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Dominique Strauss-Kahn Case Discouraging Rape Victims

High-Profile Rape Cases That Dig Into Victims' Pasts May Prevent Others From Coming Forward

For victims of rape, it's hard enough to share the horrible experience with your loved ones, much less a courtroom. And a legal (and media) system that puts the rape victim's life on trial instead of the alleged rapist most likely discourages even more women from reporting sex crimes.

By forcing women to share intimate details of their sexual history, the trial experience for a rape victim is so embarrassing and demeaning it's no wonder six out of 10 assaults are never reported to police. And of those that are, many don't even make it to trial. The president of RAINN (the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), Scott Berkowitz, says, "15 out of 16 attackers will never spend a day in prison."

The most recent example of this disheartening reality is the high-profile Dominique Strauss-Kahn case. Despite the former International Monetary Fund chief's troubled history with women, it's the alleged victim's past that will likely cause prosecutors to drop the case. Berkowitz says the case "certainly makes it a more challenging environment, both for victims and on the prosecution side."

Eliina Keitelman, who was raped when she was 14, sums up the problem perfectly: "Why is SHE on trial? Do bad choices in your past mean you can't get justice in your future?"

Juicylemon Juicylemon 6 years
Well, look false accusations exist too, so of course a background on the accuser must be done, not just the person who's been accused. As for the media, these people have no conscience whatsoever. They'll turn on you and drag you to the the mud to make a juicy, scandalous headlines. Victim or not. Falsely accused or not. Its not as if they were on DSK's side either when the accusations first came out.
fuzzles fuzzles 6 years
I am appalled by the monkey shit-slinging mentality that is everywhere these days. Party exclusive.
stephley stephley 6 years
Wow. I’m truly appalled; and thankful that you didn’t stay in journalism.
stephley stephley 6 years
Thanks for the civics lesson. The DSK situation, the catalyst for the article for post, hasn’t gotten to the courtroom yet. The headline splashed on the front of the Post is unsubstantiated. The press is attacking the woman’s reputation. How often do you see headlines attacking the victim of a home burglary? If your home is burglarized, in court you will not be pressed to justify why you own any nice things that you own. If you were drinking the night your home was burglarized, the defense will not suggest you were thus asking for your property to be stolen. It’s a given that outsiders aren’t allowed to violate the sanctity of your home regardless of how you are behaving: it is not a given that a woman can expect the same respect for her physical person.
stephley stephley 6 years
The confrontation should be in the courtroom, not the newspapers. Victims of what other crimes have to pay such a price for justice? How many have to prove their own purity?
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