (aka the Cave of the Crystal Maiden, aka the ATM caves) is a vast cave where the Mayans used to make human sacrifices from about 600 – 900 AD.

Belize Travel

Going Slow on Caye Caulker

Some places you know you’ll love as soon as you see them. For us, Caye Caulker was one of those places. We were sold from the moment we set foot on this island.

After flying back from Cuba, getting the night bus down from Mexico and then hopping on a water taxi from Belize City, any destination where we could dump our bags and relax for a while would probably seem pretty idyllic. But Caye Caulker truly is the stuff of backpacking dreams.

Cuba Travel

Havana, Cuba: Ten Things to Know Before You Go

Havana is the strangest, most fascinating city you can imagine. Raw, tropical, vibrant and energetic, Havana is alive with an energy and spirit that pervades its entire culture.  It’s a city of stark juxtaposition, where magnificent colonial squares sit alongside decayed and crumbling buildings, and classic American cars blast out the latest reggaeton music.

Havana must be seen and experienced to be believed, but if you’re thinking of heading to this exotic island, here are ten things to know before you go…

Cuba Food Food Republic Travel

A Vegetarian Travel Diary; In Search of Food in Cuba

Cuba is famous for many things. Rum. Cars. Cigars. Che. Food isn’t one of them.

Aside from the staples (every Cuban citizen receives a regular supply of rice, sugar, coffee, meat, eggs and bread), food supplies are often limited and can run out without warning. Traveling the world as a vegetarian, Cuba was the country I thought would prove hardest to eat well in — or even moderately well. Its vegetarian food has a reputation for being either “completely uninspired” or “uniformly terrible” — but is the vegetarian food in Cuba really so bad?

In a word, no. Definitely not. But I wouldn’t call it great, either. Let’s explore.


The first stop in Cuba is usually Habana Vieja, or Old Havana. As the vibrant and historic hub of the city, Old Havana is known for its striking colonial beauty, art galleries and museums, and countless restaurants offering authentic and traditional Cuban meals. In Habana Vieja, this almost always means meat or fish.

Restaurant staff linger outside their establishments, trying to draw you in by tapping their menus and describing their dishes with an almost feverish passion. Mention you’re vegetarian, however, and even the most enthusiastic waiters usually give up. Sometimes they’ll try to act as though the rice and beans accompanying the meat are the real draw of the meal, but usually the response is just defeated disappointment. I actually started to feel quite bad for them.

After bypassing many restaurants without a vegetarian main course, I wandered into O’Reilly 304. A tiny, trendy restaurant specializing in gin cocktails and contemporary Cuban cuisine that’s unassumingly sandwiched between two shabby buildings on the outskirts of Habana Vieja, it’s easy to walk past altogether. But it’s clear from first entry that here is something quite different.

Framed glowing reviews from the Miami Herald hang proudly on the walls, cool bartenders shake up incredible-looking cocktails, and the menu offers several meat-free plates. From pumpkin soup with Cuban blue cheese and cilantro to soft veggie tacos stuffed with beans and seasonal vegetables, O’Reilly 304 reflects the slowly developing restaurant scene in Cuba.

Cuban bruschetta: with chives, vinegar and a lot more onion.
Cuban bruschetta: with chives, vinegar and a lot more onion.

One thing I discovered at O’Reilly 304 is that Cubans love bruschetta. It’s on the menu at any half-decent restaurant, and O’Reilly 304 is no exception. But Cuban bruschetta is a little different than what may strike you as familiar. The onion is sweet, and spring onion and chives usually make an appearance, too. Also unlike traditional bruschetta, the onion outweighs the tomato in quantity, and an added splash of vinegar makes for an unusually sweet yet tangy appetizer. Cuban bread isn’t good, but when it’s lightly toasted and doused in oil, garlic and vinegar, it’s great.

The quality of food at O’Reilly 304 is excellent. The banana chips come served with the most delicious dipping sauce I’ve ever had — so good that I embarrassed myself trying to wipe up every last drop of it and had to write down every discernible ingredient to try to replicate it later (it definitely contained ginger, chili, sugar, cilantro, spring onion, onion, garlic and vinegar).

A churros stall in Havana. Cuban churros are lighter, crispier and sweetened with condensed milk.

If a vegetarian winds up at one of the many Havana restaurants that don’t cater to veggies, keep an eye out for the street food carts afterward. The corn carts are the best: The husks are soaked in water, toasted until the corn is charred and tender, and then drenched in butter, salt, cheese and squeezes of lime. Cuban churros will also hit the spot if the not-so-veggie-friendly menus didn’t: lighter and fluffier than Mexican- and Spanish-style churros, Cuban churros are sweetened with condensed milk (surprisingly delicious) and white sugar rather than brown.


The food choices picked up, unexpectedly, in Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the foot of the Escambray Mountains. Walking through this beautiful town, with its cobbled streets and perfectly preserved colonial buildings, really is like stepping back in time. The prospect of getting any good vegetarian food in a town that wasn’t even connected to the rest of Cuba until the 1950s didn’t seem too realistic. But I was wrong.

Diced fresh Cuban pumpkin with an herb and onion dressing: a veggie tapas offering at Giroud.
Diced fresh Cuban pumpkin with an herb and onion dressing: a veggie tapas offering at Giroud.

At Giroud, a bizarrely cool place where you sit on old TV sets and beer crates and chairs hang upside down from walls, there was a whole variety of meat-free, tapas-style dishes: stuffed peppers and tomatoes packed with cheese and sautéed vegetables, pumpkin cream, vegetable bruschetta, diced pumpkin with onion and herbs, and cooling gazpacho. Serving beautiful and great-tasting dishes, Giroud is another example of Cuba’s emerging avant-garde food scene.

Stuffed tomatoes filled with sautéed vegetables and Cuban cheese at Giroud
Stuffed tomatoes filled with sautéed vegetables and Cuban cheese at Giroud

The standout in Trinidad for me was Taberna La Botija, a lively 24-hour restaurant where the country’s Spanish and Latin influences seamlessly merge with traditional Cuban cuisine. The sweet corn fritters, served with a creamy garlic dip with a hint of dill, were lovely, but the fried Cuban cheese balls were incredible. I had two portions, one right after the other.

Sweet corn fritters with a garlic and dill dipping sauce at Taberna La Botija, Trinidad.
Sweet corn fritters with a garlic and dill dipping sauce at Taberna La Botija, Trinidad.


In the beach resort of Varadero, finding vegetarian-friendly meals got harder. In most restaurants, the only vegetarian option was spaghetti napolitana. Now, I love all forms of pasta and honestly never thought I could tire of it, but when you’ve had spaghetti napolitana three times in 24 hours because it’s the only vegetarian main dish on the menu, things can get dull. Thank goodness, then, for the prevalence of Cuban street pizza.

While we’re still talking about carbs, cheese and tomato sauce here, Cuban pizza is actually quite different from most pizza. The dough is thicker, softer and squidgier, the sauce sweeter and smokier. Rather than only using mozzarella cheese, Cuban pizza usually involves Gouda — a staple in the Cuban diet and the backbone of the celebrated Cuban sandwich.

Cuban pizza: sweeter, smokier and squidgier than Italian, it’s everywhere on the island.
Cuban pizza: sweeter, smokier and squidgier than Italian, it’s everywhere on the island.

There are two types of Cuban pizza: The more authentic kind has the cheese, sauce and fillings cooked into the pizza — so you can turn your pizza upside down, shake it about, and nothing will fall out. The second is more like Italian-style pizza, where the toppings are scattered over the top of the pizza. While it may look Italian, one bite of the plump dough, sweet sauce and buttery Gouda cheese and you’ll know this pizza is certified Cuban.

Breakfast was a much easier matter all over the island, and one of the reasons why getting enough protein was never an issue. Cubans love their omelettes. Like their pizza, it’s almost an institution, and no authentic Cuban breakfast is considered complete without an omelette.

A standard Cuban breakfast: omelette followed by all the fresh exotic fruit you can eat.
A standard Cuban breakfast: omelette followed by all the fresh exotic fruit you can eat.

Traditionally the eggs aren’t scrambled while the omelette, packed full of cheese, onions, peppers and tomato, is cooking. As a result, the omelette is firm and easy to fold. Omelettes are typically served with piles of fresh and delicious seasonal fruit: the sweetest, ripest mango I’ve ever tasted, papaya, watermelon and pineapple. Cuba is inundated with tropical fruit, and the portions are huge. If you visit Cuba and your accommodation offers a traditional breakfast, take it.

After so much pizza, spaghetti and omelettes, I began craving salad and fresh vegetables like never before. Cuban salads are generally very simple — most consist of tomatoes, cucumbers and cabbage. Basic though they are, it was nice to have a reminder of one of life’s most easy culinary pleasures: fresh, ripe tomatoes with just a sprinkling of salt. In Cuba’s sweltering and relentless summer heat, sometimes the simplest things work best.

Simple salads made good by Cuba’s high humidity and scorching temperatures
Simple salads made good by Cuba’s high humidity and scorching temperatures

While I would never cite Cuba’s food as one of the reasons to return, in the face of its rapidly developing gastronomic scene, its reputation for truly terrible vegetarian food now seems a little undeserved. It may take a while before it can be considered “veggie friendly” (and vegans would certainly struggle), but the meat-free options are expanding. Changes are being made, and attitudes are adjusting. Embargoes may even be lifted. The wheels on this classic Cuban car are in motion, however slowly they may be turning.

Food Food Republic Mexico Travel

A Vegetarian Travel Diary; In Search of Food in Mexico

The best thing about travelling is eating. There’s no better way to appreciate a different country and its culture than to tuck into the national dishes, and for most people, sampling the local cuisine is one of the things they look forward to most about exploring a new place.

But if you’re vegetarian, things aren’t always so easy.

Articles Crime Society

The Daily Dot: My Mother, the Psychopath; One Woman’s Story of Abuse

Psychopathy is so hot right now—or so popular culture would have you believe.

In the past 15 years, public awareness of psychopathy and other antisocial personality disorders has rocketed. From the lethal-yet-likeable serial killer we saw in Dexter to the now-iconic Patrick Bateman of American Psycho, it seems both the media and public are drawn to the image of the “elite psychopath.”

The popularity of the elite psychopath trope has preserved the idea that psychopaths are almost a kind of anti-hero; they are crafty, attractive, charming savants, always one step ahead. But the reality of psychopathy is far from glamorous.

Psychopaths lack conscience, remorse, or empathy toward other human beings. Underneath their carefully constructed veneer of charm, they are deceitful, manipulative, narcissistic, and callous. A recent survey found that 95 percent of women involved with psychopathic men experienced emotional abuse.

But what about the child of a psychopath? Put simply, psychopaths are incapable of loving their children the way they deserve to be loved. They cannot instill empathy, morals, or restraint. They can’t teach what they don’t understand.

And yet it is more complicated than that. If you grow up in an environment devoid of parental love and encouragement, where do you find support? Why is it so hard, in the age of the social-media overshare and blogging anonymity, to find a community online? And without these resources, how do you cope when the person you’re supposed to trust most in the world is trying to sabotage your life?

* * * *

“By the time I turned 18, I’d lost count of the number of ways I’d been betrayed, manipulated, or used,” says 24-year-old Katie, who recently cut off contact with her mother, Joan, completely. (All names have been changed for anonymity.)

“So much of my childhood was spent feeling worthless, invisible, or frightened, but it wasn’t until I actually broke contact with my mother last year that I could finally see the effect her behavior had had on me.”

The first time Katie knew that her mother was different was when she was 10. “She told me I wasn’t worth living for,” she says. “That stuck with me. But there were so many instances of control and abuse while I was growing up that I didn’t realize it wasn’t normal.”

Katie tells me of one early traumatic incident when, at age six, some friends came over to play. Once they arrived, however, Joan locked Katie in the basement, telling her friends not to talk to her. “I could hear them playing above me and I knew she was punishing me, but I didn’t know what I’d done wrong,” Katie says. “It was like I was the child she had but didn’t want. That was how I felt for most of my childhood: confused, guilty, and afraid.”

Katie never knew what would set her mother off—it could be the smallest thing. “I remember one occasion when we were moving into our new house in France. My mother threw me down the stairs because I had ‘a boot face’ and had bumped her with a box.”

Katie says it never mattered what she did or how she behaved because “it was never about that,” she says. “It was about control. Any time she felt like she was losing control over me, that’s when it escalated.”

It often isn’t until a person engages in criminal behavior and enters the prison system that they’re diagnosed as psychopathic (and that’s because nearly all inmates receive mental-health evaluations). Thus, law-abiding psychopaths are almost never diagnosed, allowing them to utilize their characteristic cunning, charm, and ambition without reserve. (As a matter of fact, figures suggest that 4 percent of business leaders are psychopathic, compared to 1 percent of the general population.)

“It was about control. Any time she felt like she was losing control over me, that’s when it escalated.

Having not been to prison, nor having sought help herself, Joan has never had the opportunity for a clinical diagnosis, yet her behavior shows multiple signs of psychopathology.

Of the 20 accepted psychopathic traits within the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, a diagnostic tool used to rate a person’s psychopathic tendencies, Katie scores Joan high in many categories, including manipulativeness, pathological lying, lack of empathy, superficial charm, and an enduring failure to accept responsibility for her own actions.

In the same way that the elite psychopath is able to construct an entirely convincing mask of sanity, Joan too is able to give the illusion of normalcy. She holds down a job teaching children and is, according to her daughter, “perfectly capable of being lovely and hiding her nasty side.”

* * * *

The idea that psychopaths can’t feel sadness, shame, or pain is widely held but incorrect. Psychopaths are capable of feeling all the same emotions as a nondisordered human being, but generally only as it applies to themselves—not other people.

The part of the brain that controls emotions is less active in psychopaths, meaning they don’t experience emotion the same way we do. They are more emotionally flat, and when they do become emotional, the purpose of their outbursts is usually to gain control.

Psychopathic individuals feel they have “ownership rights” over their children. They don’t see their child as a separate human being but as their possession, or an extension of themselves.

This unquenchable desire for control means letting go is nearly impossible for psychopaths. Katie believes it was when she showed her first real signs of independence that Joan to tried to destroy her life.

“I was 16 and had gone to Canada to be a counselor at a summer camp,” Katie says. “She couldn’t bear not having me under her control and started sending me abusive and degrading emails. When I didn’t reply, she began emailing the camp director, telling him I was a terrible person who shouldn’t be in a position of trust with children and should be removed from the camp. It was awful. Mortifying.”

Katie recalls these stories dispassionately, as though she’s told them many times before. But she hasn’t. Shame is an effective silencer, and it’s moments like this that the detachment Katie developed as a coping mechanism becomes more evident.

At 18, Katie thought she could finally escape her mother’s hold by attending college in a different country. But this only made Joan more resentful and eager to infuse herself into Katie’s life.

Katie got several jobs in bars to support herself, and once Joan discovered this, “she took it upon herself to call each of these bars to try to persuade the managers not to give me a job,” Katie says. “She tried to ensure I couldn’t be independent and would need to come crawling back to her for money.”

An email to Katie’s boss reads:

Katie’s inability to be honest, to follow orders and to behave appropriately has led to her being forcibly removed from several schools. With this in mind, and because her reasons for taking this job are solely to hurt me, I ask that you kindly terminate her employment.

The ease with which psychopaths lie is another one of their trademarks. Free from the constraints of guilt or shame, the most outlandish lies can be communicated under the guise of candor.

This was the second time Joan had attempted to destroy her daughter’s independence. But it would not be the last.

* * * *

While there is much online about relationships with psychopathic partners—and even psychopathic children—there is little on parents with the same disorder. Support groups and forums for people recovering from this type of abuse are relatively widespread, but the coverage given to parental relations is minimal. This is something lamented by Katie, who tells me how long it took her to grasp what was wrong with her mother.

“I was in my early teens and didn’t know anything about personality disorders,” she says. “Maybe that’s why there’s so little online—because young people in the position I was in just don’t know enough about it. Unless you already have that knowledge about different personality disorders, you can’t begin piecing it together.

“It wasn’t until I read an article about the warning signs you may be dating a psychopath that I began to understand,” she continues. “The person they were describing was my mother. Even though the dynamic was different, it was still our exact relationship—the one we’d always had, down to a T.”

“Maybe that’s why there’s so little online [about psychopathic parents]—because young people in the position I was in just don’t know enough about it.”

Websites like Psychopaths and Love and Love Fraud may be excellent at highlighting the telltale signs of abuse and supporting victims, but there appears to be a gaping chasm online when it comes to how these issues apply to parents.

“Were you in an emotionally abusive relationship or marriage with a psychopath?” asks Psychopath Free, an online victim support forum. If yes, then “this is your place for support and recovery.” And here was Katie’s problem: If the relationships presented on these sites are almost always romantic, how does this “support and recovery” translate to parental relationships?

Even in the ‘Families and Parenting’ section of Psychopath Free, the coverage on disordered parents, and the subsequent advice for their children, is nearly nonexistent. Discussions instead center around havingchildren with a psychopath. This absence of information for children is especially troubling when you consider that they are usually far younger and more impressionable than those in serious romantic relationships.

But, as Katie states, while romantic psychopathic relationships have been studied in much greater detail than parental, many of the same patterns appear in both relationship cycles.

In their book Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work, psychologist Paul Babiak and psychopathy expert Robert D. Hare (creator of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist) outline the three stages in any psychopathic relationship. These three stages are often repeated over and over within the same relationship: idealize, devalue, discard.

According to Babiak and Hare, the idealization stage is a form of “love bombing,” where the psychopath appears so appealing and attentive that their target truly believes they are the best thing in their life. Katie recalls occasions when Joan would spend thousands on her during shopping trips and shower her with attention. This stage, while extremely believable, is a façade designed to create the psychopathic bond—and make the target susceptible to later manipulation.

The devaluation stage comes next. The psychopath gradually pushes the victim’s boundaries, slowly making them feel worthless and destroying their self-respect. This relationship cycle can last for days up through years, but the end result is the same: The victim will be discarded.

Babiak and Hare claim that “once psychopaths have drained all the value from a victim—that is, when the victim is no longer useful—they abandon them and move on to someone else.” However, with a parent and child, these three stages can be repeated indefinitely. A psychopath’s child may never be definitively discarded.

When Katie finally broke all contact with her mother last year, she was subjected to a yearlong, relentless campaign of abuse. Despite countless statements from Katie asserting that their harmful relationship was over, she continued to receive unwelcome and distressing phone calls, emails, and letters.

Often, Joan would attempt emotional manipulation, sending her daughter old baby photos with notes attached saying, “Remember these happier times?”’ Other times, she would be more overtly cruel.

In one email titled “You Ridiculous Little Slut,” she writes:

Dear Katie, I have nothing ever to say to you again, thank you for dumping me as a mother. You are a sick pervert, I would be ashamed to still be called your mother. After meeting you last year, the baby girl I had given birth to, I felt no connection with you at all. You are dead in my heart… a guilty, ashamed, vulnerable wreck hiding in a dark underground flat with your sad and ugly cat.

Though they stung, Katie ignored these emails, letters, and calls. She blocked Joan’s phone number and email, but Joan’s desire to punish her daughter for breaking away was unshakeable. Unable to control, manipulate, or even penetrate Katie’s wall of silence, Joan turned her attention elsewhere. Her new aim? Derailing her daughter’s career.

“She couldn’t bear that I was getting on with my life, that I was independent, that I wasn’t even giving her a response,” Katie says. “So she dug up some old photos from when I was a teenager—I was drunk and fooling around, just being silly with friends. She tried to email those photos around my office to discredit me.”

That wasn’t all. Joan sent abusive emails to Katie’s friends and colleagues. She contacted the CEO of the company claiming Katie was harassing her during work hours. She responded to Katie’s cease and desist letter by announcing she was suing her daughter for all the money she’d spent on her throughout her childhood.

Katie is now taking out a restraining order against Joan, because otherwise “she won’t stop.”

* * * *

Children of pathologically disordered parents already have much to overcome, but because they often don’t recognize what a healthy relationship looks like, children of psychopaths may be more likely to become involved in abusive partnerships. Such a dynamic appears normal to them.

At age 18, Katie entered into a four-year relationship with a man who was also psychopathic. His control over her was not dissimilar to her mother’s; neither was the vitriol she would receive when things didn’t go his way. Joan was one of her boyfriend’s biggest fans. When Katie finally broke it off with him, Joan lashed out. She wrote to Katie in an email that she had “more feelings for him than you, and I always will.”

Katie says when she tried to approach her mother about having a personality disorder or mental illness, it ”didn’t go down well. She says I’m the one with the problem. In her last email to me she called me her ‘schizophrenic daughter.’”

Katie says even if Joan were diagnosed, she still couldn’t forgive her. “I know there’s something wrong with her, but not to the point it absolves her,” she says. “She’s not crazy. I’m the only one she targets—it’s malicious, calculated behavior.”

Whether or not psychopathy can be regarded as a “proper” mental illness is hotly debated. Personality disorders like psychopathy and narcissism have no significant effect on mood, neither do they affect judgment or cause psychosis. Yet if someone is physically hard-wired to have a deficiency of empathy, how much can they be held responsible for what would normally be deemed callous or cruel?

It is also not entirely unreasonable to suggest that aside from lacking empathy, Joan also lacks the cognition to fully comprehend the devastating effects of her actions. Her daughter may reject these notions, but in truth there are no definitive answers to these questions yet. Nonetheless, recent studies suggest that people suffering from empathy-deficit disorders like psychopathy are actually able to feel empathy—they just don’t want to.

New research by Ohio State University and the University of Toronto found that this empathy deficiency stems more from a lack of motivation to care about other people, rather than an actual lack of ability to do so. To Katie at least, it is this lack of motivation that’s especially painful; not that her mother can’t, that she won’t.

Considering her upbringing and what she’s endured in recent years, Katie today seems a remarkably level-headed young woman. She has a good job, an active social life, a new, supportive boyfriend. She doesn’t seem damaged. But it would be foolish to minimize the effects of such a childhood.

“I certainly had and still do tend to have very low self-worth. My own mother says I wasn’t worth living for, that she has no maternal connection to me, that she loves and respects my abusive ex-boyfriend more than me,” Katie says. “I can’t forget those things, but I’m getting better at moving past them. Every day that goes by is a reminder that I’ve survived this. I feel at peace, for the first time in my life.”

“When it comes to other people’s personal issues, I often think, ‘For God’s sake, get over it.’ And then I get so upset that I think these things. I’m not like her.”

But there are other ways it’s affected her. Katie believes she now lacks empathy and can sometimes feel numb to things that require an empathic outlook. “When it comes to other people’s personal issues or illnesses and things like that, I often just think, ‘For God’s sake, get over it. We’re all dealing with shit.’ And then I get so upset that I think these things. I hate it. I’m not like her.”

Katie says if she could tell one thing to a person in the same position, it would be to “get out. Get as far away as possible and get on your own two feet. Know that they’ll never change. They can’t. Never allow anyone to hold you captive psychologically.”

Though it’s been many months since Katie communicated with her mother, cutting her out entirely is harder than she anticipated. Just this month, Joan set up her fifth Twitter account to send her daughter a series of bizarre and ostensibly random tweets. Unable to contact Katie by phone, email or even letter, Joan’s dogged pursuit of her daughter has moved on to social media. Blocked four times previously, she shows no sign of stopping.

To Katie, these newest tweets—while seemingly innocuous—are like a wound that won’t heal. They are Joan’s way of proving that she’s still around, that Katie has not won. “Here I am,” is what each tweet is really saying. “You tried to escape me, but here I am. I’m still here.”

This article was written for The Daily Dot.

Articles Crime Justice

Salon: “I Executed 62 people. I’m sorry”: An Executioner Turned Death-Penalty Opponent Tells All

They say you can’t put a price on life, but what about death? Earlier this year I spoke to Jerry Givens, a former state executioner turned death penalty abolitionist. He told me that for people who carry out the death penalty, the real, enduring cost is emotional.

“If I had known what I’d have to go through as an executioner, I wouldn’t have done it. It took a lot out of me to do it. You can’t tell me I can take the life of people and go home and be normal.”

Articles Crime Justice

ThinkProgress: How It Feels To Kill 62 People

When it comes to capital punishment, we already know the fiscal cost: studies have found that a death sentence is up to ten times more expensive than life without parole, often at a cost of around $300 million per head.

But what about the moral cost?

Crime Justice Women

Ched Evans, Rape & the Issue of Consent

In the past few weeks there have been many people expressing their views on convicted rapist and ex-footballer Ched Evans. Sadly (but unsurprisingly), many of those are ignorant of either the law, the case, or both. From the aggressive, uninformed die-hard supporters calling the rape victim “whore” to the legal uncertainties of more balanced posters, the same questions keep circulating on social media: 

How can it be rape if the victim can’t remember if she consented or not?

How can Ched Evans be guilty of rape if his co-accused Clayton McDonald was acquitted?

If Evans is guilty of rape, then surely any drunk girl who has sex can say she’s been raped?