Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Important Columbia Supreme Court Ruling

From Womens Link Worldwide:

Colombia - Supreme Court of Justice - In cases of sexual violence, previous sexual history and sexist arguments cannot be used.
The blatant level of violence shown in the case which caused this ruling highlights why this ruling is so important and why the elements which were banned were about bigotry trumping evidence.

In this case, a woman began to have a relationship with the school bus driver from when she was 14 years old. During eight years, the victim and the accused maintained sexual relations, in the course of which the accused verbally, emotionally and physically mistreated the victim.

One day, the accused attempted to run over the victim in a vehicle causing an injury, he threatened her with a firearm, and forced her to go to his apartment where he hit her and raped her. She subsequently filed criminal charges.

The judge in the first instance absolved the accused arguing that he saw in the victim the 'intention to prejudice the process, and that there had already been a sentimental relationship, even if it was tempestuous and difficult, that was consensual and stable with the passage of time, and therefore it was not possible to be sure, with a degree of certainty, that the sexual act which took place on the 8th of January 2002 took place without willingness of the woman'.
The bias here should be obvious to everyone who doesn't share this bias. The reality of the dynamics of the 8 year history in actuality supports the case in question. It reduces reasonable doubt rather than creates it.

Tempestuous and difficult is mutually exclusive with consensual and stable. What this nonsensical statement seems to mean is that abuse if repeated often enough and long enough it will be treated by the judge as if it never happened. Once the judge erases a man striking a woman with his car, erases a man threatening a woman with a gun, erases a man forcing a woman into his apartment, erases a man hitting a woman and erases everything else violent or controlling from consideration then he is left with nothing at all. And we all know you can't convict a man based on nothing at all, right?

What this sexist bias does is make a blatant and extreme attack disappear because the defendant wasn't attacking a random stranger. The first judge imposed sentimentality into a relationship he knows has been violent and uses it to nullify the evidence.

Cases like this are why it is hard to fathom that first judge and the defense attorney as anything less that pro-rape when the victim isn't a random stranger. The only way for them to not be pro-rape is if their illusions are so strong that when their illusions are contradicted by facts they find ways to assume the facts must be the elaborate falsehoods.

If the evidence against the defendant is undeniable then the alleged victim must be especially clever in the minds of those who cling to this bias. No evidence of this is required, it is simply a given in this worldview.

If they know certain girls and women can't be raped by certain boys and men then the evidence means as much to them as what they would see at a magician's show. In both scenarios there must be a trick. The only trick comes from their bias which distracts them from seeing the truth and which allows violent men to not have their violence recognized as such.

The supreme court of Columbia ruled that legal and judicial personnel must conduct themselves in ways which respect the recognized rights of women. This is a good ruling but it is also a sad one since it means that the human rights of women were being disregarded and would continue to be disregarded if this ruling hadn't been made.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:04 AM   3 comments links to this post


At January 13, 2010 7:23 PM, Anonymous m Andrea said...

This is really just sickening to me. I hope the judge doesn't get re-elected.

At January 15, 2010 8:44 AM, Anonymous Kali said...

I also don't like the article wording that gives the impression that the 14 year old victim "began" and "maintained sexual relations" with the rapist. Why is the 14 year old child portrayed as the active agent in this sick situation instead of the violent older man? BTW, are 14 year-olds considered adults in Columbia? Otherwise, it would be child-rape, plain and simple.

At January 15, 2010 9:26 AM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...


I noticed that bias in the description as well. I don't know what the age of consent is in Columbia. Despite the biased description which made her the initiator the longterm abusiveness of the man came through clearly to me.


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