15-year-old Rape Trial Witness Commits Suicide

“I rättegången som 15-åringen inte orkade genomleva stod en 42-årig man åtalad för att bland annat ha våldtagit henne flera gånger… I juli dömdes 42-åringen av Göta hovrätt till fängelse i ett år och fyra månader, bland annat för tre fall av sexuellt utnyttjande av flickan.” – http://www.svt.se (Swedish State Television website)

Translation:

“During the trial that the 15-year-old did not have the strength to endure, a 42-year-old man was charged with raping her at several occasions. This past July the 42-year-old was sentenced to 16 months in prison because of three cases of sexual abuse of the girl.”

I was just watching a debate about, well, I’m not quite sure what they were debating. Some lawyer had made a statement that some people had perceived as out-dated and prejudice against rape victims. This lawyer then said that he wanted sex crimes to be treated just like any other crime; it shouldn’t take less evidence to convict a sex offender compared to other criminals.

The debate was fruitless, as per usual, and involved a certain amount of semantics while statistics flew about the room. My interpretation of the debate can be concluded as:

1. evidence is important

2. attitude is important

Compared to most countries Swedish rape victims often go to the police. However, even in Sweden it’s only a minority and few cases lead to convictions. This is a huge deal regardless of what some lawyer said in some paper recently. And a fruitless debate just makes it even worse. The only good thing would be if people noticed how pointless it is to discuss these trivialities compared discussing the actual problems. The only solution that was mentioned was that few hospitals have a rape-kit used for collecting all the evidence potentially needed in a trial and few people knew that this was important, including social workers and police officers.

However, the suicide painted a morbid picture of how technical solutions are only part of it. She was too scared to testify against an accused rapist. This is the same fear as the fear of not reporting a rape to the police. And it’s all because of people’s attitudes. People have so many prejudices and project their morals onto other humans. Cultures are created this way and cultures, whether they’re inside the family or a world religion, affect people very strongly.  In Sweden, the sex crime laws used to read something like this:

If a girl was wearing a short skirt it signaled that she was interested in sex and thus you couldn’t put all the blame on the rapist.

Now, some people, depending on your personal culture, will think that’s a valid point. Personally, I think such a statement is pure insanity. How the fuck can anyone think that’s reasonable? Let me spew my gall over this for a while: Firstly, whatever you wear should not be subject to other people’s personal opinions. If I wear a black hat it means nothing, if I wear a burkah it means nothing to me because I’m not a muslim, if I wear a nazi-uniform it means nothing to me because I’m not a nazi, if I take of my shirt, it is not because I want other people to suck my nipples. Anyone should be allowed to wear whatever they want without fearing other people’s prejudice interpretations of their choice in clothing.

I’ve also heard things like: “You never know what a woman really means”. As if that’s an excuse for any man to rape any woman. “She wore a short skirt, that means she wants to raped”. “She drank a lot of alcohol, that means she wants to get raped”, “She listened to a song about rape, that means she wants to get raped”, “She likes porn, that means she wants to get raped”. Obviously this goes not just for women. I have a really hard time believing that a rapist is not aware that the rape victim is not willing. Any human being who is too stupid to understand what another human being wants, should not assume that that person wants to get raped. How difficult is it to ask? And if you’re really too stupid to figure it out, then maybe you shouldn’t interact with humans at all.

It’s mind-blowing that the discussion is still at the level of attitudes. The problem should not be that so many rapes are not being reported because of fear caused by other people’s prejudice. The problem we should be able to do something about is that PEOPLE RAPE!

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One Response to “15-year-old Rape Trial Witness Commits Suicide”

  1. Tnelson Says:

    what a great site and informative posts, I will add a backlink and bookmark your site. Keep up the good work!

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