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Posts Tagged ‘sexual assault’

       There was a recent news story that did much to anger those who work with women who have been “date raped”.   Helen Mirren, a British actress, who won awards last year for her portrayal of the Queen, did an interview with GQ in which she claimed to have been raped several times, many years ago, when she was a student.  Helen is 63 years old now. 

         The reason some people have been upset with Helen, over that interview, is that she seemed to down play the experiences.  She said there was no extreme violence, she was not hit…but rather, was locked in a room and made to have sex.  She did not file charges in those incidents.  She also said that if a man and a woman were about to get intimate and the woman changed her mind, and the man continued; that was indeed rape.  However, in that circumstance; she didn’t feel that a woman could then turn around and take that man to court for it.  Those are highly controversial remarks when taken individually or out of context.  To some people…those comments smack of judgementalism…that those situations aren’t worthy of prosecution of a person who sexually assaults another.  Those comments appear inflammatory to many folks.

         Most people are clear that if a stranger attacks another person and forces sexual relations…then that is rape.  It is true enough…it is.  But there are other forms of rape as well that aren’t as clearly defined for some people. (more…)

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      With twisted individuals like these three alleged criminals; no, you are not even free from sexual assault when you are dead and buried.  Three men, Alexander and Nicholas Grunke (twins) and their friend, Dustin Radke, were arrested because the police suspected they had begun to dig up a young woman recently deceased from a motorcycle accident. 

       One of the men allegedly saw a photograph, in the obituary, of the victim and talked the other two into digging up her body, for the purpose of intercourse.   It makes you think twice about even posting an obituary of someone you love, when they die.  (more…)

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         A new way of collecting physical evidence in rape cases is making news.  It seems that many rape victims are leaving the medical setting; rather than, face another trauma of talking to; or, being interviewed by police after being raped.  They are too frightened in some cases of dealing with the police; some are fearful of talking to police for a variety of reasons such as possible drug/alcohol use at the time of the attack.  Many victims are worried about revenge violence for reporting the assault.  Some of the victims are young and don’t want their friends/parents/or significant other to find out.  Some rape victims just can’t deal with one more thing, that is out of their own personal control.

           So, the newly titled, Jane Doe rape kits are being offered; the evidence is collected by a specially trained nurse/doctor; and no name is put on the sealed envelopes…only an identifying number.  This way, when and if, the victim is ready to file a police report the evidence is still available.

           States are going to be required to offer the Jane Doe kits starting in 2009.  The kits are expensive; about $800.00.   It will be left up to the states which locations will have the kits available.  This way of collecting evidence just may improve the reporting of rape crimes.  In 2006, before the Jane Doe kits have become more commonly, available…it has been estimated that less than half of all rapes have been reported.  That also means that victims who may have been exposed to Sexually Transmitted Diseases aren’t being tested or treated.  Pregnancies can occur if too much time passes without medical care and of course, unless they seek it out, oftentimes, counseling or support services aren’t offered because the medical/legal profession would not be notified of the attack.  The Jane Doe kits have some definate positives…but what about other issues?

          Some of my questions would be…how long does the evidence, kept in storage, last?  How long would a victim have, before that evidence was no longer viable? The physical evidence and the photo’s collected at the time, in the Jane Doe kits, would still be helpful…but, what about a victim’s documented memories? 

         Would a legal team be able to tear apart a victims testimony in court; if, some extended time passed before a police report was made and documented?  Would their testimony of events be questioned due to a time lapse between the actual rape, identification and prosecution of a suspect?   Could the questioning of a victim’s memories of the rape be called into question; giving the legal representatives an edge in getting the charges of the suspect dismissed?  These are all important questions, as it would be horrible to go through such an experience; only to have it all dismissed, after summoning up the courage to actually file a report and go through the legal process.

         What do you think about the Jane Doe kits for rape victims?  Do you feel they will be helpful or harmful to prosecuting a case against a suspect? 

        

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