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Author Topic: Some Washington State legal news  (Read 1263 times)

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Offline AngiejuusanTopic starter

Some Washington State legal news
« on: November 01, 2014, 06:17:35 PM »
Warning: The following post will be discussing legal cases involving the crime of rape. If you are easily disturbed by such things, leave now. I give you this warning for your safety and happiness.


So I'm bringing this here because I can tell it'll be controversial, but today, the Washington State Supreme Court voted in a 6-3 decision to reverse a previous ruling regarding where the burden of proof lies in rape cases. Before this reversal, the burden lied with the defendant, requiring the defendant to provide proof of consent. Now, with this reversal, the burden lies with the prosecution to prove that the accused actually committed rape. For those of you who are not law students, the prosecution is required to prove all aspects of a crime beyond the shadow of a reasonable doubt.

Now, I know that legal cases involving rape can get very, VERY heated, but I for one support this. Our legal system is built on innocent til proven guilty, the prosecution must prove everything. As 12 Angry Men taught us, the defendant doesn't have to say a word.  And, in my more personal opinion, I find that the way alleged rapists (alleged, not convicted) are treated is frankly, fucking disgusting.

Anyway, thoughts, concerns, questions? Let me have 'em.

Source: http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2024910962_supremecourtrapexml.html

Offline Cherri Tart

Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2014, 10:37:05 PM »
Okay, I will do my best to keep my emotions out of this one, easier said then done, but doable. And thank you for the warning.

 I live in Washington State and am all too aware of this ruling. Yes, Innocent until proven guilty. Here's the thing. In our culture, rape cases are already skewed towards the perpetrator (the accused), at least culturally, and all too often, legally. Universities have a history of trying to cover up, downplay, or deny instances of rape - they don't to admit there's an issue and they don't want that statistic on their record, so any woman reporting sexual assault that is not a clear cut attack is discouraged from pressing charges, this means that sexual intercourse that happens while the woman is either unconscious or too drunk/high to give consent aren't usually reported as rapes and never prosecuted. That's very important to this conversation. If, as a woman, you go to a party and you drink a little too much, either by choice, or because you're being pressured, and someone has sex with you, despite the inability to consent, it's not regarded as rape.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. Our culture, presently, isn't very female friendly when discussing rape. I took part in a discussion at another site where the burden was constantly placed on the women. How do we prevent rape? Women should be more careful. They shouldn't put themselves in danger. Don't be out alone after dark or in dangerous places or by yourself. Be on your guard. Carry a gun. Learn self defense. Don't dress too sex.  Don't get drunk at a party. Never take your eyes off your drink at a party... As a lesbian, you might be surprise that I am on birth control - it's preventative as a potential rape victim. Sad, but true...

My take on how to prevent rape? Men shouldn't rape women. That should be the end of the discussion.

Trying to stay on topic here, but I'll probably stray a bit, such as with this tidbit. In a recent classroom session talking about sexual assault that comprised of both genders, men were asked what they did to prevent being raped. Anyone surprised that the answer was "nothing, they don't need to worry about it?"   while women had LISTS of ways to protect themselves - once again, the onus is on the women to prevent being raped. It's somehow implied that it's their responsibility if they are sexually assaulted.

Yes, proof of burden lies on the victim. Typical. I imagine that the number of rape accusations will drop dramatically and the state of Washington can claim that as a victory. If anyone has actually pressed charges in a sexual assault, they'll understand why that might be. No mincing words. It's devastating to sit in a court room and have the defense attorney tear apart your testimony while your attacker sits in the same room. Even just setting into motion an accusation is horrible. Gathering DNA samples, giving a description, an account of what occurred, answering question over and over... it's like reliving that moment over and over.  Rape survivors suffer from PTSD. Rape is something you don't EVER get over - you just learn how to cope with it a little better as time goes by. It turns your life upside down for the rest of your life in ways you can't imagine unless you've gone through it. Making it HARDER to convict the inhuman bastard who destroyed a life isn't justice. It's INjustice...

Making the victim provide proof that the event occurred is akin to turning her into the guilty party. It's making a statement that she is somehow at fault, or guilty of deception. It's disgusting, imo, and there you are, with this statement;

"I find that the way alleged rapists (alleged, not convicted) are treated is frankly, fucking disgusting"

 You find the way that alleged rapists are treated is disgusting...

Wow. Glad to know where your sympathy lies. Obviously, you have no idea what the experience is like. Some of us know, intimately what it's like - 1/6 in the US, in fact, among woman, and that's a conservative estimate.

« Last Edit: November 01, 2014, 10:50:02 PM by Cherri Tart »

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2014, 11:32:13 PM »
My take on how to prevent rape? Men shouldn't rape women. That should be the end of the discussion.

This is more of a question than anything really:

Why is it that rape isn't perceived as heinous a crime as murder in the way we talk about it?  For example, in this quote, we think the solution is to "convince would-be perpetrators" to not rape.  I like to believe that the vast majority of men are not caught in this moral dilemma of "whether to rape" or "whether not to rape."  The vast majority of men would not even consider sexually assaulting a woman.  The only men who would consider raping a woman - and who do rape women - are those who clearly have some sort of a moral deficit, psychiatric issue, or predilection to crime (even though many of the individuals who fall into these categories are sadly walking around seemingly as 'normal'/average guys in daily society, even though they are not).  Yes, even family members or boyfriends who rape are not "normal guys" - they are criminals as far as I am concerned. I do not buy into this idea that mentally sound men go through some sort of a decision making process as to whether or not to physically harm a woman.

I compare it to trying to convince would-be murderers to not murder people.  For example, in my town/city, Blacks compose 15% of the population, yet commit 75% of murders.  The vast majority of black people are not prone to murder people and it would be absolutely ridiculous to launch a campaign saying that "Blacks shouldn't murder people."  In fact, it would be extremely racist!  The real solution is to target the murderers themselves, rather than launching campaigns saying the black demographic needs to change.  Most black folks in my neighborhood hate murders as much as anyone else.  Thus, in the case of murder, we openly view murders as "criminals" rather than "people like us" who may murder.

I would appreciate if someone can clarify why this difference exists.

edit:  Added clarification about family members.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2014, 12:01:25 AM by Valthazar »

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2014, 01:05:54 AM »
As a rape survivor who did go to the police and pressed charges against the three that raped me, I can tell you for a fact that the onus was on the state prosecutor and me to prove that the three actually raped me.

I can also tell you that I never, ever want to be in such a situation again. I wouldn’t wish that on my most hated enemy. It’s bad enough to go through a situation where your dignity, your pride, your self worth, your will are stripped away from you. I thought the humiliation was bad while I was fighting through what was done to me, but it was nothing compared to standing in front of the grand jury with my rapists sitting across from me and having to tell, in vivid detail every thing they did to me and then go into court and have their attorney tear me to shreds on the stand because I had two beers an hour before it happened, because I was hanging with them in the middle of the night, because I didn’t scream myself mute after they held a gun to my head.

I had the hospital report of the number of stitches I needed to my scalp from the bashing of my head against the corner of a night stand. I had the bruises from the punches, I had the scratches from nails. I had the vaginal and anal tearing. I had the fucking DNA from all three of them. I also had, 9 weeks after the rape, a positive pregnancy test.

You want the burden of proof to be on the person that has already been traumatized. You want them raped again by the rapist’s attorney. I say the burden should be on the rapist. Prove that (s)he had consent instead of dragging the survivor through hell just to get justice for what was done to them.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2014, 02:11:17 AM »
Honestly, I don't know. I don't want a system that drags the victims back over a painful experience. Nor do I want a system where people are required to prove their own innocence when by standard it is treated as the default. I really don't see any good options here.

While I have not experienced this myself, I know two friends of mine (one male and one female) who have been victims of this sort of attack who both decided not to attempt to seek any sort of legal help purely because they feared not being believed and being traumatized further by the experience. In one case the perpetrator was a "friend" and despite this betrayal they couldn't bring themselves to level charges against someone they had considered a friend. Whatever is happening now isn't working and I wish I had a way of solving it, but I just don't know.

Quote
My take on how to prevent rape? Men shouldn't rape women.

No one should rape anyone. Something is going horribly wrong with our society that this happens as often as it does, I just don't know how we're going to change that. If people haven't picked up the message that it's wrong I just don't know how we're going to get through to them.

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Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2014, 02:59:44 AM »
         Just from reading the article quickly:  It seems like they've moved the language from debating consent more to proving "coercion."  So then the question becomes what will be considered sufficient proof of force.  How will they treat situations where it's a matter of quid pro quo?  Will the prosecution have ways to show that there was actually a threat if the threat was primarily verbal?  Or is this essentially demanding that people claw and bite at that time, despite all the physical danger and any possible social danger as well -- if they ever mean to prove coercion?  I wonder.

Quote from: Caehlim
I don't want a system that drags the victims back over a painful experience. Nor do I want a system where people are required to prove their own innocence when by standard it is treated as the default. I really don't see any good options here.
          It's rarely an easy crime to deal with, at least partly because it so often happens in quiet or closed settings.  Or at least in places where the offenders feel social norms are more likely to help them (parties, bars, "good ol'" sorts of clubs, people sharing a lease or class together, groups with conflicts of interest, etc.). 

          And that's on top of a basic stigma against open talk of women (and some other rather marginalized groups) and sexuality when there's any actual question of abuse.  Women in particular are ideally supposed to be the ones who do say no and it somehow just works...  But when that's not true the same culture often holds that men are supposed to be the ones who keep trying to bust that barrier anyway , and/or it's said that dominant types in general often "have" to be somewhat asses just to keep their egos intact and/or whole courtship game running.  And then it's still often first presumed to be a failure of judgment or character on her part -- such a big one, apparently, that the conversation often swings back to, "Oh but didn't she really ask for it somehow?"  Cause that's just the loaded, twisted, paradoxical role anything a touch feminine, weak, soft, bottom, pretty, or most often "woman" is given.

Quote from: Iniq
As a rape survivor who did go to the police and pressed charges against the three that raped me, I can tell you for a fact that the onus was on the state prosecutor and me to prove that the three actually raped me.         
         It's a huge tribute to everything that you do for yourself that you're able to be here saying all that in the open.  I wish more people were in a place where they could.  You go.

Quote from: Val
Why is it that rape isn't perceived as heinous a crime as murder in the way we talk about it?  For example, in this quote, we think the solution is to "convince would-be perpetrators" to not rape.
           Pretty to think so.  This is high on the list of what some of the university consent rules and dorm talks this last generation or so have been aiming to do.  And yet, much as with the Sarkeesian discussion, whenever someone seems genuinely fervent about making clear how big a problem there is, someone usually shows up fretting (if not venomous) that this is somehow just a ploy to "play the victim card" and put men (particularly) down.  Sure certain feminists and educators sometimes overshoot with their analyses or programs...  But that's not surprising given that it feels more like, almost every time someone talks about just how much violence and discrimination there is, there is a nasty backlash somewhere of, 'But you have  to just deal with this.  We can't expect people to change!  Why it'd spoil the fun!  And there's no way to police this without discriminating against men!'  On and on.  Over and over.   

            Also...  You did ask about comparisons to other abuses we might talk about.  Honestly...  If you don't find it despicable and destabilizing for certain classes of people to tie up a huge amount of the national wealth and merely say that well, certain communities just have to do better to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and maybe they are the ones with a culture of excessive frivolousness or violence and not deserving of any kind of economic level playing field, then:  Is it really much different for some people to say, 'It's really women's own fault because they try to look attractive and flirt and read bodice-rippers themselves often enough...  And of course some of them will always be attacked.  And they'll all just have to keep being super careful to prove themselves and yank themselves up to being taken seriously by their own bootstraps, too." 

           No?  I would say actually, in the economic abuse case we have a very similar situation and there I think you're generally on the other side of it.  Yet, they both result in people in the communities involved being placed in awful high profile frames in the media continuously, having more or less limited choices for safe interactions to begin with, too often getting attacked or killed, and then not being taken seriously by too many officials when they are victimized.  Val, I don't doubt that you want to say something against rape as such here --- I just doubt you've actually thought about race and the employment world using all the same logic.  And if you keep focusing on a functional rationale for injustice and abuse on one side ('That community just has to work harder and save itself, others can't be expected to give an inch no matter what happened or how much they hoard' basically), well others will happily carry that idea right across into other terms of exchange:  Beauty, sexual freedom, income for women, choice of partners or dating situations that will get stigma  or not...  And thereby, rape. 

« Last Edit: November 02, 2014, 03:06:59 AM by kylie »

Offline Cassandra LeMay

Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2014, 03:09:06 AM »
No one should rape anyone. Something is going horribly wrong with our society that this happens as often as it does, I just don't know how we're going to change that. If people haven't picked up the message that it's wrong I just don't know how we're going to get through to them.
You are right, there are some people who will just never get it - or get it, but not realize that their own behaviour is just plain wrong. Call it the "Sure, rape is evil, but I am just fooling around a little. No harm in that, right?" crowd.

Right now I am at a loss finding an article I recently read about a survey about sexual harassment and rape on college campuses, and (as far as I recall, so these aren't exact numbers) over 90% of respondents said someone witnessing harassment or rape should interfere, but only a little over 50% said they would interfere themselves. Again, this is quoted from my memory which sometimes has more holes than a Swiss cheese. I'll try to dig up the details, but perhaps someone here has read about it too and can find it faster than I can.

The point is, that to prevent harassment and rape, in many cases you don't have to get through to the perpetrator and convince him that what he's doing is wrong - you have to get through to the people around him and convince them that interfering is the right thing to do, even if someone is a "friend" or a "buddy", and that making lame excuses is wrong. That is still a whole lot of work, and perhaps not easy to accomplish at all, but it may be possible, and it may help.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2014, 04:12:25 AM »
The point is, that to prevent harassment and rape, in many cases you don't have to get through to the perpetrator and convince him that what he's doing is wrong - you have to get through to the people around him and convince them that interfering is the right thing to do, even if someone is a "friend" or a "buddy", and that making lame excuses is wrong. That is still a whole lot of work, and perhaps not easy to accomplish at all, but it may be possible, and it may help.

I think you might be onto something here. People are often more willing to listen to peers than they are to an authoritative voice. Just a person's friends going "that's not cool" may do more to stop it than a lot of official campaigns can.

And that's on top of a basic stigma against open talk of women (and some other rather marginalized groups) and sexuality when there's any actual question of abuse.  Women in particular are ideally supposed to be the ones who do say no and it somehow just works...  But when that's not true the same culture often holds that men are supposed to be the ones who keep trying to bust that barrier anyway , and/or it's said that dominant types in general often "have" to be somewhat asses just to keep their egos intact and/or whole courtship game running.  And then it's still often first presumed to be a failure of judgment or character on her part -- such a big one, apparently, that the conversation often swings back to, "Oh but didn't she really ask for it somehow?"  Cause that's just the loaded, twisted, paradoxical role anything a touch feminine, weak, soft, bottom, pretty, or most often "woman" is given.

I think you're right, at the end of the day I think it's a cultural problem that is leading to this happening. Maybe we as a culture need to take a good hard look at how we consider consent and how it relates to a person's gender.

Also maybe, and I really don't want to presume or speak for other people here, but possibly it would not be so traumatic an experience to go to court if our society was more supportive and less judgmental of the experiences of the victims.

While the legal system needs to act in the present, I don't think any setup of the legal system can work properly for these cases without some parallel changes within our culture.

Offline Cherri Tart

Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2014, 06:25:29 AM »
This is more of a question than anything really:

Why is it that rape isn't perceived as heinous a crime as murder in the way we talk about it?  For example, in this quote, we think the solution is to "convince would-be perpetrators" to not rape.  I like to believe that the vast majority of men are not caught in this moral dilemma of "whether to rape" or "whether not to rape."  The vast majority of men would not even consider sexually assaulting a woman.  The only men who would consider raping a woman - and who do rape women - are those who clearly have some sort of a moral deficit, psychiatric issue, or predilection to crime (even though many of the individuals who fall into these categories are sadly walking around seemingly as 'normal'/average guys in daily society, even though they are not).  Yes, even family members or boyfriends who rape are not "normal guys" - they are criminals as far as I am concerned. I do not buy into this idea that mentally sound men go through some sort of a decision making process as to whether or not to physically harm a woman.

I compare it to trying to convince would-be murderers to not murder people.  For example, in my town/city, Blacks compose 15% of the population, yet commit 75% of murders.  The vast majority of black people are not prone to murder people and it would be absolutely ridiculous to launch a campaign saying that "Blacks shouldn't murder people."  In fact, it would be extremely racist!  The real solution is to target the murderers themselves, rather than launching campaigns saying the black demographic needs to change.  Most black folks in my neighborhood hate murders as much as anyone else.  Thus, in the case of murder, we openly view murders as "criminals" rather than "people like us" who may murder.

I would appreciate if someone can clarify why this difference exists.

edit:  Added clarification about family members.

One of the things we have to do is change the perception of what is rape and change our culture. I am sure we will all agree that a guy attacking a girl in a secluded parking lot at night and holding a knife to her throat while he sexually assaults her is rape. That's pretty clear cut and I don't think the Washington decision is going to have an impact on that.

What it will have an impact on is cases such as; Girl goes to party, gets hammered, she's clearly not capable of making a decision about anything, couple of guys corner her and have sex with her knowing she's too far out of it to say no, or perhaps, ignoring her weak protests. Sorry, guys, that's is rape. So it dropping a roofie into her drink. It's also rape when a husband ignores his wife's protests and forces herself on her. Sorry, but marriage isn't a 'get out of jail free' card.

Part of the issue is our culture. The Santa Barbara Uni shootings are a good example of this - Kid gets turned down by women he wants to have sex with, he feels entitled, he feels he's owed, he feels he's justified in taking them out for turning him down. And then, the comments made in support of him on twitter and other social media along the lines of, sluts had it coming.  How many times have I dealt with guys who hit on me and, after I said no, either continued to hit on me or called me names simply because I turned them down? It always made me wonder what would happen if I'd said no and it hadn't been in a crowded bar? Would it have been a different scenario if I'd been alone with them? (this is why I carry pepper spray in my purse, btw, as well as on a cord around my neck). There are times when being in a club/bar feels like a war zone. It's fun to dress up sexy, btw, but I don't do it anymore - I'm told by our culture that it's an invitation to rapists, that it's too tempting for guys and it's not their fault if they can't keep their hands off me if I look like a slut. It may not be rape, but getting felt up in public by strangers, or verbally harassed is incredibly traumatizing too - especially for those of us who have triggers from previous sexual assaults.

also, how sick is it to hear that word thrown around? Yeah, I as playing Halo and our team got raped by this dude. Sound familiar? That word is thrown around out there without regard for it's meaning, it's power, and I can assure you that it's not women using it, so YES, the onus needs to be on the men to change their behavior, the culture. It's not just as simple as Don't Rape. They need to change their attitude on what is acceptable - that means ALL of you. You see someone acting unacceptable or saying unacceptable things, you need to call them on it, you can't just sit back and say 'None of my business'.  Like I said earlier, 1 in 6. Odds are, even if you don't know it, someone close to you has been victimized sexually in their lifetime. And yes, sometimes we don't share it - sometimes there is that stigma of shame attached or we get tired of the reactions...

I won't go into any of the details, but I was raped 2 summers ago. At some point I had to share it with friends. Some weren't comfortable hearing it. Some started avoiding me because it wasn't a subject they were capable of dealing with. I felt diseased, like people didn't want to get the rape germ on them. It somehow felt like I'd done something wrong. How messed up is that? Some of those friendships never recovered.

Btw, my attacker was never caught. Despite supplying a DNA sample (a process you NEVER want to go through - oh, and my rape kit still sits on a shelf somewhere, over 2 years later, waiting to be processed - the funding and manpower aren't there , and that's the norm, btw, in a lot of these cases - could do a separate thread just on that). I provided as detailed a description and account as I could in my state... And you know something? There is a part of me that's glad they never caught him. I realized, at some point, that I wasn't sure if I could handle taking him to trial - stories like Orpheliac's pretty much cement that thought. As it is, I still live through that moment when something triggers it. Panic attacks here the norm for month after month simply going out of the house, being in public. I still have nightmares. There are certain things that will set me off - the smell of peanuts, for example, messes my head up beyond description. I had to sell my car, as it was a reminder of that night. Like I said earlier, you never get over it, you just learn to cope.

And so you know, it might happen in a rare case that there is a false accusation, but that is NOT the norm. It's not something we take lightly. It's not something we do on a whim, or because we're angry, or as revenge. So yeah, sorry, but I am not disgusted by how accused rapists are treated. I am disgusted at how rape victims are treated, and with good cause. Sorry, but if you don't want to be accused of rape, don't do anything that remotely resembles the act and you'll be fine. Next time you're at a party, and some guy comes up to you and says "hey, this chicks really out of it - want to get some?" Step up and do the right thing. Don't just not participate in a rape - Put a stop to it.

« Last Edit: November 02, 2014, 06:34:29 AM by Cherri Tart »

Offline Caehlim

Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2014, 06:47:21 AM »
And yes, sometimes we don't share it - sometimes there is that stigma of shame attached or we get tired of the reactions...

Thankyou for sharing your experience with us. Thankyou Iniquitous Opheliac as well. I don't know that I'll ever be able to understand it fully but I appreciate your openness in sharing it with us.

Quote
At some point I had to share it with friends. Some weren't comfortable hearing it. Some started avoiding me because it wasn't a subject they were capable of dealing with. I felt diseased, like people didn't want to get the rape germ on them. It somehow felt like I'd done something wrong. How messed up is that? Some of those friendships never recovered.

Just in case it's needed. If you or IO ever need someone to talk to and aren't receiving it from your friends, feel free to contact me. I'll do my best to listen and understand. I'm sure you know this, but it really isn't something that you've done wrong.

Offline Cherri Tart

Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2014, 07:00:34 AM »
Thankyou for sharing your experience with us. Thankyou Iniquitous Opheliac as well. I don't know that I'll ever be able to understand it fully but I appreciate your openness in sharing it with us.

Just in case it's needed. If you or IO ever need someone to talk to and aren't receiving it from your friends, feel free to contact me. I'll do my best to listen and understand. I'm sure you know this, but it really isn't something that you've done wrong.

Thanks, but it's not a subject I talk about unless I feel the burning need to make a point, such in discussions like this, and certainly not to random people on the interwebs, no offense intended, but it would just be weird. To be  blunt, I'm sorry I felt compelled to post here, but it's not something I will allow myself not to speak out on despite feeling like I've suddenly became "the girl who was raped". *shrugs*

ps - I have a wonderful support group at home, which is why I'm still here and not another suicide statistic.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2014, 07:14:30 AM »
Oh absolutely, I certainly didn't want to imply any obligation to do so, I'd just rather that I made the offer and it wasn't needed rather than vice versa. I'm glad that you have supportive people in your life.

If it helps, I know it's not at all the same thing, but I've had times where I've felt compelled to post on some issue and all of a sudden I'm "the gay guy". I wouldn't want to put someone else in a mental pigeon hole like that, so please don't feel that it's changed anything in my opinion about you except for admiring that you were willing to go through posting here to inform and educate others.

Edit: Also sorry if that was overstepping bounds.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2014, 07:16:37 AM by Caehlim »

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2014, 12:03:07 PM »
YES, the onus needs to be on the men to change their behavior, the culture. It's not just as simple as Don't Rape. They need to change their attitude on what is acceptable - that means ALL of you.

I am fully aware of how commonly this occurs, and over the years, I have had more than a few friends online share the details of their experiences with assault (and many of their experiences - such as social isolation, nightmares, lack of trust, and sleeping with the lights on are very similar to yours).  The rates are alarming to say the least.  But I am hesitant to view this as purely a men vs. women issue.  I realize this is an emotionally sensitive subject for you, but because this is PROC, I want to offer some different viewpoints on a couple of issues:

I think suggesting that "men" (as a group) need to change their behavior is only doing a disservice to the male victims of sexual assault - who often experience assault as children, or fail to even report their crimes.  A study by the National Crime Victimization Survey revealed that 38% of rape and sexual assault violence were against men.  Perhaps most alarmingly, a recent Bureau of Justice Statistics Study demonstrated that 46% of male victims reported a female perpetrator.

Because of this realization, a new categorization was made by the CDC called "being made to penetrate."  In other words, "victims who were forced to penetrate someone else with their own body parts, either by physical force or coercion, or when the victim was drunk or high or otherwise unable to consent."  We might assume, for example, that if a man has an erection he must want sex, especially because we assume men are sexually insatiable. But imagine if the same were said about women. The mere presence of physiological symptoms associated with arousal does not in fact indicate actual arousal, much less willing participation.

Ironically, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers divided sexual violence into several categories, and specifically counted “being forced to penetrate” as separate from rape.  This is a shame, since when we look at rape statistics now, male victimization by female perpetrators is not accurately represented.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2014, 12:52:07 PM »
Val, you realize that your own statistics show that the overwhelming majority of rapists are men, and the significant majority of victims are women, right? As in this is in no way an effective argument against the idea that men need to do the heavy lifting to stop rape?

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Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2014, 01:17:56 PM »
People, in general, need to do heavy lifting to stop rape. 

I don't know which statistic I posted you are referring to, but the BJS study I posted found that 46% of male victims reported a female perpetrator.  Check out this article: When Men Are Raped: A new study reveals that men are often the victims of sexual assault, and women are often the perpetrators.

Part of the reason why rape statistics were flawed until recently is how rape and sexual violence are defined.  Up until 2012, the FBI's definition of rape was "the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will". Legally, men could not be victims of rape (according to the FBI). They've since modified their definition to focus on "penetration" with no mention of gender - but no FBI statistics have been gathered using that definition as of yet.  Even now, the CDC study I linked above categorizes forced to penetrate in a different category entirely from rape and sexual assault.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2014, 01:26:36 PM »
People, in general, need to do heavy lifting to stop rape.
No, rapists and those who support/enable/studiously ignore them - a category that is overwhelmingly male, by the by - need to do the heavy lifting to stop rape. Because how do you stop rape? By not raping. By not covering for or defending rapists. By not ignoring rapey things happening around you. By not attacking victims. That's it.

I don't know which statistic I posted you are referring to, but the BJS study I posted found that 46% of male victims reported a female perpetrator.
Which, even accepting your statistics without question, gives us men as 82.52% of rapists, and women as 62% of victims.

Check out this article: When Men Are Raped: A new study reveals that men are often the victims of sexual assault, and women are often the perpetrators.
You realize that someone else citing the same data as you doesn't count as more or better sources, and doesn't change the underlying problem with your argument, right?

Seriously, Val. Just stop sea-lioning for five minutes and do the math.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2014, 01:29:53 PM by Ephiral »

Offline Caehlim

Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2014, 03:53:46 PM »
I think these are two different issues.

1) It's true that certain sexist attitudes can lead to male victims of rape having their cases trivialized or disregarded, we often view male consent as being an automatic given and our culture's view of masculinity shames men for being victims. These are serious problems that need to be dealt with.

2) It is also true that a significant majority of rapists are male, at least that's what crime statistics seem to reveal.

These two facts can exist alongside one another without any inherent contradiction. (In fact, I personally believe that the same factors in our societal makeup cause both results although I can't prove that).

Honestly, I think that number one deserves its own attention and to be handled directly as an issue without riding the coat-tails of every discussion of rape in general. When brought up as part of a general discussion it risks derailing any discussion of how to handle the crime in light of fact number two and makes it appear a defensive reaction rather than a serious issue that needs handling.

It is important that in a general discussion people remember that just because male rape victims are a minority, doesn't mean that they should be disregarded. After all marginalization of minorities is not a pretty thing. Sometimes a reminder of that is important. However when it risks taking over the conversation I think it does more harm than good. Rape is already a difficult issue to discuss without adding in an extra argument to the mix.

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Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2014, 04:11:25 PM »
I admit there are cases of false accusation in rape cases.  Those are pretty heinous and do a lot of damage to the cases that are legitimate.  Working as a volunteer advocate with rape victims some years back I had the opportunity to sit in court and observe the badgering, abusive, harassing and demeaning treatment victims we through at the hands of defense attorneys.  There are few things worse in my experience and I pray that I never have to go through it.  I almost did by the situation with me and my friend was weird and strange and nothing was ever done about it.  So I didn't have to testify.

Believe me this reversal is a disgusting way to treat victims of rape and I can see many rapists found not guilty and released to rape again and again and again.  It wouldn't put it past me to hear that this lessening of responsibility has and will create rapists.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2014, 05:22:48 PM »
I think these are two different issues.

1) It's true that certain sexist attitudes can lead to male victims of rape having their cases trivialized or disregarded, we often view male consent as being an automatic given and our culture's view of masculinity shames men for being victims. These are serious problems that need to be dealt with.

2) It is also true that a significant majority of rapists are male, at least that's what crime statistics seem to reveal.

These two facts can exist alongside one another without any inherent contradiction. (In fact, I personally believe that the same factors in our societal makeup cause both results although I can't prove that).

Honestly, I think that number one deserves its own attention and to be handled directly as an issue without riding the coat-tails of every discussion of rape in general. When brought up as part of a general discussion it risks derailing any discussion of how to handle the crime in light of fact number two and makes it appear a defensive reaction rather than a serious issue that needs handling.

It is important that in a general discussion people remember that just because male rape victims are a minority, doesn't mean that they should be disregarded. After all marginalization of minorities is not a pretty thing. Sometimes a reminder of that is important. However when it risks taking over the conversation I think it does more harm than good. Rape is already a difficult issue to discuss without adding in an extra argument to the mix.
Yeah, discussion of male victims, isn't a problem - it's something that needs to happen more, and be taken very seriously.

It also needs to stop goddamn derailing existing discussions, which is what it was pretty blatantly doing here.

Offline Slywyn

Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2014, 05:30:18 PM »
Yeah, discussion of male victims, isn't a problem - it's something that needs to happen more, and be taken very seriously.

It also needs to stop goddamn derailing existing discussions, which is what it was pretty blatantly doing here.

This is how I feel about it:

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide

Offline Kythia

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Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2014, 05:33:47 PM »
Yeah, discussion of male victims, isn't a problem - it's something that needs to happen more, and be taken very seriously.

It also needs to stop goddamn derailing existing discussions, which is what it was pretty blatantly doing here.

Speaking of derailing...

Do you think then that its impossible to hold a gender-neutral discussion of rape?  That the two situations of victim are so different/have such pertinent differences/whatever/ that they can't sit alongside one another in a conversation and discussion must (should) focus on female or male victims?

This is meant as a genuine question, and not just to Ephiral (he just so happened to be the person that got me thinking).  And sure, I accept that lots of times - as here - its a derailment tactic and should be shut down quickly.  But I'm not talking about discussing "male rape victims" per se, just "rape victims"

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2014, 05:36:23 PM »
I think there are a lot of overlapping concerns - victim-blaming, for example,is a huge one - but enough distinctions that they probably need to be handled differently. People are mostly aware that male-on-female rape is A Thing, but need to learn to recognize what it looks like; male victims tend to total invisibility outside of prison, where they're a punchline.

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Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2014, 05:43:37 PM »
Speaking of derailing...

Do you think then that its impossible to hold a gender-neutral discussion of rape?  That the two situations of victim are so different/have such pertinent differences/whatever/ that they can't sit alongside one another in a conversation and discussion must (should) focus on female or male victims?

This is meant as a genuine question, and not just to Ephiral (he just so happened to be the person that got me thinking).  And sure, I accept that lots of times - as here - its a derailment tactic and should be shut down quickly.  But I'm not talking about discussing "male rape victims" per se, just "rape victims"

I've seen the devastation gay men, lesbians and bi-sexual individuals have gone through as well as several elderly women who were raped in their homes.  There are also the silent victims, the babies and children raped by family members and care givers and patients in hospitals and nursing homes who are victimized by staff.

How do we set priorities over who is important and who isn't.  Why aren't they all equal in the sight of all of us?  And how does this ruling from the Washington court help any of them?

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Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2014, 05:47:21 PM »
I've seen the devastation gay men, lesbians and bi-sexual individuals have gone through as well as several elderly women who were raped in their homes.  There are also the silent victims, the babies and children raped by family members and care givers and patients in hospitals and nursing homes who are victimized by staff.

How do we set priorities over who is important and who isn't.  Why aren't they all equal in the sight of all of us?  And how does this ruling from the Washington court help any of them?

Well, it's possible to treat people equally but differently.  If there is a meaningful difference between male and female rape victims then adopting a one size fits all policy is stupid.  Treating people equally doesn't mean treating them the same.

Honestly, I remain unconvinced there is a meaningful difference, but "setting priorities" and "wondering why people aren't equal in our sight" aren't particularly good reasons not to look for one.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Some Washington State legal news
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2014, 07:49:14 PM »
Do you think then that its impossible to hold a gender-neutral discussion of rape?  That the two situations of victim are so different/have such pertinent differences/whatever/ that they can't sit alongside one another in a conversation and discussion must (should) focus on female or male victims?

Even two women or two men are not going to experience rape in the same way as eachother. The situation and their own character are going to be different, there might be similarities but when we're really focusing on victims I think the focus must be individual and not general or group based. Treating people for their personal experiences and their personal needs.

If we're focusing though on the way that society treats the victims of rape, then the discussion by its very nature must be more broad unless we're talking about the way person X treats person Y. It's going to deal with averages and generalizations. In these conversations, I think we can talk in a gender neutral fashion about the way society treats all victims of rape, but it's going to be even more general than a discussion on how society treats men or women differently. There are times where talking about how society (in general) treats male victims is going to be different from how society (in general) treats female victims. In those cases it can be beneficial to have a more focused conversation.

If we're talking about the crime, then I think it's potentially naive or idealistic at best to ignore the predominance of male perpetrators and to try to determine what factors lead to this trend. Understanding the causes is a vital part of finding a solution. I do also think though that it's dangerous to ignore that it's not only male perpetrators even while acknowledging that this is the bulk of the problem.