Let’s Talk Opinion in conversation with Sifting Reality
Although I can accept your premise, it is important to remember that most women who make rape charges after being raped whilst intoxicated do not do so lightly, and they were certainly not “up for a good time” when drunk and then simply regretted it after.
The instances of this are exceedingly rare, because in the case of rape, unlike all other types of crime, the premise of ‘someone is innocent until proven guilty’ actually implies that whilst the accused is innocent until proven otherwise, the accuser – that is the victim – has to prove that they are not guilty (of a lie) by going through the trial.
And I don’t know if you’ve ever attended a rape trial, but believe me when I tell you this: no woman would EVER go through that just because she regrets a “poor life choice”.
The majority of rape cases go unreported. The majority of reported rape cases go untrialed.
If a case does actually make it to a trial, the woman has to relive the experience. Nay! She is made to relive it by going over and over again over every little detail of the horrific, horrifying and deeply damaging experience. And she is made to relive this whilst being accused of untruthfulness, of being somehow responsible for having been raped, required to answer questions about her past sexual experiences, her character being dragged through the mud as the defending lawyer does his/her best to make it out as if she were a slut who deserved all she got.
Men get raped too. I hope you never ever have to go through something like this yourself, but imagine the trauma, and then doubling, tripling, quadrupling it when you are accused of being a liar, and when you are told that you are responsible for what happened.
So, I doubt that any of the cases you refer to of regret actually ever go before a judge. If a woman is drunk then she does not have the legal capacity to say yes, so men – whether drunk or sober – would do better to step away, and wait for an opportunity to “have a good time” with someone who is conscious and can give explicit consent to their advances.
For the full article that instigated this reply please follow: http://siftingreality.com/2013/08/28/double-standards-for-men-and-women-drunk-sex-and-domestic-violence/
Let’sTalk Opinion posts engage with issues that are important to other bloggers, connecting with others on matters close to their heart. If you like a topic and would like to contribute, please feel free to add to the comment box, reblog, share, email or message me on Twitter @shardsofsilence.
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Honestly the facts on a case by case basis matter to me very much.
I try not to have a bias one way or the other when approaching any issue.
It’s part of my training as an insurance adjuster with an emphasis on fraud investigations. My best trainer was a co-worker in a Special Investigations Unit (each insurance company is required to have one in California) who was a retired FBI agent.
That said, I am profoundly against rape. But believe that you are innocent until proven guilty, which is a bedrock American belief.
So I have to hear the actual factuals of a specific case.
I’d probably shoot anyone that roofied anyone I knew though…. I also support our second amendment…
Certainly, Kavalkade, each case ought to be taken on its own merits. The difficulty with rape trials is that it is the victim – call them alleged victim if you would rather – is put on trial too for something that has been done to them. It is only fair that the accused is considered innocent until proven guilty, but where does that leave the victim?
There are no easy answers when it comes to this.
That is why many women fear to bring charges.
It is up to the Trial Judge to maintain his court, the rules of evidence, etc.
Allowing for a fair trial where both sides rights are respected means certain facts may be admissable that either side does not like. It requires a firm hand and choices that either side may not be happy with.
Character does count, and if a woman has a history of false rape charges, that would certainly be a point of contention in another trial, for instance.
We learned this here in America from the Tawana Brawley case, and the false case filed against the Duke lacrosse team. Both extremely high profile, and politicized cases. In both cases the men were falsely accused of rape.
Where does it leave them? They have to deal with a public that things “smoke/fire” or the last thing they read about the person was the rape accusation, and they didn’t know the charges were proven false, for instance…
It happens, it’s unfortunate that it does…. And attorneys remember, and would be remiss in their duty to their clients if they did not explore all avenues.
In fact they can be sued for malpractice, and cases can be ordered retried for poor counsel in criminal proceedings..
Tough choices and a balancing act.
Personally, my involvement in criminal cases has never involved rape. But I’ve been the adjuster in SIU’s. Here in Fresno County due to budget the DA won’t take a fraud case unless we have made the case basically..
That means a prosecutorial brief type report to them. Which my FBI guy taught me how to doI have to go where the truth takes me, and if that’s through a bad actor, sorry.
They can then scream that I’m the bad guy… But I’ve never lost a case me and the SIU brought to trial for fraud.
Attorneys have to do the same to defend their clients.
And it can get ugly.
Yes. It can get very ugly.
When it comes to it, I fear much of it has to do with power. Others have written better, and more extensively than I have here on the subject.
Thank you for your comment, Kavalkade. Appreciated.
I tweeted you a link to the more recent Steubenville case. I think they are rightly convicted.
I will take a look. Thank you.
Just sprung @jsmlynch from Twitter jail with some timely intervention @support.
Writing it up now. I can’t upload images, so the supporting documentation is on my photobucket.
reblogged….thank you!!!! for ppl who have never had to have the police go through their house, escort them to a rape clinic, give details of an assault all the time defending how you were walking, dressed, acting, drinking, eating, etc. it is so hard to paint a valid picture. the demoralization of the process is unspeakable, indescribable. it is so difficult bc you must have done something in your femininity to drive the man to do these things to you. “he was just an average man until you provoked him into becoming a rapist.” that was said to me. i was wearing shorts and a tank top while walking home in july 2010 after being left in a bar in southern oklahoma, where the temperature was 105 degrees. my level of intoxication and the fact my calves were exposed not to mention half of my thighs provoked an otherwise fab guy into abducting me, and sexually assaulting me before dumping my unconscious body 15 miles outside of town. i walked home in the rain, scared he would see me, i would randomly break into a run or walk up to strange doors trying to hide where i lived. my mother found me on the door step screaming incoherently and brought me inside. i climbed into the shower fully clothed while she called the police. soon there were more than 20 men pushing me, pulling me questioning me. i couldn’t talk. i could only scream. my mother was told i needed to go to a mental hospital after the rape kit was done. i was in shock. i am grateful for my ability to have forgotten all but two flashes of his face. i am grateful i don’t remember. i stole my purse and mailed my wallet to my exhusband’s house, reminding me he knew where to find me, how to get me, and he knows my name. i dropped all charges.
Dear cakeleevannila… Words are not enough to express how deeply your story has moved me. I am so incredibly sorry that you had to go through that, and that the perpetrator has gone unpunished.
It was not your fault.
Nothing that you did caused this.
It is all on that excuse for a human being that did this to you.
That anyone should ever think it appropriate to lay the blame at your door is beyond any human decency.
Unfortunately this happens so often. “You should’ve never gone there,” “You should’ve never worn that,” “You shouldn’t have been drinking.”
Nothing that a woman does or does not do instigates rape.
It is the rapist who instigates it.
It does not matter where you go, what you wear, whether you drink or not. These are details of a crime scene, not causes for it.
Women get raped in places that are usually deemed safe, after taking all the precautions.
-A rapist will find an opportunity, a place.
Muslim women get raped too – so clothes have nothing to do with it.
-It is not the clothes that get a rapist to rape, it is the pleasure they derive from hurting someone else.
Women who do not get drunk also get raped.
-A rapist won’t care whether you are inebriated or not before attacking.
So no. It is not ever the victim’s fault. Never. Not in any way.
I wish I could say something to makes things better, but I know this to be impossible. All I can tell you is that I am grateful that you are here, that despite what you have been through you are alive, strong and that you go on.
Thank you for your comment, for sharing your story, and for being you.
Vicki as always another sensitive one.
Our society has reached a point where sex is everything. I say this because it’s become like spectator sport. That said, RAPE unfortunately is still seen as many as a sexual crime.
The initial trigger may be visual,mental or whatever drives the person who rapes. I believe when society at large at the least(a large majority) begins to shift in this line of reason, we will start seeing a difference to how or who is responsible.
This is one difficult topic to debate, and because the most affected in the crime are mainly women, a group already marginalized by too many things, it makes it even more disheartening to approach.
Victims both male and female will tell you RAPE is something thing they would never wish upon an enemy. I was almost raped my first year in college by a very close male friend who believe it or not, I truly believe lost his mind temporarily. At that moment, I was not his friend, I was a solution to an infernal need.
Initially paralyzed by fear, but soon my survival instincts kicked in. I fought with all I had and almost lost my life hanging between the window of a high rise condo and my to be rapist. I think clarity kicked in then, because he actually saved my life by pulling me back in. I still bear the physical scares of that attack.
The internal scares are far worst, trust me. I would rather be covered in physical scares than have the memory of that day in my head: I was not raped mind you…imagine if i had been.
I don’t know if I answered this right or wrong, but Rape is bad for all concerned, rapist and victim.
I think WordPress does not recognize me anymore 😦 won’t display my gravatar.
I wondered about that Dotta, try logging out and logging in again and see if it makes a difference. Your comment at least made it, and that’s the most important part. X
Thank you, Dotta,
This is yet another very thoughtful reply and you raise many important points.
The cases of rape by people already known to the victim – sometimes family members or close friends – have overtaken those of rape by strangers.
The victims of such cases have an additional burden to carry, that of bringing to trial someone who had been an integral part of their lives.
Thank you for sharing your story. So good to hear that you didn’t get raped. The fright you took that day though, I am sure, was not something that anyone would want to go through. I know that fear. I try to put it behind me whenever I meet new people. I don’t want to let it rob me of my trust, but I also try to follow my instincts. They are usually right.
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I wish I had seen this sooner, but the post was made prior to me joining WordPress. I had been dating a prominent attorney for awhile. At a party, he decided he was “finished” with me. So what did he do? He had his BROTHER rape me! Because his brother was a prominent attorney, I decided not to report it. (Stupid me). I went over to their house (they lived together) and threw and broke their glasses. (Hopefully, that got my point across). Actually, I did it because I didn’t know what else to do to deal with my feelings over the crime.
Thank you for sharing your story, Priceless Joy. I am so sorry that this happened to you. I’ve written another post about rape myths, and one of them is about the belief that women are raped mostly by strangers, when in fact something like 90% of rapists are known men. For someone to do something like this… someone you trusted and had a relationship with. No words can describe how incredibly saddened and angry I am by this. Thank you again for sharing. Sending you my warmest regards xxx
Well said. Thank you
Thank you. It is a subject I feel very strongly about, and will probably return to again. I feel there are a lot of misconceptions that do not help rape survivors and damage more than one person in the process.
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Check out Seeking Safety by Lisa Najavits. What some folks are talking about here is PTSD. There is healing. The Seeking Safety therapy should be done by a trained, licensed professional therapist. There are other forms of trauma-informed therapy as well. There is healing; it unfortunately takes a lot longer than it took to be traumatized. The most basic point Dr. Najavits makes is that PTSD is a normal reaction to a highly abnormal experience.
Thank you for the recommendation, James. I am sure many readers will appreciate it.
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What is rape? Like everything else in society today, a name or definition for something that should never have occurred, to justify the evil or please sections of society.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our world no longer required the word or its definition. Perhaps one day…
Indeed..when individual responsibility again becomes a part of life, and of living. Not all is lost – a toast to the human race..
I agree, Tee Gee. It ultimately comes to taking responsibility for one’s actions, and although the current situation is rather grim, advances are being made and this will hopefully lead to positive change.