‘A LOT of women who find themselves in this position have been the victim of a crime where their control has been taken away from them by someone else,” says the former St Andrews student Miss M, who was raped by Stephen Coxen in 2013.

“They are going into a system where it is taken from them once more.”

She was in her second year and he was visiting a friend in the town when the incident took place.

Following a five-day trial at the High Court in 2015 the jury said the case was “not proven”, a controversial verdict which is definite about neither guilt or innocence - which Rape Crisis believes should be ended 

In October this year she went on to win £80,000 in damages from Coxen in a landmark case.

The civil action, which has a lower burden on proof with judgments made on the balance of probabilities rather than beyond reasonable doubt, was heard at the Personal Injury Court in Edinburgh. Sheriff Robert Weir said the evidence from Miss M had been “cogent, compelling and persuasive” and found her incapable of having given meaningful consent due to the effects of alcohol.

“I have heard some women say it feels like being raped again,” adds Miss M. “It didn’t feel quite like that to me but listening to others’ thoughts and feelings highlights a lot of problems.”

What she did find in her criminal trial – that lasted five days back in 2015 – was that evidence was missed. She had to have tongue surgery, due to damage she says was caused by being forced to perform oral sex.

“But my surgeon didn’t turn up. There was no psychologist, no gynaecologist, no toxicologist. It was only when I went to civil courts that evidence was heard. The complainers aren’t really involved in the case and in my view vital evidence was missed as a result. We don’t have our voices heard.”

For all five days of the trial she went to the High Court with family members and sat outside in the waiting area, while they watched the day’s evidence and reported back. She was appalled when she heard the evidence was over.

The civil case – heard nearly two years later – took eight days and heard more evidence despite the lower burden of truth.

She said: “My case has been heard. Now it’s time for lessons to be learned from the issues, problems and pitfalls that meant I have had to take my case to the civil courts.”