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Old 10-20-2018, 12:25 AM
nelliebly nelliebly is offline
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Should rape/sexual assault victims report?

I've been pondering this for months now. The answer may seem simple--"Of course! If someone is raped, she should report it!" But consider the following:

* Only a small percentage of rapists are arrested. Only a tiny percentage of those go to jail.

• Reporting often involves rape kit testing and reliving the experience, either of which is often traumatic.

• How many times have we heard, "It's he said/she said" when someone famous has been accused of rape/sexual assault? Since very few rapes involve witnesses (and even fewer involve unbiased ones), most rape cases are in fact he said/she said. This is one reason for the low arrest and conviction rates.

• It's very difficult to get evidence that's regarded as persuasive. Semen present in the vagina? Consensual sex. Victim was too terrified to resist and there are no injuries? Consensual. Victim is bruised/injured? She likes it rough. Or she att

• In the small percentage of cases in which there is an arrest and trial, the defense attorney is going to portray the victim as a slut. The defense may not be allowed to introduce the victim's sexual history, but the rapist is most likely going to claim sex was consensual, even if the rapist was a stranger to the victim. Cross-examination on the witness stand is a brutal experience.

• If the rapist is popular--everyone's favorite neighbor or captain of the football team--the victim will most likely be reviled.

• If the rapist finds out the victim reported the rape, there may be reprisal--physical violence or something more subtle.

There are, of course, good reasons for reporting a rape/sexual assault. There's the small chance the rapist will actually go to jail. Reporting can in some cases give the victim a sense of control over her/his life. And, of course, there's the notion that reporting a crime is the right thing to do, regardless of the cost to the already-traumatized victim.

When you weigh the costs vs. benefits of reporting, is it in the victim's best interest to report?
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Old 10-20-2018, 12:42 AM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is online now
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Or have it reported for them, if the victim is a child or dependent adult?

That "popular" suspect might be revealed to have done the same thing before, often many, many times.

If a victim was seriously injured in the attack, it's awfully hard to hide what was done, but if s/he wasn't, that's when the s/he said / s/he said thing comes into account, and if a victim chooses not to report, that's a decision for which s/he should not be condemned. It gets trickier if the victim cannot speak for themselves.
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Old 10-20-2018, 01:01 AM
epbrown01 epbrown01 is offline
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I'm for reporting, always. As we've been seeing repeatedly, there's pretty much no such thing as a one-time offender when it comes to sexual assault. More reports will lead to more convictions because you get more victims coming forward, and when it's multiple "she saids" the "he said" defense shrivels, as do the victim-blaming counter-arguments.
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Old 10-20-2018, 01:11 AM
DavidwithanR DavidwithanR is offline
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I think there might be a callous-but-true situation such that there is a "just-right" number of reports, large enough to drive improvement in the system and at the same time small enough to prevent excessive backlash from deniers.
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Old 10-20-2018, 02:17 AM
nelliebly nelliebly is offline
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Are previous accusations of rape/sexual assault admissible in court? I was under the impression they weren't, especially if the previous case didn't go to trial, as the vast majority don't. In fact, even if the perpetrator is arrested, if he wasn't convicted, he can, after a period of time with no new convictions, get his record expunged. At least, in my state, he can. That would mean prior accusations would, in effect, disappear, right?
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Old 10-20-2018, 02:36 AM
BobBitchin' BobBitchin' is offline
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I think it should be reported.
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Old 10-20-2018, 02:40 AM
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Of fucking course they should.
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Old 10-20-2018, 05:12 AM
epbrown01 epbrown01 is offline
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Originally Posted by nelliebly View Post
Are previous accusations of rape/sexual assault admissible in court? I was under the impression they weren't, especially if the previous case didn't go to trial, as the vast majority don't. In fact, even if the perpetrator is arrested, if he wasn't convicted, he can, after a period of time with no new convictions, get his record expunged. At least, in my state, he can. That would mean prior accusations would, in effect, disappear, right?
The previous accusations aren't admissable, but it will help with individual accusations being ignored. The police won't want to be on record as dismissing a recent report when the media shows up saying the assailant has been accused previously.

It also helps outside of court, as in real life the same rule applies - there's never just one victim. The two times I've seen someone fired for sexual harassment, the first complaint got HR to ask around and they discovered multiple prior bad acts. I wish someone could get fired after the first incident.*

*Okay, I know of someone that was fired after the first report, but he was weird. He had a foot fetish and he grabbed a woman's shoe off her foot and starting sniffing it in the elevator. To say she was mildly freaked is like saying Hitler was kinda bad (and they had him on video).
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Old 10-20-2018, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by nelliebly View Post
I've been pondering this for months now. The answer may seem simple--"Of course! If someone is raped, she should report it!" But consider the following:
None of your objections matter one whit. If you don't report it, it didn't happen. You have been a victim of a crime. Get it reported. Get it on record. Suffer the indignities. Testify in court. And gain closure when the rapist is convicted.

I notice you're assuming a female victim: if you think women have it bad, consider a male victim.
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Old 10-20-2018, 01:13 PM
Modesty Blaise Modesty Blaise is offline
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Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
None of your objections matter one whit. If you don't report it, it didn't happen. You have been a victim of a crime. Get it reported. Get it on record. Suffer the indignities. Testify in court. And gain closure when the rapist is convicted.

I notice you're assuming a female victim: if you think women have it bad, consider a male victim.

Nine posts to get to “what about the menz”. Can we not do this?
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Old 10-20-2018, 01:16 PM
Modesty Blaise Modesty Blaise is offline
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Originally Posted by nelliebly View Post
I've been pondering this for months now. The answer may seem simple--"Of course! If someone is raped, she should report it!" But consider the following:

* Only a small percentage of rapists are arrested. Only a tiny percentage of those go to jail.

• Reporting often involves rape kit testing and reliving the experience, either of which is often traumatic.

• How many times have we heard, "It's he said/she said" when someone famous has been accused of rape/sexual assault? Since very few rapes involve witnesses (and even fewer involve unbiased ones), most rape cases are in fact he said/she said. This is one reason for the low arrest and conviction rates.

• It's very difficult to get evidence that's regarded as persuasive. Semen present in the vagina? Consensual sex. Victim was too terrified to resist and there are no injuries? Consensual. Victim is bruised/injured? She likes it rough. Or she att

• In the small percentage of cases in which there is an arrest and trial, the defense attorney is going to portray the victim as a slut. The defense may not be allowed to introduce the victim's sexual history, but the rapist is most likely going to claim sex was consensual, even if the rapist was a stranger to the victim. Cross-examination on the witness stand is a brutal experience.

• If the rapist is popular--everyone's favorite neighbor or captain of the football team--the victim will most likely be reviled.

• If the rapist finds out the victim reported the rape, there may be reprisal--physical violence or something more subtle.

There are, of course, good reasons for reporting a rape/sexual assault. There's the small chance the rapist will actually go to jail. Reporting can in some cases give the victim a sense of control over her/his life. And, of course, there's the notion that reporting a crime is the right thing to do, regardless of the cost to the already-traumatized victim.

When you weigh the costs vs. benefits of reporting, is it in the victim's best interest to report?

This phrase is all over pop culture - she likes it rough. It gives me the creeps.
  #12  
Old 10-20-2018, 01:38 PM
nelliebly nelliebly is offline
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Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
None of your objections matter one whit. If you don't report it, it didn't happen. You have been a victim of a crime. Get it reported. Get it on record. Suffer the indignities. Testify in court. And gain closure when the rapist is convicted.

I notice you're assuming a female victim: if you think women have it bad, consider a male victim.
I have considered what it would be like to be a male victim. You should have noticed that I included that possibility a couple of times in my post. However, the vast majority of victims are women, so I didn't feel obliged to use he/she or add (men) at every possible juncture. Nor would I assume, as you do, that it's necessarily worse for any given male victim. If you'd like to start such a debate, I hope you'll initiate it in a separate thread.
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Old 10-20-2018, 02:12 PM
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Yes, things are often bad for women who report. That needs to change. And it can't change unless more victims do report. I wish that there were an easy way to get to there from here, but unfortunately there isn't. Fortunately, though, we're already seeing the start of the movement that will get there.
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Old 10-20-2018, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by nelliebly View Post
There are, of course, good reasons for reporting a rape/sexual assault. There's the small chance the rapist will actually go to jail. Reporting can in some cases give the victim a sense of control over her/his life. And, of course, there's the notion that reporting a crime is the right thing to do, regardless of the cost to the already-traumatized victim.
Failure to report may give the perpetrator free rein to keep raping/assaulting more people. If enough people report, however, maybe it will change the culture so that reports are taken more seriously, potential rapists are less likely to think they can act with impunity, and the arguments against reporting that you listed would have less weight.

In the grand scheme of things, I think victims "should" report. But, for the reasons you list, there's a very real risk that those who do would lose more than they gain. So I hesitate to advise anyone that they must do so, or to pass judgment on those who don't.
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Old 10-20-2018, 03:29 PM
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In the grand scheme of things, I think victims "should" report. But, for the reasons you list, there's a very real risk that those who do would lose more than they gain. So I hesitate to advise anyone that they must do so, or to pass judgment on those who don't.
Thank you. I'm glad I posted the question because I've learned that those who haven't been raped/sexually assaulted may have little idea of what happens when you do report. As one victim whose rapist was acquitted put it:
Quote:
Still without justice, my emotions were a whirlwind of rage, confusion, violation; and yes, grave disappointment in our justice system. Honestly, had I known the outcome, I would never have taken my family through that emotional roller coaster.
To report the rape/assault is to relive it. It's hell to go through an assault the first time; it doesn't get a lot easier in recounting it. My case was, I think, fairly typical: telling my parents was so hard, I only did it when I had no choice, and then I gave a very brief summary. The police naturally needed every detail. I relived the entire terrifying experience, this time with freeze-frames. And if the rapist/sexual assailant is identified and questioned, things get much, much worse.

The moment the perp* starts talking to police, you, the victim, become suspect. He says sex was consensual. He says you felt guilty afterwards. He says you're a vindictive whore. This is the he says part of he says/she says. The necessity of considering that account as the truth makes further questioning harsher. Furthermore, the perpetrator seldom primly seals his lips; he tells everyone his version, preemptively. Now you've gone through the horror and terror of assault AND you're blamed for the very act that terrified you AND you're branded a liar and worse.

And many victims are blamed, subtly or boldly, by others. One of the very few persons I confided in years after the assault said I must have acted nervous, so the assailant saw me as prey.

We're urged to report to help other victims of the same perpetrator. In sexual harassment cases, where a pattern of behavior must be established, prior reports are helpful. But this is not sexual harassment. Prior accusations won't be heard at trial. And unless the perp is famous, media coverage is unlikely, so there's little chance that report will embolden other victims.

Quote:
With hindsight, would I encourage another rape victim to go to the police, to face months of interviews, examinations and implicit accusations ...? I don't know that I could.
[Cite.]
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeands...st-walked-free

*Since 91% of sexual assault victims are female, I've chosen to avoid the repeated use of he/she. .
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Old 10-20-2018, 03:44 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is online now
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Nine posts to get to “what about the menz”. Can we not do this?
I made post #2 in this thread, and it was gender-neutral for a reason.
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Old 10-20-2018, 03:45 PM
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This seems a similar dilemma to whether gay people “should” come out. There is great personal risk (in many cases) but the overall benefit to our culture and gay people in general is obvious.

“Should” report is not what I would want to convey to rape victims. I’d rather talk about the benefits of reporting. A rape victim has to think about all of these downsides:

Not being believed
Police and/or others not caring
Being asked if she really wants to “destroy a man’s life”
Being asked questions no other crime victim gets asked
Minimizing what she went through
Possible threats from rapist or his friends
Possible retaliation from rapist or his friends
And more

How do you convince someone to run that kind of gauntlet?
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Old 10-20-2018, 04:28 PM
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Not getting too specific, but non-judicial consequences would do more to hasten reform.
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Old 10-20-2018, 04:56 PM
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Not getting too specific, but non-judicial consequences would do more to hasten reform.
The problem is that "non-judicial consequences" tends to mean a vigilante beating or killing of the alleged perpetrator. Those don't tend to happen to the Brock Turner's and Brett Kavanaugh's of the world, attacking rich white guys tends to be a really bad move. Instead, it tends to happen to poor people, especially minorities, and the allegations are often based on weak testimony. While the treatment of rape victims is terrible and needs to improve, beating up poor people (with a focus on minorities) with no oversight really isn't a good answer. And in a lot of cases 'non-judicial consequences' are wildly disproportionate to the crime, inflicting death or crippling injury for a crime that would actually only warrant a fairly short jail stay if proven. I don't really think that a death sentence is the appropriate answer when two high school kids, one 18 year old and one 15, have sex.
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Old 10-20-2018, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by nelliebly View Post
We're urged to report to help other victims of the same perpetrator. In sexual harassment cases, where a pattern of behavior must be established, prior reports are helpful. But this is not sexual harassment. Prior accusations won't be heard at trial. And unless the perp is famous, media coverage is unlikely, so there's little chance that report will embolden other victims.
Brock Turner wasn't famous until his trial. Media coverage is variable, and may be unlikely for the first trial, but the media might be interested when Mr. Not-Guilty is accused again, and yet again. Exposing such men can lead to some sort of justice, even if there's no conviction.

The bottom line is doing nothing is how we got here, and it's not how we're going to change things. It feed into the same victim-blaming narrative: "She didn't report me - what I did wasn't that bad/she liked it/she's changed her mind/etc."
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Old 10-20-2018, 06:03 PM
nelliebly nelliebly is offline
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Brock Turner wasn't famous until his trial. Media coverage is variable, and may be unlikely for the first trial, but the media might be interested when Mr. Not-Guilty is accused again, and yet again. Exposing such men can lead to some sort of justice, even if there's no conviction.

The bottom line is doing nothing is how we got here, and it's not how we're going to change things. It feed into the same victim-blaming narrative: "She didn't report me - what I did wasn't that bad/she liked it/she's changed her mind/etc."
Victims not reporting is how we got here? How is that not victim-blaming? And you're blaming those who didn't report because they were too terrified or too sure police wouldn't believe them or unable to face the kind of hell the public puts victims through for the perpetrator's lousy logic?
  #22  
Old 10-20-2018, 06:48 PM
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Nine posts to get to “what about the menz”. Can we not do this?
Do you think that male rape doesn't happen? Sorry, but if you think men don't get raped you are mistaken. Male rape victims are just as in need of justice as female victims. And, for those who go on about unreported rapes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Male-on-male rape has been heavily stigmatized. According to psychologist Sarah Crome, fewer than 1 in 10 male-male rapes are reported. As a group, male rape victims reported a lack of services and support, and legal systems are often ill-equipped to deal with this type of crime.[10]
So please fight your own ignorance and recognise - and reform - your sexism.
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Old 10-20-2018, 06:51 PM
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You have to give him credit, he is quite good at this.
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Old 10-20-2018, 07:07 PM
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Quartz, men do get raped, but at much lower rates than women. Women getting raped is a much bigger problem than men getting raped, and accordingly should receive much more effort at a solution. Everyone in this thread knows all of this, except for you.
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Old 10-20-2018, 08:44 PM
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I think my mother didn't report because she felt trapped in the marriage. How do you manage in the 1950's to take care of 4 children (14-female,9-female,5-male,4-female) once you have left the man who is systematically raping each of his daughters? I think it may have been a bit of a relief to her when he was abusing the daughters, because he was not abusing her. She did finally put a stop to it when she found him raping the second granddaughter. My dad was a "pillar in the community"-scoutmaster of the church Boy Scout troop, president of the Elementary School Dad's Club, helper of widows, etc.
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Old 10-20-2018, 09:42 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is online now
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Pudytat72, I am so sorry to read this. Nobody deserves a childhood like that.

These boys didn't either.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/greg-st...ting-400-boys/

When I was in college, I found out that a man at the church I attended as a tween was a serial child molester; he was exposed when two of his granddaughters found out he had abused them, after which they proceeded to tell their mother, who had also been abused by him, and she went to the police. One female relative after another came forward saying he had done the same thing to them; this man's wife denied knowing about the abuse, as did their son. Even though this man did not abuse me, something I did tell my source, it did not surprise me at all, because all of his kids, including the son who denied being abused by him, made horrific decisions when it came to picking spouses.

I do wonder if his wife said she didn't know about it, because saying she did would have had some rather dire consequences. Both of them have since died.
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Old 10-21-2018, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
None of your objections matter one whit. If you don't report it, it didn't happen. You have been a victim of a crime. Get it reported. Get it on record. Suffer the indignities. Testify in court. And gain closure when the rapist is convicted.

I notice you're assuming a female victim: if you think women have it bad, consider a male victim.

What the actual fuck is the matter with you, dude?
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Old 10-21-2018, 12:26 AM
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Ideally I would prefer it if the victim reported it. However, the victim should do what they think is best for him or herself. They're under no obligation to report for the good of society. They need to look out for their own needs first.
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Old 10-21-2018, 02:51 AM
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You have to give him credit, he is quite good at this.
Just because he does it repetitively doesn't mean he is good at it. It is completely transparent to anyone who is paying attention.

Of course victims of rape and sexual assault--male, female, trans, et cetera--should be encouraged to report the crimes, and the victims treated in a manner to allow them to retain as much dignity as possible. And false claims should be prosecuted, although false claims are rare and generally pretty obvious to experienced investigators. The problems with victims not reporting--because of shame, fear of reprisal, lack of support, and all too often because they are not believed or the claims are not pursued even if they are as sexual assaulters often pick a scenario in which there are no witnesses--does contribute to the pervasiveness of such behaviors, which argues for making the training about what to do in case of an assault or threat go down to basic childhood education. Many victims are not even aware that what is being done to them is sexual assault or abuse, and they don't report or complain because everyone else around them tacitly accepts it even though something feels really wrong about it, which is a fundamental social problem rather than just victims not stepping up.

In short, we need to create an environment where victims feel that they can report such violations without being shamed, blamed, or ignored, which is all too often not the case.

Stranger
  #30  
Old 10-21-2018, 03:29 AM
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Of course victims of rape and sexual assault--male, female, trans, et cetera--should be encouraged to report the crimes, and the victims treated in a manner to allow them to retain as much dignity as possible.
When I worked as a rape crisis counselor, this is not the approach we took. Survivors (yes, women and men) had just had their agency taken away from them in often horrific ways. We talked them through their options. We told them we would be there for them every step of the way if they reported (in CA this is their right). We answered questions, and helped them begin to process emotions. We never told them what to do or told them that they had to do anything (with exceptions for safety, and minors). We did encourage them to seek medical attention for their own health, but encouraging them to report? No. Doing so was their own decision.

Quote:
In short, we need to create an environment where victims feel that they can report such violations without being shamed, blamed, or ignored, which is all too often not the case.

Stranger
Yes, this has to be the answer. No one should have to walk this gauntlet of shaming in order to seek justice. Let alone cases that are never followed up on, evidence that is never processed, police that never even show up (Alaska - I'm looking at you). The process is broken.
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Old 10-21-2018, 03:31 AM
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The bottom line is doing nothing is how we got here
...narrator: "This actually wasn't how we got here."
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Old 10-21-2018, 03:51 AM
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I'm for reporting,

BUT

that means it needs to be ok to report. When the cost of reporting is being kicked out of the house, or leaving your younger siblings in a more vulnerable position, or... then it makes sense to not report. Ideally we should have societies where it never makes sense to not report. Of course, ideally we'd also never need to report, but hey, only because you don't think you'll make it to Broadway doesn't mean you should never sing.


Note that the same applies to many other situations; in fact, to any situation where the person who has something reportable feels threatened. Blackmail, direct threats, insults, forced marriage, (non-sexual) assault, the list is very long, but what it's got in common is that they are situations where the main reason to not report is that you are convinced it will not help or will make things worse. It's a big problem for crimes where the victim is an immigrant for example: even if they've got all their paperwork, very often they are afraid to report.

Last edited by Nava; 10-21-2018 at 03:55 AM.
  #33  
Old 10-21-2018, 03:58 AM
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In the case of a person who attacks multiple women, then if everyone reports, it stops being a "he said, she said" matter. The police can say, "She's saying it now, and we have three previous reports from these other women against this man and zero previous reports against 99.9% of the other men in the city, so you do the math."
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Old 10-21-2018, 04:08 AM
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Quartz, men do get raped, but at much lower rates than women. Women getting raped is a much bigger problem than men getting raped, and accordingly should receive much more effort at a solution. Everyone in this thread knows all of this, except for you.
As I'm sure most of you know Spanish nouns and adjectives are usually gendered; the masculine plural also counts as neuter plural. But in the last couple of decades it's not uncommon for a man who finds himself surrounded by women to say "to hell with grammar, all these masculine plurals are making me feel self-conscious; if you don't mind I move that we use feminine plurals." Whenever we are talking about sex crimes it's a similar situation: it is important to remember that choosing a specific gender or noun in certain situations where not doing so would be awkward doesn't exclude all other genders and nouns. It is a shorthand, not an exclusion.
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Old 10-21-2018, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
Do you think that male rape doesn't happen? Sorry, but if you think men don't get raped you are mistaken. Male rape victims are just as in need of justice as female victims. And, for those who go on about unreported rapes



So please fight your own ignorance and recognise - and reform - your sexism.
The OP references both male and female. Drop the hijack of whether male victims exist.

[/moderating]
  #36  
Old 10-22-2018, 02:13 AM
epbrown01 epbrown01 is offline
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Victims not reporting is how we got here? How is that not victim-blaming? And you're blaming those who didn't report because they were too terrified or too sure police wouldn't believe them or unable to face the kind of hell the public puts victims through for the perpetrator's lousy logic?
Let me be clear here: I don't blame someone for being sexually assaulted - I don't care what they were wearing, if they could have prevented it by walking on the other side of the sidewalk or wearing different lipstick, or whatever minutiae people claim they could have done to avoid the incident. The attack is 100% on the attacker.

What someone does after - that's on them. Being a victim of a crime doesn't absolve someone of all responsibility, personal and social, for infinity. The Golden Rule is still in force, and that means considering what you would have wanted the last victim to do before the assailant got to you when you're plotting your course of action.

Last edited by epbrown01; 10-22-2018 at 02:14 AM.
  #37  
Old 10-22-2018, 02:35 AM
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Being a victim of a crime doesn't absolve someone of all responsibility, personal and social, for infinity.
...the "victim of a crime" bears no responsibility for the future actions of the person who perpetrated that crime either now, in the future, for infinity. The "victim of a crimes" first responsibility is to themselves.

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The Golden Rule is still in force, and that means considering what you would have wanted the last victim to do before the assailant got to you when you're plotting your course of action.
I don't think this "Golden Rule" actually exist. Where is it written? When did it "first come into force?" How come I've never heard of it? Did you just make this rule up for this thread?
  #38  
Old 10-22-2018, 03:17 AM
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I think reporting or not should be up to the victim, but if asked, I'd strongly encourage it, and not reporting childhood incidents is a big regret for adult me. On the other hand, I'm quite familiar with the instinct to just put it behind you. The pervasiveness of patriarchal rape culture doesn't help, for any gender of victim.
  #39  
Old 10-22-2018, 11:16 AM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is offline
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Reporting often involves rape kit testing and reliving the experience, either of which is often traumatic.
IIRC, many states have huge backlogs of untested rape kits. This is an enormous slap in the face to the women who were brave enough to report being raped.
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Victim is bruised/injured? She likes it rough.
Vaginal or anal tearing should at the very least create a rebuttable presumption that intercourse was nonconsensual. (IOW, the burden would shift to the defendant to prove it wasn't rape, if it wasn't disputed that he and the victim had a sexual encounter.)
  #40  
Old 10-22-2018, 11:25 AM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is offline
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I have never been in the situation of having to decide whether to report a rape, and being a middle-aged man, chances are I never will be.

In a better world than this, it would be a good deal less traumatic for a rape victim to report her assault to the police. But given that this is far from the best of all possible worlds, I would not pass judgment on anyone who chose not to report.
  #41  
Old 10-22-2018, 01:08 PM
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I've been pondering this for months now. The answer may seem simple--"Of course! If someone is raped, she should report it!" But consider the following:

* Only a small percentage of rapists are arrested. Only a tiny percentage of those go to jail.
This is not true, of all forcible rapes reported to the authorities 34.5% were cleared. 80% of people arrested for rape are tried, 50% of people put on trial for rape are convicted of a felony, while 8% are convicted of a lesser charge. 95% of those convicted are sentenced to prison and the average sentence is 14 years.
  #42  
Old 10-22-2018, 01:21 PM
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...the "victim of a crime" bears no responsibility for the future actions of the person who perpetrated that crime either now, in the future, for infinity. The "victim of a crimes" first responsibility is to themselves.



I don't think this "Golden Rule" actually exist. Where is it written? When did it "first come into force?" How come I've never heard of it? Did you just make this rule up for this thread?

I believe the Golden Rule they were referencing is "do unto others as you would want them done unto you"

So basically, would you have wanted someone reported for it before it happened to you?
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  #43  
Old 10-22-2018, 01:30 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Vaginal or anal tearing should at the very least create a rebuttable presumption that intercourse was nonconsensual. (IOW, the burden would shift to the defendant to prove it wasn't rape, if it wasn't disputed that he and the victim had a sexual encounter.)
How would it be rebutted? Would we allow testimony from others that she or he liked it rough? I thought we shouldn't be bringing up a victim's previous sexual history.

I understand the difficulties that sexual assault victims face. But I am not sure of how the legal system can be changed to convict more assaulters, given the presumption of innocence, the right to confront evidence, and the right to a vigorous defense.

Suppose I am a defense attorney. My client is accused of a crime. Is it not part of my job to challenge the credibility of witnesses against my client? Even if it is horrible for them.

I have heard estimates of false rape allegations that range from 2-8% or higher. Assume it's 2%. Supposedly it is better to let a hundred guilty men go free rather than convict one innocent one. Is it better to convict two innocent ones?

Regards,
Shodan
  #44  
Old 10-22-2018, 01:44 PM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is offline
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How would it be rebutted? Would we allow testimony from others that she or he liked it rough? I thought we shouldn't be bringing up a victim's previous sexual history.
Its being a rebuttable presumption just says that from a legal standpoint, the door is open to countervailing evidence. That doesn't mean it's easy to come by.
  #45  
Old 10-22-2018, 02:03 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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What kind of countervailing evidence?

I think we kicked this kind of thing around in the Trayvon Martin vs. Zimmerman threads. SYG requires only IIRC a scintilla of evidence to establish self-defense, and a jury could conclude that the statement of the accused constitutes such a scintilla. Is vaginal tearing, in and of itself, enough to overcome a presumption of innocence, and what level of evidence would be needed to refute it?

Regards,
Shodan
  #46  
Old 10-22-2018, 03:07 PM
Urbanredneck Urbanredneck is offline
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I once visited a then closed prison where we got a tour by the old warden. I asked him why the men in jail committed their crimes and his answer was most often, they thought they could get away with it.

So yes, report it. For one, when a person goes to jail they get DNA tested and ID'd and often their DNA will match another crime. Second, it makes the perp know his name IS NOW in the system. He IS being watched. Getting picked up by the cops, handcuffed, and taken down to be questioned - maybe even having to post bail, often is enough to scare the crap out of someone. Who knows, maybe he will confess? Maybe more evidence will be brought out? Maybe the charges will stick?
  #47  
Old 10-22-2018, 04:12 PM
nelliebly nelliebly is offline
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Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
This is not true, of all forcible rapes reported to the authorities 34.5% were cleared. 80% of people arrested for rape are tried, 50% of people put on trial for rape are convicted of a felony, while 8% are convicted of a lesser charge. 95% of those convicted are sentenced to prison and the average sentence is 14 years.
About one-third of reported rapes are cleared? OK, still small. (And note: "forcible" was dropped by the FBI in 2013, though stats through 2016 include the "legacy" definition.)

As for the rest of your stats, they're not on the page you cite, so kindly provide a cite. (The only one I could find that used your stats was a small publication for Maine.) According to RAINN, which uses DOJ stats, out of every 1000 rapes, only 384 are reported and 11 go to trial. Using a clearance rate of 34%, that would mean 131 cases result in arrest; of those 131 arrests, only 11, or 8.3% go to trial.

That's not to criticize DA's. Prosecutors are often reluctant to take rape cases to trial because the conviction rate is low. Juries are more likely to acquit in rape cases than judges are, so most defense attorneys ask for jury trials, which are even more expensive. With limited resources, these considerations matter.
  #48  
Old 10-22-2018, 08:35 PM
nelliebly nelliebly is offline
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I understand the difficulties that sexual assault victims face. But I am not sure of how the legal system can be changed to convict more assaulters, given the presumption of innocence, the right to confront evidence, and the right to a vigorous defense.
I disagree with Shodan most of the time, but this seems to me to be the crux of the matter. Sexual assault is a crime that causes deep and lasting damage to its victims, yet the conviction rate is so low, it's apparently one of the easiest crimes to get away with. Even if the percentage of sexual assaults that are reported were to rise substantially, I don't see how that would increase the conviction rate. I don't think courts allow previous accusations of sexual assault to be introduced, but even if they do, previous accusations prove nothing. Even previous arrests wouldn't constitute "beyond reasonable doubt."
  #49  
Old 10-22-2018, 10:49 PM
Hampshire Hampshire is offline
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I say report it.
Assaulters get emboldened when their victims don’t report it. They get away with it and they are much more likely to repeat their behavior. Guys like Larry Nassar and Cosby and others got away with it for so long because most of their victims never spoke up.
Even if after reporting it the assaulter goes free due to lack of evidence or a he said she said situation it gives future possible victims a heads up on the creep. And maybe a few of them being the cowards that they are will be too afraid to continue their behavior.
  #50  
Old 10-23-2018, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by nelliebly View Post
About one-third of reported rapes are cleared? OK, still small. (And note: "forcible" was dropped by the FBI in 2013, though stats through 2016 include the "legacy" definition.)

As for the rest of your stats, they're not on the page you cite, so kindly provide a cite. (The only one I could find that used your stats was a small publication for Maine.) According to RAINN, which uses DOJ stats, out of every 1000 rapes, only 384 are reported and 11 go to trial. Using a clearance rate of 34%, that would mean 131 cases result in arrest; of those 131 arrests, only 11, or 8.3% go to trial.

That's not to criticize DA's. Prosecutors are often reluctant to take rape cases to trial because the conviction rate is low. Juries are more likely to acquit in rape cases than judges are, so most defense attorneys ask for jury trials, which are even more expensive. With limited resources, these considerations matter.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics the numbers are old but they are the best available.
According to the paper Justice Gap for sexual assault cases " One source of information is the
Offender-Based Transaction Statistics, which were compiled by BJS from 1979 to 1990.
In 1990, the data suggested that approximately 80% of those arrested for rape were prosecuted.3
An estimated 50% of those arrested and prosecuted for rape were then convicted
of a felony, and 8% were convicted of a misdemeanor. In contrast, 36% of those arrested
and prosecuted for rape saw their case dismissed by the courts, 3% were acquitted, and 1%
received a judgment other than a conviction or acquittal. This rate of felony conviction for
rape was higher than for all violent offenses, which was 38%"
Depending on perspective 34% is not a small number.
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