Nick Cohen and Shiv Malik have the story:
Another woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – has told the Guardian that she also faced a welter of inappropriate questions during her own disputes committee hearing after she reported being raped by another man in the party.
The young female member in the latest case says that the senior party member had physically abused her in front of other party members. Then, she claims, in early 2011 the male organiser pressured her into meeting and then raped her in her bedroom.
She felt that if she’d gone to the authorities, she would have be expelled from the party, because of the SWP’s hostility to the police. “If you go to the police you get kicked out automatically,” she said.
The serious allegations of physical and sexual assault were put before one of the SWP’s special “tribunals”, where the ’senior figure’ was accused of other criminal offences. Nevertheless, the ‘punishment’ – although no finding of guilt was made – was trivial:
During the hearing two other women made allegations against the senior figure including attempted rape and sexual impropriety.
She says she was called back that afternoon and told the verdict. The committee did not rule on the truth of the rape allegation, she said.
She claims she was told the alleged rapist was going to be suspended and encouraged to read up on women’s liberation.
As far as we know, this senior figure is now back in the party. Who is it? I expect we will hear soon enough.
But what happened next was both shocking and predictable:
She then says she was warned against speaking about the hearing.
“They said, if you go around calling him a rapist, you’ll be in trouble. If you tell anyone, you’ll be in trouble … They didn’t elaborate. They’re not the kind of people to get on the wrong side of.”
She added that she was coming forward two years later because she believes the SWP is a dangerous environment for women: “I want people to know it’s a systemic thing. They’ve done this a few times, covered things up in the interests of the party and it’s a dangerous environment to be in.”
She is right.
The SWP is a rape cult. It uses its Leninist hierarchies in order to facilitate the abuse of young women members by ageing party officials. Remember: Martin Smith was in his mid 50s when he allegedly raped a 19 year old women. Then it bullies complainants into silence.
For years, we have laughed at the SWP’s strange and aggressive culture, marked by hateful rhetoric and threats against those they identify as enemies.
We shouldn’t have. This isn’t just play-acting. When it comes to violence and intimidation, they practice what they preach.