Rape Is Not the Victims Fault
But she was drunk, and she was flirting. Her clothes Just screamed she wanted to have sex! She did say no, but she went yes. ” These might be the words of a rapist or sexual assaulter who was let off because the woman “was asking for it. ” A woman who wants to remain anonymous was at a party. Her shorts might have been a little short, and her shirt might have been a bit tight. She decided to drink, like most of the people at the party. Her reputation was not the best. At this party, there was a man who only wanted to talk, until they were outside and he was grabbing at her clothes.
The woman continued to tell him no, but he quieted her and said she wants it and told her she was drunk. That girl was raped. She informed the police, but because alcohol was involved it wasn’t treated fairly. People read about rape everywhere, it is not a topic that is ignored. You’re taught when you’re little how to keep away from and avoid strangers, but rape or sexual assault can happen between friends, peers, or even family. According to the RAIN Anti-Sexual Violence Organization and Keith J. Green, 97% of rapists will never spend a single day in Jail.
Although most people think of rape happening only to women by men, according to Date Violence, and Straight Talk About… Date Rape, sexual assault happens to people of all sexual orientation. And while people sympathize with the victims, the article “Wrongful Convictions,” shows that sometimes “victims” blame innocent people, and according to Lucy Sheriff, victims don’t always want the sympathy. In sticky situations people often look for a way out of getting into trouble, but blaming victims in rape or sexual assault cases is unjustified because of basic human rights.
People usually hear about rape in the news, most times either through a newspaper or a television broadcast. Rape or sexual assault is one of the most frequent crimes against women in the U. S. (Green, 1431). 54% of sexual assaults aren’t reported to the police, 30% of victims are under the age of 30, and 44% are under the age of 18. (RAIN, par 1). These acts of sexual violence can happen to anyone, and in studies it is shown that 4% of rape victim’s relationship to their attacker is unknown, 34% relation is that of a stranger, 17% is a current or former posse, 43% is a friend or acquaintance, and 2% is of unknown relations, (Green, 1430).
Every two minutes, someone in the U. S. Is sexually assaulted, (RAIN, par 1). 13. 3% of college women say they have been forced to have sex in a dating situation (Landau, 24). People in rape or sexual assault situations don’t give consent. Consent meaner that you voluntarily say “yes” to engage in any activity, and consent is not legally given if: someone else says yes for you, if you change your mind, if you say yes only because you are scared that you might get hurt, or if you say yes when you have ad too much alcohol to drink or have been drugged, (Wilkins, 18). Date rape drugs are fast acting sedatives.
In Landau’s Date Violence, Roping (roofless) can induce a blackout with memory loss and a decrease in resistance”… “About ten minutes after ingesting the drug, the woman [or girl] may feel dizzy and disoriented, simultaneously too hot or too cold, or nauseated. She may memories of what happened while under the drugs influence, (46-47). Therefore, while on drugs such as roping, people can not give consent. And while rape often happens randomly, it also happens while in a relationship. Victims often feel guilty or that they’ve done something wrong, but consent is still a right.
Dating rights include: “l have the right to say yes or no to any activity’… “L have the right to refuse any sexual activity at any time for any reason,” (Wilkins, 29). So while people often blame victims for dressing or acting a certain way, unless consent is given clearly the attacker is violating a basic human right. Victim blaming for sexual assault happens too often. People defending the sexual assaulter often claim that the victim was wearing inappropriate clothes, or their behavior was provocative. But, “there are endless statistics proving that the victim’s behavior/dress/appearance etc. Cake no difference. If somebody wants to rape somebody else, then they will do that, whether they’re wearing a bikini or a Burk,” (Sheriff, par 5). And while most people are rational and do not proportion blame to victims (Sheriff, par 6), legal cases prove to be a different matter entirely. “If all a defendant in a rape trial has to do is establish reasonable doubt about a victim’s consent is to raise questions about her character, dress, or failure to resist, it is insurmountable difficult for a victim to prove she was raped,” (Green, 1431).
Green also states, Defense counsel in rape trials routinely raised questions about the character and past of a woman who brought charges of rape as a way of implying the defendant could not have known she did not consent. An absence of physical resistance or having been overpowered were also frequently used as evidence that a woman consented to unwanted sex. Married women were regarded as having consented contractually “once and for all” to any sexual demands of their husbands, (1432).
While rape is defined as “sexual relations by force or threat” (Green, 1429), victims can be seen as having “consented” by being overpowered in court cases, which goes against the right to consent. Although in most sexual assault cases rape victims are put through traumas, sometimes the “attacker” is put through trauma. There have been legal cases where innocent people have been wrongfully accused and convicted of rape whether by accident or not. In the case of Ronald Cotton, Jennifer Thompson was sure he was the man that raped her and another woman in the same night.
It really turned out to be a case of look allies and evidence that had seemed right in proving him guilty at the time. Cotton was sentenced to life plus 50 years in prison. Coincidentally Cotton met Thompson real rapist, Poole, in prison where he was being convicted for another rape. People in the prison often confused the two because they looked so similar. Cotton was brought into another trial to prove his innocence but Pole’s attorney led the second woman to believe that Cotton was her rapist.
A fellow inmate confessed to he Judge that he overheard Poole admitting to the Thompson and Reynolds rapes, but the Judge sentenced Cotton to two life terms because of Poole denied said confession. A law professor became interested in the case and asked to run DNA tests on the evidence. Three years later he found Cotton innocent and Poole guilty. Cotton was released after eleven years in prison, (Weinberg, Wrongful Convictions). Unfortunately, this occurrence isn’t all that rare. With the advancement of technology convicted of rape in 1987.