Opinion: Young female Brits abroad must be protected

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The friend of a British teenager who was found guilty of lying about being gang-raped in Cyprus has called for better protection for young female tourists. These are her views and not talkRADIO's.

I was with Charlotte* a week before it happened and a week after it happened. To me, there is no doubt in my mind that she was raped

I met her while we were both on a working holiday in Cyprus and she was such a bubbly, friendly person. The change in her after the incident was drastic. 

She would break down and faint, and it was horrible to see someone go through such a traumatic event.

I didn’t see her the night it happened because my drink was spiked the night before, so I had stayed in bed.

I woke up in the morning and got a message off a friend saying something had happened, so I went to Charlotte and she told me about it. I saw her again a few hours later at the police station.

I saw how she was treated. They just left us. They didn’t tell us what was going on and they kept saying to her 'You need to identify the men, and then you can go home'.

She needed to come home straightaway and I'm so happy she can do that now and get whatever psychological help she needs in order to heal.

The judge is saying Charlotte is getting a "second chance". It's not a second chance. She is not guilty of lying. Her name still needs to be cleared.

The whole time we were out there in Cyprus everything was so unsafe for a young person. Especially a young lady.

There needs to be more protection for young girls abroad. At the moment there isn't that.

You're not going to stop young people from going on holiday - it's fun and everyone does it, so there needs to be that protection to make sure people can go away and not have such a horrendous thing happen.

*Names changed to protect anonymity