'Why I confronted the man who raped me’
Mar 30, 2011
Dr Claire Chung, who has agreed to waive her anonymity in The Sunday Telegraph, was raped twice in the stinking stairwell of a multi-storey car park, and the crime caused her life to collapse “like a pack of cards”.
Dr Chung, a highly regarded GP with more than 20 years’ medical experience, lost her job, her marriage and her home after being raped by Stephen Allen Gale, who had been released from prison for another sexual offence just one day earlier.
But following the attack, which she described in chilling detail, Dr Chung negotiated with the authorities to allow a meeting with Gale in prison.
The meeting was organised as part of a “restorative justice” scheme, which brings criminals face to face with their victims.
....The mother-of-three explained that her motivation was to understand why he committed the crime, and why she was chosen as the victim.
She said: “It seems the last thing that anybody would want to do, doesn’t it? Who would honestly want to go and meet the man who raped you? It seems it would be such a traumatic experience but I did not view it that way. Nor do I see it as an act of bravery.
“The rape had happened - I could not change that. The only things I could change were his behaviour in the future and to get him to think about his crime in a different way.”
....In a remarkable interview, the doctor describes how she met Gale in prison for lengthy “restorative justice” sessions - and how he reacted when she asked for an apology.
“The offender wanted me to be angry with him but although I am incandescent with rage about everything else I am not angry with him. I am angry with the people who let him out from his previous sentence,” she said.
....Dr Chung said: “If victims would like restorative justice they should all be offered it. It has certainly helped me to channel the anger more productively.
“I no longer lie awake at night wondering whether he will come after me or my family. I also believe it changed the way the offender looked at his crime. I became a real person to him.”