In my last series of posts on defining rape I responded to a series of comments by Anna C because I know how much damage can be caused when so-called intellectual people come up with excuses for rapists who don't fit the stereotype of the monster rapist. This case is a reminder about why those excuses cannot be accepted or ignored.
I won't claim to know whether Anna C's comments were made in good faith or as an intentional effort to cover for certain rapists, but either possibility supports dangerous attitudes and negatively impacts public safety.
From Stabroek News:
An 18-year-old waitress of Santa Rosa Restaurant & Bar on the Corentyne who was seen drinking with friends at ‘Dust Till Dawn,’ a bar at Port Mourant died after she was apparently gang raped early yesterday morning.
Around 5:30 am yesterday cane-cutters, on their way to work saw the teen, Deokali “Tina” Peter lying naked on the roadside obliquely opposite Dust Till Dawn, groaning in pain. She died at around 8 am without seeking medical attention.
Three acquaintances are in custody assisting with investigations and a post- mortem examination is expected to be performed today. One of the cane-harvesters took off his shirt and gave it to the young lady to cover herself and they then carried her to residents who assisted her with a pair of pants. Peter who was shivering asked the residents for some water and they gave it to her and returned indoors.
The residents said that the woman tried in vain to flag down transportation to go to the hospital while calls made to the police went unanswered. The teen was covered with mud and her clothes which police later found nearby were also muddy.
Even if gang rape charges don't stick because the men will claim "it was consensual" those who left this woman naked should be charged with manslaughter for their involvement in her death. There can be no excuses made for these men because this woman choose to drink.
If a woman who yells rape when a gun is pointed at her by her angry husband is convicted of manslaughter -- despite the fact that her husband suspected that she was cheating on him before he came home and despite the fact that he ordered his wife out of her lover's truck at gunpoint rather than ordering some unknown man off his wife -- then men who leave a woman naked in a field must be charged for their involvement in her death.
None of those who support the manslaughter conviction of Tracy Roberson can now legitimately claim that these men shouldn't be charged with manslaughter because they didn't kill her. Ms. Roberson didn't kill Devin La Salle but she was convicted in his shooting death when it was her husband who shot and killed the other man.
Once actually killing another person isn't a requirement then all rapists (convicted and suspected) whose actions lead to the death of their victims or alleged victims should be charged with manslaughter. This is true whether their victim died of alcohol poisoning, an overdose or suicide.
I'm sure all those who insist on personal responsibility -- from rape victims only -- will resist this idea of holding rapists responsible for the deaths of rape victims. But that only communicates who they care about and who they view as disposable.
I'm also troubled that the calls made to the police went unanswered.