Believe women

Here’s an account of a rape in Salon:

Why didn’t I scream when I was raped?

Towards the end of the story, you’ll find this paragraph:

Eventually, more than three decades after the crime took place, a long investigation would lead the police to discover something that denial and disbelief had not allowed them to see back then: This man attacked 44 girls from 1970 and 1973.

Had the community believed these girls (her & her sister were raped) and shown commitment, perhaps these senseless rapes – 44 of them – could have been prevented.

Rape is not in the hands of women (and men) to prevent. It is in the hands of communities – to show commitment to preventing violence, to believe victims, to thoroughly investigate claims, and to both prevent and prosecute criminal acts.

7 comments on “Believe women

  1. […] a comment » I am trying to reply to a post on an other blog, which just swallows my comment without any error message. To work around this, I instead post the […]

  2. miss j says:

    Please try again. I was posting an article and having trouble with it myself. I’ve now logged off. Thanks~

  3. miss j says:

    The blame for the Duke Lacross team is the prosecutor. Nor can one hold up one case & say this is why we can argue “do not believe women.”

    Women’s lack of credibility has a very long history and still continues to this day. In family court, for example, women’s allegations are often considered to be “vindictive” while research (see for research citations) proves most allegations are based on good faith. Moreover, research (see: Bala & Schumann) find men make more false allegations in family court – but notice the difference stereotypes have in comparison to research/facts. I’m familiar with many cases involving the family court, but look at Katie Tagle for one. She was denied a restraining order 3 TIMES – 3rd judge (Lemkau) called her a liar (transcript on Internet). Ex took 9-month-old baby and killed him and himself.

    For further proof, look at the Innocence Project, a respected organization fighting for wrongly imprisoned individuals. On their top 7 list on their web site it does NOT list false allegations.

    Not believing women’s allegations – even when they have proof – leads to injuries and deaths. The “rules about credibility” are NOT the same for everyone – that’s the problem. She has less credibility.

  4. Someone could equally argue “Do not believe women”, while pointing to e.g. the Duke lacrosse case.

    I cannot rule out that there were errors made in the case you link to; however, if we want a functioning justice system, the rules about credibility has to be the same for everyone. No woman should be given less credibility because she is a woman—but neither should she be given more credibility.

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