Jill Saward
File:Jill 080627a.jpg
Born 15 January 1965 (1965-01-15) (age 56)
Liverpool, England
Residence Staffordshire
Nationality British
Occupation Campaigner
Known for victim of high profile "Ealing Vicarage Rape Attack" and well known rape law reformer, campaigner and author
Political party Independent Candidate
Religion Church of England
Spouse Gavin Drake (m. 1993–present) «start: (1993)»"Marriage: Gavin Drake to Jill Saward" Location: (linkback:https://abuse.wikia.org/wiki/Jill_Saward)
Children three boys
Parents Michael Saward
Relatives Joe Saward (brother)
Henry George Kendall (great grandfather)

Jill Saward (b. 14 January 1965 Liverpool) is best known as the victim of the 1986 Ealing Vicarage Rape,[1] a crime that scandalized the UK and led indirectly to changes in the law. She was educated at Lady Margaret School. Her father, Rev Michael Saward, became vicar of St Mary's, Ealing, in 1978.

Ealing Vicarage Rape

Saward hit the headlines on 6 March 1986 when a gang of burglars broke into her home at lunchtime. Her father and boyfriend received fractured skulls and she was raped.[2] The incident received considerable international media coverage because her home was the Ealing Vicarage - her father was the Vicar of Ealing and the attack was soon labeled by the media as The Ealing Vicarage Rape Attack.[3]

Legal controversy

Saward's case received further notoriety when the judge gave those responsible longer sentences for the burglary than for the rape.[4] The judge caused controversy when he said "the trauma suffered by the victim was not so very great". Upon his retirement the judge, Mr Justice Leonard, publicly apologised for what he called the "one great blemish" on his career.

Rape: My Story

In 1990, with the help of friend Wendy Green, Saward wrote a book about her experiences, called: "Rape: My Story". At the same time she recorded an Everyman programme for the BBC[5] with Jenni Murray.

Campaigning work

Since 1990 Saward has worked in various guises to support victims of rape and sexual violence. She is involved in personal support of victims and training police officers. She writes for national newspapers, is a broadcaster and campaigns for changes to the way rape victims are treated by the police and legal system.[citation needed]


On 24 June 2008, Saward stated in an article on her website[6] that she was considering standing as a candidate against David Davis in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election, which she did. She criticised Davis for "saying nothing at all" about sexual violence issues while serving as Shadow Home Secretary; and stated that the DNA Database should be extended to help detection of sexual assault, and that there was a disparity between the "thousands" of people affected by sexual assault each year, compared to the detention proposals of the Counter-Terrorism Bill which "may not affect anyone at all".[7][8][9][10]

See also



  • Rape: My Story by Jill Saward ISBN
  • The Forgiveness Book by Bob Libby ISBN

External links

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.