Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Another Ban On The Word Rape And Accompanying Denial

From ABC Australia:

Two of the accused have pleaded guilty to sexual penetration, one through oral penetration and two to fondling the boy. Justice Trevor Riley told the court the case is not about rape because there is no issue of consent. He said while the crime of sexual intercourse with a child was very serious it was not rape.

The victim in this case is an 11-year-old boy who was abused for months and according to the judge that makes what happened to this boy absolutely not rape. The accused are two adult men and three teenage boys which in reality makes this case one of repeated gang rape.

But according to this judge this boy was never raped.

Even if this boy complied every time, for whatever reason, that is not consent. Many people who should know better act like coercion is as mythical as Santa Claus, but coercion is real and it can be as powerful of a weapon as a knife or a gun.

This case highlights why those who want to abolish statutory rape laws or make them toothless are advocating for dangerous changes which will increase the danger to children and teens. So many people refuse to see rape even when it is reported and the alleged sexual contact is undeniable.

I'm sure some of these people would love to roll back the clock to a time when raping a child of bad character wasn't a crime. Of course most of these "promiscuous" children were old hands at being raped. If a man was the 9th adult to rape a child then he'd really done nothing wrong according to this view of children as new or used sexual property and he should be exempt from statutory rape laws since the victim wasn't an "innocent" child.

This old law which allowed a loss of innocence defense to be made when someone was accused of statutory rape may be gone in most locations or rarely invoked in the places where it is still on the books, but this idea that there are some people -- children included -- who you should be able to rape with no fear of conviction is alive and unwell.

Of course they don't spin it as advocating for legal rape, they spin it as these "victims" are making a false accusation of rape. You can see these attitudes in the article: Forcible Rape Defense; False Accusations in Relationship and Date Rape Cases by William F. Nimmo which uses lack of innocence and other generalities about the alleged victim as evidence that the defendant should be acquitted. Note that none of the defense methods relate to finding actual specific evidence that the alleged crime never happened.

The code for that old defense seems to be calling certain groups of alleged victims non-credible. Sounds so much more humane and just than saying, "I'm the 9th so what I did was legal and whatever number 10 on up does to this person will be legal too."

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:21 AM   1 comments links to this post


At December 19, 2007 12:42 PM, Blogger Sicily Sue said...

Wow this makes me mad! My rape trial is this spring and this kind of stuff really scares me.

In response to my rape… I chose to return to college to pursue a degree in Women’s Studies. I hope to leverage that degree to end violence against women.

I am reaching out for help to get a scholarship. I posted a video on
They are offering scholarships to the best video. They ask you to say why you are going to school and why you need the scholarship. To see my video just look under the College Contest tab for “Christy’s Tuition Contest Video”. It is under the most discussed right now. You can help me win by voting and/or passing this along!

You do need to sign up for an account with Trugo… but it is really easy. You just need an email and to create a user name.

I really could use the help. I have big dreams of working hard to stop rape… and to teach people to talk about it… and to create better resources (culturally and legally) in response to it. Thanks!

“No person is your friend who demands your silence.” - Alice Walker


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