Monday, May 12, 2008

Plain Dealer's Beyond Rape Series

I highly recommend that everyone read the series of 5 articles in the Cleveland Plain Dealer written by Joanna Connors which cover her rape from multiple angles. She writes about her personal experience with stranger rape in 1984, the subsequent trial and how the rape continued to impact her life even though she wanted to believe that she got over it quickly. But this isn't just a personal essay. She also writes about the violence in her rapist's history and family and what happened to him after he raped her.

Because of the well-defined scope of the series, there are many important topics which either are omitted or given only a sentence or two. This isn't a problem for me because the series isn't pretending that it covers everything about rape and the responses to rape.

Some of the issues which only got a sentence or two in this series raise important questions about who does and does not get justice after rape. The prosecutor called Ms. Connors an ideal victim which highlights how many victims who aren't ideal in a prosecutor's eyes but who suffered the same crime may see a very different outcome even if the evidence of rape and identification were the same.

This series of articles are great, but the effort of communicating the full reality of rape will be ineffective and will unfortunately continue to support the stranger danger mythology if the Plain Dealer editors don't continue with more equally in-depth articles on the important questions which this series couldn't explore fully such as why many black women feel that reporting white rapists is futile or how violence like this rape can be prevented by dealing with what caused this man to commit rape.

I don't believe that this one journalist should be the only one at the Plain Dealer with the responsibility to continue with the work she started.

Technorati tags:

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share
posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:50 AM   0 comments links to this post


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home