There have been no surprises in the tawdry, long-running Ched Evans affair. As you were, ladies – you’re still on a hiding to very little if and when you choose to report a sex assault or rape.

Now that the footballer has been cleared of rape at retrial, he’s presenting himself as a persecuted victim.

A poor, misunderstood soul who – while conceding his behaviour was unacceptable when he took his turn for sex with a woman too drunk to know what was happening to her – insists he committed no crime.

She, on the other hand, had her previous sex life pored over and examined in open court in a character assassination attempt aimed at switching judgement towards her. It worked. She has been found to be less than she should be, in the eyes of a baying match-crowd, moralising public opinion.

Anne Pickles He suggests everybody should now move on and get on with their lives. She will carry those staining judgements of her for the rest of her life – having already changed her name and moved home five times to escape targeted venom.

Shocking. Disgusting. Distressing. Not surprising though. Not remotely surprising that those men who defend their rights to use, abuse and regard women as entertaining subjects of “locker room banter” should simultaneously maintain that the only decent female is a vestal virgin who never leaves the kitchen.

Not all men think the same way, thank God. But those who do sure know how to make their voices heard. Add Evans to the roll-call of Trump, Farage and their chums and the picture takes on a certain definition. And it isn’t pretty.

You may think this case has set women’s rights to respect back 30 or more years.

It hasn’t. A woman’s right to complain about mistreatment never really changed. The perceived alterations were cosmetic.

Should the complainant have gone to a hotel room with a footballer in the first place?

Obviously not. Having done so, after drinking far too much, could she rely on the kind of decent instinct that tells a man to leave her alone? No.

We all need to take responsibility for our own decisions and choices. She made mistakes. He took advantage. Such is life. But how could she have known that reporting what happened to her on that night would lead to her past life being dragged out for all to examine with shaking heads and tut-tuts of disapproval?

At that point, she was done for, even though she had never been the one on trial.

Evans says he’d like to see more by way of education offered to explain the tricky issues of casual sex and what constitutes consent.

But only because consent conflicts can land a chap in court – not because everybody has a right to safety and dignity.

“I was stupid and I wasn’t aware of the situations you could potentially find yourself in that would land you in trouble. I have never been taught about anything like that.”

Where on earth has he been while those “educational” points have been made repeatedly… even to footballers? In the locker room, perhaps?

Has his education, thus far, been that any behaviour is OK, so long as you can keep yourself out of court?

Evans has been cleared of rape by a jury. That, legally, is that. But the wider message is one of caution for women and girls, not for those who see a chance for sexual misconduct and take it.

Be aware that if, when considering reporting a sex assault, you’re nervous of doing so for fear of personal repercussions, you’re probably right to be. But nothing will change unless you do.

Don’t be cowed or discouraged. You’re worth more than that.