Friday, November 25, 2005

Victims

This week I read about an Amnesty International report on rape in the UK which revealed some shocking statistics.

In the UK, 33% of people questioned said that they thought a woman is partially or completely responsible for being raped if she has “behaved flirtatiously”. 25% think a woman is at least partially to blame if she was wearing “revealing” clothing or if she was drunk.

I say that 100% of those people that want to place the blame on women are complete morons. It is absolutely within my rights as an individual to go out wearing whatever I want, to have as many drinks as I want and to flirt as much as I want with whomever I want. None of those behaviours would give any man the right to have sex with me without my consent. The fact that people actually believe otherwise is absolutely appalling.

The police in the UK estimate that only 15% of rapes are ever reported to them. Even more distressing is that only 6% of reported rapes ever result in convictions. These very low report and conviction rates indicate that there is something substantially wrong within the system, which is, after all, supposed to protect victims and punish criminals. The problem that permeates the system, and indeed much of society, is a blatant disregard for women and their welfare.

19 comments:

TM said...

MM,
I am so glad you wrote this in your blogg. We just had a case of 16 pupils at a school arrested for the sexual assault of a fellow student on school grounds. The first thing out of the mouths of parents was that the victim deserved it. What the fuck!!! How is it possible that an attack is ever deserved? It makes me sick.

Sinister Steve said...

I'll bet you anything they will find out the "victim" is lying. If someone like this chick is gonna make an accusation like this her name should be released. Anyone making an accusation of rape against another human being should have their name released.

Tit, I didnt see anything about the parents saying the girl deserved it. Could you post the article you read?

TORONTO (CP) - More than a dozen teenagers charged in an alleged sex scandal that rocked a Toronto high school two weeks ago were briefly back in court Friday, many complaining about their bail conditions and accusing police of racism.

After a brief court appearance at which the group was ordered to reappear in January, some of the accused continued to insist they still don't know why they were arrested. "I don't really understand what happened to me," said one of the charged students, a 15-year-old in Grade 11.

"I just know that I was in school one day and then I got arrested. It was embarrassing: Kids watching me, getting handcuffed (and) getting escorted by police out of the school."

The arrests of 14 boys and two girls during school hours came after a 16-year-old girl made the explosive allegation that she had been sexually abused and harassed by other students at the school during a period that spanned 18 months.

The 15-year-old boy, who cannot be identified under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, said his bail conditions prohibit him from returning to James Cardinal McGuigan High School, where he was arrested two weeks ago.

"I just been in my house, sleeping, watching TV, reading," the boy said. He barely knew the complainant, he added.

Several of the charged students have been reassigned to other schools, but in some cases, are required to travel up to 90 minutes to get to class. Others are stuck at home under house arrest.

Lawyer David McComb called the bail conditions "outrageous."

George Aristos, who represents three of the accused, said the "punitive" restrictions would likely need to be revisited.

"I'm not satisfied that they're not in school," Aristos said. "It's definitely a very significant hardship."

During Friday's appearance, Crown attorney Michael Waby told Ontario Court Justice Derek Hogg that police were working "feverishly" to disclose evidence to the accused, but said it would take several weeks.

Hogg granted several of the accused legal-aid certificates and put the case over until Jan. 10.

One accused, who was initially granted bail, was re-arrested after allegedly breaking bail conditions and remains in custody pending a hearing on Monday.

Since the arrests of the 16 students, all of whom are black while the complainant is white, many of the parents have levelled charges of racism at both police and the school authorities - charges that continued to fly Friday.

"This is all racist," the mother of one student screamed at members of the media. "Why don't you just leave? Get out of my face."

One of the accused, a 17-year-old in Grade 12, said he believes school authorities pointed out suspects to police from yearbook pictures.

"I was surprised they picked me out," he said, noting that he believes his hopes for a basketball scholarship to the United States have been dashed.

"Now they ruined it," he said.

The mother of one student said she also worried about the fallout even though her daughter is not involved in the case.

"The way it was done was pure degrading and humiliating for our community," the mother said.

"It's going to be a plague for them."

beamis said...

It is absolutely within my rights as an individual to wear a KKK outfit at the corner 125th & Lennox Ave. in Harlem if I want, and say the word nigger as loudly as I want with passing pedestrians as much as I want with whomever I want. None of those behaviours would give any person the right to bash my conically shaped head in without my consent. The fact that people actually believe otherwise is absolutely appalling.

Max said...

Beamis, your analogy is no good for several reasons, the main reason being that without consent is part of the legal definition of rape, while there is no element of consent in assault occasioning actual (or grievous) bodily harm.

TM said...

SS,

The victims parents were shown on camera via our local news station so there is nothing for you to read. If you are still interested there might be something for your viewing pleasure at citytv Toronto.

While I utterly disagree with the heavy-handedness of the arrests, I certainly 100% disagree with any victims’ names being released - everyone involved is underage. That aside...why do you think the victim is lying? And before you accuse me of thinking that the boys arrested are guilty - I don't! But I find it sad that once again, we have a situation where the girl must not only prove her case (understandably) but also prove that she didn't deserve it (sickening).

TM said...

I want to illustrate my points regarding the situation in Toronto with a personal story. I don’t want to seem like I am playing the victim for the sake of argument but this is what happened to me in secondary school and slightly older than the victim. While in Grade 13 I was in an advanced music class with a close friend that I had known since grade school. We were in a practice room nicknamed “ the dungeon” because it was soundproof and windowless. One of our assignments was a duet and one day while practicing, my pal shut-off the lights and attacked me. I was horrified, humiliated and very, very confused. He was my friend for years and years and I didn’t know why he done something so horrible to me. I never said anything to my mother or the teachers.

If I had said something and got the authorities and the school involved would it have been justice for me? I will never know. It certainly affected me and ruined my desire to further any music career…but I didn’t say a word to anyone. For one thing, I didn’t think anyone would have believed me nor did I want the other kids (should they have found out)to think I was a whore, a liar or that I wanted to ruin my friend’s chances at university. After all, I was in the dungeon with him – never mind that it was normal for us to be there together and it certainly wasn’t the first time we were alone there together. I kept it quiet because being young and naive, I thought it was my fault and I didn’t want people to think I was a bad person…I can’t imagine anyone willing to make up a story about sexual assault and willing to be subjected to the judgement of her peers as well as strangers.

beamis said...

While I agree that rape is a criminal act, it is stupid of you to say you'll act any way you want anywhere you want. Biker bars are no place to flirt and wear provocative clothes if want to have a safe evening out on the town.

People need to read their enviornments more closely and avoid getting caught up in a situation that could cause them harm. I could care less what is right or wrong, women need to be able to identify potential predators and how they behave for their own safety and peace of mind. It is dumb to say otherwise.

Max said...

Beamis, I don't disagree with you that some behaviours can be stupid in the wrong environments. But I will still contend that absolutely nothing gives a man the right to have sex with a woman except her consent.

Sinister Steve said...

Beamis,

I agree. Although no one should ever be raped, no one should ever be mugged either but it happens. I don't walk down side streets, alone in big cities with piles of cash on me because I dont want to be mugged.

I also feel there are a lot of women who feel regret when they have drunk sex and therefore cry rape. I also believe that a man can get taken advantage of also when drunk. This isnt a one sided issue. The problem is that it is the mans name who is released before guilt or innocence is found out. Even if you are innocent you are still pretty much a rapist in the eyes of the public.

Max said...

SS, women do not cry rape because they feel regret. A woman who feels regret about having drunken sex will usually keep her mouth shut about it.

Yes, a man can also be taken advantage of, or even sexually assaulted, but I have limited my discussion to women because in the legal definition of rape in the jurisdiction where I studied law, "rape" is defined as a very specific offence committed by a man, and the victim has to be a woman. Otherwise it is a different offence.

Max said...

Correction: it used to be that only a woman could be a victim of rape. The Sexual Offences Act 2003 came into force in May 2004, and modified the definition of the crime.

From a Family Planning Association factsheet:

In England and Wales, a man would commit rape if he intentionally penetrates with his penis the vagina, mouth or anus of another person, male or female, without that person’s consent or if they are under 13. This is the only sexual offence which can only be committed by a man. Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, a person consents if s/he agrees by choice and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice.

Audie said...

Max said: "there is no element of consent in assault occasioning actual (or grievous) bodily harm."

You haven't been to some of the parlors I've been to, honey. My friend Vivian Vixen and I dispute your claim above, via personal experience. She makes a damn good livin' occasioning bodily harm on others who most definitely consent.

Therefore, your critique of Beamis's analogy is weakened.

Hurtin' so good,
audie

Max said...

Audie, that's different. But you did make me laugh - always good on a Monday morning.

Skeeter said...

Rape is wrong
Falsely accusing people of rape is wrong
Assuming only one gender can commit rape is wrong

TM, very sorry to hear about your experience.

MM,
I know of 2 cases where a women lied about being raped to hide the fact that she was having sex with someone other than her boyfriend. It eventually came out what really happened, but they managed to severely harm the falsey accused men, in more than one way, all over consenting sex.

It's a very serious weapon..the word "rape"...sort of like trying to put a bullet back down the barrel of gun after it's been fired...can't really un-shoot it.

Skeeter said...

sorry about the bad grammer in the previous post...end of day stupor.

Max said...

Skeeter
I never said that false accusations don't occur, and I agree that the word "rape" is a weapon and should not be used lightly. It is just that the point I have wanted to make is that real victims of real rape find it difficult to even report the crime. Statistics that were in the report I read illustrated that people in general have no idea how many rapes are committed - only 6% of people in the UK had any idea it was over 10,000 per year, and the number of reported rapes was actually over 12,000.

Last week I also read about a report on worldwide domestic violence. Apparently 1 in 6 women all over the world are victims of domestic violence. This is what made me angry. It is not that men cannot be victims of crimes at the hands of women, but, generally speaking, that is simply not what happens. Men are bigger and stronger, men have a stronger position in most societies, and women are often victimised. That is the reality of the world we live in and it pisses me off.

Chatsy Malone said...

Sex is intercourse and oral sex (blow jobs, fingered, cunilingus etc...) so if anyone forces you to do either it's rape.
A woman gets rapes every 30 seconds and not even half of those are reported. Most women who are raped know their rapist hence "date rape".
I am sorry but if a women is going to wear something risque or revealing, than she should expect to get attention and be ready to handle it.
I am not saying that any woman is asking to get raped by wearing a short skirt or going up to someone's hotel room for that matter. No means No. However, some dumb fucks still don't know the meaning of no and think because a someone is dressed a certain way they "want me so bad I am gonna take it".
My advice is to try and use your common sense and better judgement, dress appropriately for whatever occasion and don't go up to a hotel room alone with someone or put yourself in compromising situations, especially if you have been drinking. God knows I have been lucky.
Unfortunatly, your consent to sex isn't enough to prevent rape. Unfortunatly there isn't enough money invested in Sex Education in schools to thoroughly cover STI's, body Image and discuss Rape with both guys and girls.
Unfortunatly, there are women who cry rape after regretting sleeping with somone and therefore fuck up geniune rape victim's credibility especially if the rape occured while drinking.
Yes men can be rape victims just as women and so can transgenders for that matter.

ZenKai said...

Unfortunately, this is the reason that this debate is so hot. Both arguments have their merits.

Let me begin by saying I speak from the perspective of a late-20's male. I believe rape is wrong. In all its forms. Any non-consenting sexual act constitutes rape, and it is never, NEVER the victim's fault. I think we’d see a lot less rape (and a lot less reticence to report it) if the victims were treated seriously and not made to feel as though they’d transgressed.

I also, however, speak from the perspective of one who has been falsely accused of rape. My girlfriend in high school went around telling our respective circles of friends that I raped her (immediately after I'd broken up with her, natch) on our first date.

Despite her not going to the police, and despite the sheer implausibility of dating someone for 6 months after they'd raped you, there were some in each group that believed it. I lost many of my friends. I lost my job (my boss believed it). I received death threats.

Oddly enough, I ran into one of those in the believer group a few years back: a former friend who went on to take my place as her lover. He walked up to me and apologized. Apparently she'd done the same thing when they in turn broke up. Best as I can tell, her current count is at four.

It seems to me that, while rape should be treated with the utmost level of gravity, "crying wolf" regarding it should be an equally heinous crime. I believe false accusers should be registered as sex offenders and that slander and libel don't begin to cover the repercussions of said crime.

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