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.

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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 http://www.leadershipcouncil.org 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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