A woman who was raped by her boyfriend in her sleep has hit out at broadcaster George Hook for his “insensitive” comments while discussing her case on air.
Niamh Nic Dhomhnaill, a 28-year-old former teacher, was assaulted by her former boyfriend, 25-year-old Magnus Meyer Hustveit, previously of Leo Street, North Circular Road, Dublin.
At the Central Criminal Court, the Norwegian pleaded guilty to one count of rape and one count of sexual assault, between 2011 and 2012, and was given a seven-year suspended sentence.
Ms Nic Dhomhnaill waived her right to anonymity so she could name her attacker and raise awareness about sexual assault.
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The case was widely discussed in the media yesterday and featured as a topic of discussion on The Right Hook on Newstalk.
Ms Nic Dhomhnaill, who had been on the station earlier that day, said she was upset by some of the comments made by George Hook during the segment.
“I was shocked to hear Mr Hook’s comments last night regarding “implied consent” within relationships,” she said.
“Moreover, that the very radio station that I gave my first interview to, and indeed, at the time, I thought that this would be the only media interview that I would give, have, within hours broadcast such a crass, outdated and insulting comment about victims of sexual abuse in intimate relationships, came as a great surprise to me and I found it very disappointing.”
During the segment, Hook spoke with Ivana Bacik, Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology at Trinity College Dublin’s Law School, about cases of sexual assault.
“You go into a relationship with somebody be it marriage or be it you’re living with somebody. So now you’re sharing a bed with somebody, yes? And obviously sexual congress takes place on a regular basis because you’re living with somebody. Now is there not an implied consent, therefore that you consent to sexual congress?” he asked.
“George that’s an outrageous suggestion. Really? Honestly? I’m surprised at you,” Dr Bacik replied.
“I am appalled. Even for you that’s a terribly, a terribly dated and unbelievable assertion to make.”
The broadcaster sought to clarify his words on his show earlier today, stating he “would never say” that sexual consent is implied.
“It has come to my attention that Niamh Nic Dhomhnaill was hurt by what I said and found my comments insensitive,” he said.
“That was never my intention.”
He said he was “appalled” at what had happened to Ms Nic Dhomhnaill “in what should have been the safety of her own bed” and praised her for speaking out about the issue.