Tashmia Owen

Tashmia Owen claims her ordeal was made far worse by the police response when she reported it (Image: MyLondon)

A woman who claims she was raped has hit out at what she claims was the Metropolitan Police’s “misogynistic and flippant response” to her report.

Tashmia Owen claims a detective involved in her case told her he “didn’t want to hear from me unless someone was physically breaking my limbs or were trying to kill me”.

The 44-year-old has waived her right to anonymity to share what she claims is her experience with the Metropolitan Police after she claims she was raped at a property in Charlton, South East London.

Speaking to MyLondon, Tashmia chose to speak out following recent scrutiny of the Met in the wake of the high profile convictions of former officers, rapist David Carrick and murderer Wayne Couzens.

Tashmia claims she came up against victim-blaming and a detective constable and detective sergeant who she claims both behaved in ways that made her even more uncomfortable.

Tashmia claimed: “I just felt like, I ended up feeling like a target. I felt like anything I did was going to in some way, [or would] be interpreted as wrong.”

Recalling a Sunday evening where she received a call from the investigating detective to address the threats she had claimed to have been receiving from the people who she claims raped her, Tashmia claims the detective told her “he didn’t want to hear from me unless someone was physically breaking my limbs or were trying to kill me”.

In the same incident Tashmia claims the detective in question told her he would arrest her if she kept calling him.


Tashmia claims the Met were ‘misogynistic’ in their response to her report (Image: MyLondon)

Discussing the aftermath of the incident which she claims took place in November 2020 Tashmia said she had lost the ability to process anything that was happening afterwards.

She added: “I came home and I was planning on having a shower and just going to bed for the day, hoping it was a bad dream.

“I was sort of a bit of a mess and I couldn’t quite get my head around anything. I wasn’t processing anything properly.”

However, after speaking to friends, the alleged incident was reported.

That evening two young male police officers arrived at her home. Tashmia said they were “brilliant”.

Having finished a cancer treatment two months before and with bruising and bite marks over her neck and the rest of her body, they initially took her to the hospital to be checked over before being taken to the Haven, one of a group of specialist sexual assault referral centres in London.

These centres are spaces where doctors and forensic examiners can see victims after an incident has happened.

During this process pictures were taken of Tashmia’s body and she was given different shots to prevent things like HIV.

Tashmia said it took courage to make a police report, an experience she says was made even more difficult with the way she claims the Met treated her.

She said: “Considering I’m a South Asian woman who comes from a Muslim family there’s so many other things in the background to how difficult it is to come forward and report and have these conversations with people I do not know and to be in rooms where I’m being photographed in the most intimate way.”


Tashmia claims the Met were ‘misogynistic’ in their response to her report (Image: MyLondon)

Things took a sharp turn the the next day, when Tashmia went to give a video statement at a police station in London.

Tashmia was interviewed by a liaison officer, with the detective watching footage in another room.

She claims her first interaction with her investigating officer was when he came into the room and warned her not to delete anything from her phone or he would be questioning her instead.

Tashmia claims that from that point onwards her communication with the detective was one where she felt he was “antagonistic and accusatory”.

She claimed: “He kept on implying that I was lying and he kept insinuating that I’ve done it [made a police report] for attention.”

Tashmia then made a complaint to the detective sergeant at the station accompanied by a worker from Solice Woman’s Aid.

During the meeting Tashmia claims the detective sergeant was “flippant”.

She claims: “I went through telling him all the things the detective had told me, he just laughed and was nodding his head and he was like, ‘oh, yeah, that sounds like him. He doesn’t mean any harm. He’s just a bit of a dinosaur, all bark, no bite’.”

During the conversation with the detective sergeant, she claims he told her that “the detective couldn’t be blamed because the majority of rape reports these days were false and that women lied”.

Discussing the attitudes she experienced in the meeting and during her wider experience with the Met, Tashmia claims: “They were misogynistic and very flippant about most things.”

Describing how she felt throughout the process, Tashmia said: “I was terrified. I was absolutely terrified because it felt like whatever I did, I kept on [being] in trouble being threatened with arrest… I felt like anything I did was going to in some way be interpreted as wrong.”

No action was taken against the detective constable and the detective sergeant was given “reflective practice” for speaking negatively about his colleague when Tashmia raised the complaint.

A separate complaint to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) made by Tashmia was also not upheld.

Tashmia says the impact the investigation has had on her life in the last few years has been debilitating.

She claimed that “at the moment the system doesn’t work” so police forces’ assertion that sexual assault and rape will be treated seriously, she feels, can’t be guaranteed.

In Tashmia’s case the police concluded there was “no misconduct found” and the case was closed a year after she initially reported it.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: “Detectives investigated a report of rape that was alleged to have taken place at a residential property in Little Heath, Charlton on 5 November 2020.

“A 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of rape and subsequently released under investigation. A 41-year-old woman was interviewed under caution.

“A complaint was received in 2022 regarding comments allegedly made to the complainant by the investigating officer – a detective constable – and a detective sergeant. The complaint was investigated by the Professional Standards Unit.

“The sergeant was given reflective practice and reminded about the appropriate use of language when referring to a colleague. The investigation into the constable was inconclusive. No further complaints have been received. Following an investigation, no further action was taken.”

*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.