Sunday, February 17, 2008

New Serial Rapist And Murderer Or Just New Visibility?

From the AP:

RENO, Nev. (AP) -- A 19-year-old college student missing since she was abducted nearly a month ago was strangled by a serial rapist who has attacked at least two other women and may strike again, Reno police said Saturday.

For too many people, they view Brianna Denison as an innocent victim only because she was sleeping in a friend's apartment when she was abducted by an unknown person. That is a dangerous mistake because Denison and the 2 surviving rape victims who have been linked via DNA aren't likely to be this man's first victims. He's estimated to be somewhere between 28 and 40 so it's likely that this man has been raping or attempting to rape for at least a decade. I would be shocked if he wasn't sexually violent during his college years or earlier.

For many predators they begin with more socially acceptable victims or they begin raping in situations where their crimes can be disguised as a misunderstanding. They begin where they know their victims are the least likely to report being raped to the police or are least likely to have any report taken seriously. Getting away with rape is a huge payoff for rapists and if these people find members of the public siding with them against a rape victim either because she is labeled as asking for it or because she is called a liar, the payoff is even greater.

The police are likely right that many people would not be able to believe that this rapist and murderer is capable of these crimes, but I suspect for a long line of women -- once this man's identity and picture are released -- that there will be nothing shocking about his latest crimes except for his abandon of all pretense during his attacks.

A man who can abduct and strangle a woman learns to be that type of person. If we are truly against rape, we cannot afford to dismiss any rapes or any attempted rapes. Those who do so because they believe the victim did something stupid or sent a consenting vibe are contributors to horrific violence such as this young woman's murder.

If you cherry pick which rape and abduction victims are truly innocent victims, you are placing targets on some people's backs. Unfortunately, those who want an excuse to be violent are listening and getting the justification they want for their actions in the words of too many self-confessed "good" people.

We as a society need to stop giving any rapists the justifications they crave.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:15 AM   0 comments links to this post

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