Sunday, October 3, 2010

Justice For All

What if I told you, you could rob a bank and 75% of the time the bank wouldn't report the crime.  Furthermore, what if I told you that even if the bank did report the robbery, the police department wouldn't do follow up forensic work because they lacked the budget or personnel to do so.  You might decide on a career change.  Robbing banks wouldn't look like such a risky adventure.

Sad, but true, that's what happens in most rape cases.  The vast majority of all rape cases aren't reported, because most women don't think a successful prosecution will occur.  Even when they do report the crime, crime labs don't always process the rape kits in a timely manner, thereby limiting the odds of a successful prosecution.  It's estimated that there are over 100,000 rape kits sitting in warehouses waiting to be processed.  Many crime labs have backlogs of five to ten years. 

New York City's successful prosecution rate in rape cases went from 40% to 70% when they started testing every booked rape kit. Los Angeles has recently started processing all rape kits and has seen similar results.  Soon, Illinois will begin to clear up their back log and begin testing all rape kits.

When I am King, I'll make sure we won't turn our back on rape victims because we can't afford it -- that's just despicable.  We should have justice for all, not just those that fit into the budget.

4 comments:

  1. Money drives everything.... gah

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  2. This is one of those things I mention when people (usually guys) ask why I'm a feminist and try to assert that everything is a-okay for women these days. No, it's not. Women aren't equal citizens when:

    1) The burden of preventing rape is placed on me, rather than on the men who rape or the law enforcement that's supposed to protect me. I'm told I shouldn't go out at night (even to class or the grocery store) alone, I shouldn't wear "provocative" clothing, I shouldn't drink- let alone get drunk, I must protect my non-alcoholic beverage at all times, etc.

    2) If I do get raped and report it, they probably won't bother to process my rape kit.

    3) They only make an arrest in 50% of cases and move to prosecute in 80% of the cases where an arrest is made- 40% of reported rapes overall.

    4) In the event that it does make it into a courtroom, the defense will argue that I was "asking for it" based on my clothing/intoxication/flirtation, and my sexual history will be put under a microscope, humiliating me.

    5) After all that, only 58% of cases end in a conviction, and only 69% of rapists convicted of a felony will spend ANY time in jail.

    So at the end of the day, only 16% of reported rapes end in jail time for the rapist. That doesn't sound like equality to me, that sounds like men are allowed to do whatever they damn well please to women's bodies with very little fear of repercussions. This is especially true when we have the technology to process rape kits and dramatically increase conviction rates, but choose not to.

    Why couldn't I have been born a boy?

    [Numbers come from this site: http://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/reporting-rates]

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  3. Hey above, ask the bishop of Rome what he insists on if you also happen to get pregnant from being raped.

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  4. Oh, don't even get me started on abortion and the Catholic Church. I'm pretty sure I hit a tl;dr point with my previous post, and that was short for one of my rants. I can go on about either abortion or Catholicism for hours, let alone both of them... Suffice it to say, rich old men in dresses who protect child molesters should get no say in what I do with my uterus.

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