Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Who Needs To Worry About Stranger Rapists When We Have Men Like This

This case is scary not only because of the physical violence which included the man throwing his ex-girlfriend on the floor and then as she was fleeing down stairs pushing her so that several stair spindles broke, followed by jumping in the passenger seat of her car as she tried to drive away.

This case is scary because he tried to handcuff his ex-girlfriend. There is no way to know what he had planned if he succeeded in handcuffing her.

After initially only mentioning what happened in the car, he gave the police a story that his violence in the apartment was just part of a mutual game, which I see as an attempt to play on the "women lie" mantra that is used so often to dismiss the reality of sexual violence. Fortunately, the police continued investigating the case rather than viewing it as a private matter and they discovered that the physical evidence supported the woman's account of what happened.

Some people will look at this story and assume that the woman was stupid for going to see her ex-boyfriend, but that assessment is based on the outcome and not on any knowledge of whether the man showed any obvious signs that he would turn violent.

This assessment which focuses on the victim's decision to trust someone who violates that trust makes as much sense as blaming those on the I35W bridge when it collapsed in Minneapolis last week. None of those people were at fault even though now there is talk about problems found in previous inspections as early as the mid 1970s and the understanding that the high-level of traffic which crossed that bridge daily was part of what led to the bridge collapse.

As this example shows, it's absurd to rush to find excuses to blame the victim.

We cannot logically defend blaming victims of sexual and domestic violence unless we are also going to look for any excuse to blame victims of all other crimes and all non-criminal traumatic events. If I used the logic I've heard from people who blame victims of sexual and domestic violence, I could blame everyone for just about anything.

Everyone that is except those truly responsible for the harm to others. Using the warped logic which is so common when blaming victims of sexual or domestic violence, we would need to blame the parents who buy toys for small children which are painted with lead-based paint but we would not blame the manufacturer or the importer since they were just trying to make money which is what all businesses do.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:42 AM   0 comments links to this post

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