Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Who Should Be Thinking About What Reporting Does To Rapists

The following comment makes it clear that some cops still believe rape victims should hold themselves responsible for the impact a genuine rape report has on their rapist or they are so incompetent in dealing with crime victims that they are in desperate need of retraining.

M. has left a new comment on your post "What Really Fuels Rape Denial? Part 1":

The night my best friend tried to report her rape at the hands of her ex, I wound up holding her while she cried because the cops kept urging her to "think about what she was doing to him."

She wound up not filing charges, because after trying to do so three or four times and being stonewalled by the female cop, she just gave up.

The person who is responsible for what "she was doing to him" by reporting would have been her rapist ex. This refusal by the police to take this woman's report is unfortunately expected by most rapists -- especially those who rape their partners or their exes. This gives most rapists a defacto legal free pass to rape.

The message everyone who is law abiding, including all cops, should be sending to rapists is: Don't want what comes from being investigated for rape? Don't commit a sex crime. If you do commit a sex crime, what an investigation does to you is your own fault. If you have so little empathy for others that you will rape those who know you, then you deserve to be punished by the criminal justice system with no concern for your delicate sensibilities.

It is not within a cop's fiduciary duty to look out for the best interest of rapists. Each instance of this type of stonewalling undermines police who urge all those who have been raped to report and then shake their heads publicly over the low rate of reporting in their jurisdiction.

If these police officers were discouraging this woman because they didn't believe the prosecutor in their area would prosecute a case like this, they should put their concerns in those terms and then let the rape victim decide whether or not to report -- based on how the process will impact the crime victim.

If she still wanted to report her rape, then they should have done everything they could to help her report it to the most qualified investigator and to get all relevant evidence collected.

Stonewalling rape victims like this is in my opinion malpractice and it must stop.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:47 AM   1 comments links to this post

1 Comments:

At April 16, 2008 4:18 PM, Anonymous Cara said...

And this is both precisely why it is illegal to punch cops and why I wish it wasn't.

 

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