From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Manitoba Judge Says Rape Victim Asked For It

Yep, it is indeed 2011, I had to check because it sure seems like 1911, what with the archaic attitudes towards sexual assault that seems to prevail in our so called justice system these days. First it was a Toronto cop telling women that the way they dress causes sexual assault,and now a convicted rapist goes free because Manitoba judge Robert Dewar says the victim sent signals that "sex was in the air" through her suggestive attire and flirtatious conduct on the night of the attack.

"This sentencing will raise a number of issues relating to public confidence in the sentencing process," Crown attorney Sheila Seesahai told court. She said the victim was at the mercy of her much larger attacker and his "repugnant and reprehensible" conduct.

In a victim impact statement, the woman described her ongoing fear related to the attack.

"I'm a prisoner in my own home," she wrote. The woman said she bears a permanent reminder of what Rhodes did to her -- a scar on her knee.

"This is a very serious rape case. The harm to the victim can't be underestimated," said Seesahai.

Both through their actions and words have shown themselves unfit to hold their respective positions of trust and should be fired without delay. Reporting a sexual assault is already traumatic enough for women, who are already traumatized by the violent crime committed against them. The victim needs to be able to trust the system will treat them with respect and take them seriously. They need to feel that there will be a net benefit to their coming forward and reporting what is most assuredly the most traumatic experience they will ever suffer. What these two "public servants" have done is to make that decision to come forward much more difficult and unlikely, meaning, fewer rapists will be caught  thus guarantying more victims.

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