Is There Such A Thing As A “Credible” Rape Victim?
1 year ago
In 2011, money and power drowns out the voice of rape victims
(CLICK HERE to see a list of celebrities convicted of sex crimes)
Now before we get inundated with scolding e-mails, know that there are women who make and have made false assault claims. Anyone who would do such a thing should face serious punishment (including jail time) for doing so. But statistically we know that the pendulum tends to swing much further in the opposite direction—meaning many more sexual assaults go unreported, than go over-reported, despite the media frenzy that cases like the Duke Lacrosse scandal can generate. The “cuddle cops” case, is yet another reminder why so few survivors are willing to come forward.
The scenario that the officers’ own defense wants us to believe is that police officers that were called to get a vulnerable woman home safely engaged in “cuddling,” groping and other inappropriate physical contact with her, while she was so intoxicated that she became sick. Despite the fact that one officer was caught on tape confirming to the accuser that he used a condom, he was acquitted of rape. Not exactly sure what he would have needed a condom for if he didn’t engage in any sexual activity with her, but hey, we weren’t in the jury room to hear how this little detail was rationalized by those who acquitted him of the rape charge.
I can already hear the judgments of some. "No woman should be so intoxicated that she can't fend for herself." I will take this thought a step further and suggest that it's probably best that no human being, male or female, get so intoxicated that he or she can't fend for him or herself. Forget sexual assault. What about wandering into a street and getting hit by a car? And yet if a man were brutally beaten and mugged on his way out of a bar, why do I get the feeling that a jury wouldn't have a tough time convicting the guys who were eventually caught with his wallet, regardless of how many drinks the victim had before they took it?
But the demonization of the victim in this case is not its most disturbing legacy. The trust that these officers have destroyed between future victims, and the men and women all of us should be able to trust the most -- police officers -- is. While I applaud the NYPD for swiftly terminating Officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata for disgracing their uniforms, I fear the damage has already been done. I know I'm not the only woman who will now think twice the next time I'm alone, it's nighttime and I need help with anything, including getting home safely, and I see two male police officers.
After all, I'm not wealthy. I'm not powerful. I'm also not a nun. So chances are my word isn't worth very much.