Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Law and Rape

Tonight I feel strong enough to open up and try to empower women as well as educate others. What follows is a common story found on a number of sites. The author is unknown.
Later, I will follow up with ways to assist victims. And to try to help people understand at least what I have learned walking through this part of my life. Maybe you know someone who is struggling with this issue. Maybe you will someday need to be that should for someone who has this terrible life changing event. Every rape survivor is someone's wife, daughter, mother, or sister. And no one is immune from this . Rape is the only crime that the victim has to prove that it even happened. If you are in a robbery, your word is enough.


The following mock investigation of Mr. Smith illustrates the brutal and rigorous treatment that victims of rape sometimes endure in the judicial process. The dialogue underscores the point that rape victims are never at fault for the crime committed against them, and it highlights the importance of sensitizing members of law enforcement and the judicial system to better meet the needs of victims.

Investigator: Mr. Smith, you allege to have been help up at gunpoint on the corner of First and Main.

Mr. Smith: Yes.

Investigator: Did you see a gun?

Mr. Smith: No.

Investigator: So, you made a conscious decision to comply with his demands rather than resist?

Mr. Smith: Yes.

Investigator: Did you scream? Cry out?

Mr. Smith: No.

Investigator: In other words, you didn’t try to get help for yourself.

Mr. Smith: I was afraid to.

Investigator: I see. Have you ever been held up before?

Mr. Smith: No.

Investigator: Have you ever given money away?

Mr. Smith: Yes, of course.

Investigator: And you did so willingly?

Mr. Smith: What are you getting at?

Investigator: Well, let’s put it like this, Mr. Smith. You’ve given money away in the past. In fact, you have quite a reputation for your generosity. How can we be sure that you weren’t planning on having your money taken by force?

Mr. Smith: Listen, if I wanted…

Investigator: Never mind. What time did this hold up take place?

Mr. Smith: About 11:00 p.m.

Investigator: You were out on the street at 11:00 p.m.? Doing what?

Mr. Smith: Just walking.

Investigator: Just walking? You know that it’s dangerous being out on the street late at night. Weren’t you aware that you could have been held up?

Mr. Smith: I hadn’t thought about it.

Investigator: What were you wearing?

Mr. Smith: Let’s see - a suit. Yes, a suit.

Investigator: An expensive suit?

Mr. Smith: Well, yes. I’m a successful lawyer, you know.

Investigator: In other words Mr. Smith, you were walking around the streets late at night in a suit that practically advertised the fact that you might be a good target for some easy money, isn’t that so? I mean, if we didn’t know better, Mr. Smith, we might even think that you were asking for this to happen, mightn’t we?

Source: American Bar Association Journal

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