It gives me great pleasure to share some great news!
The funds that I donated to the Lismore Women's Health and Resource Centre are being put to good use. I received advice that the donation was greatly appreciated and will pay for 14 counselling sessions for women on low incomes.
You can read my latest blog entry for more details: www.clairemc.com
Thank you for ongoing support on this long road to justice. Please keep sharing my story far and wide - this is what creates change :-)
Peace, Harmony, Laughter and Love
Today officially marks 15 years since the attack and my story continues...and I'm in Paris! Stronger, wiser and determined.
Please keep reading my story: www.clairemc.com
Thank you for keeping my story alive. As you might know, my battle continues and the court hearing has been adjourned until December. I have been giving lots of thought on how to proceed and you can read about what lies ahead in my most recent blog entry: http://bit.ly/1okGVo7
Please keep sharing my story. It's by giving a voice to victims of rape that we are able influence change at a higher level. If my experience can help another woman have a better outcome in France, then it has all been worth it.
Thank you again.
Peace, Harmony, Laugher & Love
The fabulous crew at CrossFit Byron Bay held a fundraiser for me on 31 May just before I headed off to France to face court in Paris. We had an awesome morning and thanks to everyone’s generosity raised $1244.
In keeping with my campaign, I have donated a third of this amount, $415, to a local non-profit in the Byron Bay area - the Lismore Women’s Health and Resource Centre (LWHRC). The funds will be specifically used to help women who are victims of rape. I transferred the funds over today :-)
A big thanks to everyone who has support me. Your generosity not only helps me on this difficult journey but will also make the difference in other women’s lives.
Peace, Harmony, laughter and love!
ps. if you would like to read more about the CrossFit Byron Bay fundraiser please checkout my blog: http://bit.ly/1vR3Nyy
Greetings from France!
I have been offline for a few days. Needed a little time to resource and work through the outcome of the court hearing.
I wanted to send you all another big thank you for such incredible support. I am deeply touched by the kindness that has been shown from friends and strangers. Your words and positive energy lift me up and I know that I am not alone on this journey.
I thought that the court hearing would be my last but alas the story goes on... Due to a legal technicality the hearing was adjoined and will only resume later this year. Please keep an eye on my blog this week for some more updates on what this means.
Until soon - Peace, Harmony, Laughter and Love
It felt quite surreal heading into the French courts (Palais de Justice) again. I know this building far to well, from the dungeons to the judges chambers, to the High Courts and now the Appeals Court. I thought that yesterday would mark the end of this story but it seems that there is still more to be told...
I would like to keep sharing my deepest thanks and appreciation for all of the incredible kindness and generosity you are showing me. I am now on my way to Paris and mentally starting to prepare for what awaits. At the moment it is mix of uncertainty, apprehension and determination. There is a big likelihood that my attacker is already a free man and knowing that he may be present at the court hearing is quite terrifying. Fortunately I have a dear friend who is traveling with me and will be my ‘bodyguard’ should things be too much to handle. Please feel free to follow this next part of my journey on my blog ( www.clairemc.com
) and can I encourage to keep SHARING my story. By sharing, we give strength to all those that have a similar story.
Peace, harmony, laughter and love
A huge thank you for all of your kindness, generosity and amazing words of support. I'm leaving for Paris tonight and today is full of last minute preparations. My aim is to thank all of you personally but it may take a few days.
Peace, harmony, laughter & love
The biggest heartfelt thank you to all the wonderful people that have donated today. The kindness, support and goodwill that you are sharing with me is an incredible blessing.
Peace, harmony, laughter and love
My blog is now online if you would like to follow more of my story and keep up to date on the next stage: www.clairemc.com
Thank you again for all the amazing support that you are showing me. I am blessed and so grateful for the strength that it is giving me to face this next part of the journey.
Please keep SHARING!
Peace, harmony, laughter and love
Thank you so much for your incredible support, generosity and words of encouragement. I feel so blessed. Your help is giving me the strength needed to move into this next part and face the French court system again.
I have received a message from a few donors that they have not been able to process donations due to an error message. Apparently there has been a problem with PayPal. I am currently trying to resolve the issue. I will post another message very soon to let you know when everything is working properly if you wish to try again.
Please keep SHARING my story.
Peace be with you.
My name is Claire and I am from Australia. I was the victim of an extremely violent sexual assault and left for dead in Paris, France in July 1999. My attacker was caught 10 years later through DNA and for the past 5 years I have been caught in French criminal proceedings.
Criminal proceedings in France are civil and it is the victim's responsibility to prosecute and pay for all costs associated. The first court hearing was held in November 2011 and my attacker was sentenced to serve prison time. To date, these legal proceeding have cost me AUD$30,000. In an attempt to claim back half of these expenses, I have now been forced into an appeal proceeding which will cost another AUD$4000 - $6000.
In early May 2014, I received advice that I must return to Paris to testify in court again on 5 June 2014. I am currently in Australia and will be required to pay for flights and accommodation. I have also found out that my attacker may already be free, but the French courts refuse to confirm or advise on the situation, which could lead to more complications and expenses.
Having to relive the trauma and intensity of the attack over and over again for the past 5 years has almost destroyed me. I have tried so hard not to be a victim but the French system keeps dragging me down. I have sought ongoing counselling and medical support to make it through as I have experienced many dark and desperate moments.
I am overwhelmed by the ongoing expense of being a victim of such an awful crime in France. I feel that I have completed a civil duty by taking an extremely violent man of the streets of Paris so that he does not hurt any more women. It is such a struggle to come to terms with the fact that I may never be reimbursed by the French government for doing so.
This journey to finding justice will cost me more than AUD$35,000.
I am seeking your support and help to cover some of these expenses. Whatever you can spare, no amount is too little, and every little bit helps. I would like to donate a third of the donations received to support women who are victims of sexual assault in Paris.
I thank you from the deepest part of my heart for helping me find peace as a victim after battling such a complicated legal system for 15 years.
If you would like to read more of my story, please follow my blog: www.clairemc.com
Or click on the links below to articles that have been published in the Australian press:
2014 http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/raped-15-years-ago-claire-mcfarlane-readies-for-her-final-fight-20140601-39bxo.html http://www.echo.net.au/2014/05/rape-victim-navigates-french-legal-system/ http://www.northernstar.com.au/news/claire-looking-for-closure/2274304/
By sharing my story, I am finally empowering myself as a victim, giving a voice to others in similar situations and ultimately being a catalyst for change.