Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The blame game ...

It's soap box time again people.  Strap in and hold on tight.

So, apparently now it's possible to be threatened with suspension or expulsion if you file an official complaint about having been raped.

Horrifying, isn't it.

A girl in North Carolina has been told by her university that by filing an official complaint with the Department of Education claiming that the university failed to uphold their duty of care with regards to her attack, she was in breach of the school's code of conduct.  Their reason?  She was accused of "disruptive or intimidating behaviour".

Things like this just set my blood boiling.  How is it that putting in an official complaint through official channels is a breach of anything?  No, I can tell you exactly what it is, it's an intimidation tactic, one which I can't believe is still being used in this day and age.

But what can I expect, given the way our society views rape and rape victims.

We're living in an age where the message is don't get raped rather than don't rape.  Where people are told that by modifying their behaviour they can stop it from happening, but no one ever seems to address the issue itself.

Don't get me wrong, I think that teaching people these things is important, I just don't like the implied message that if you are raped, then it must be because you did something wrong.  Because you dressed provocatively, or drank too much, or walked down that dark street on your own.

Want to prevent rape?  Well here's a novel idea, how about not raping people.  Seriously, it's that simple.  The idea that it's the victim's responsibility to make sure a crime doesn't happen is both insulting and horrifying.  No one would accuse a murder victim of being responsible for their own death.

"Oh, if only he'd gotten out of the way of that knife, it wouldn't have happened.  It's his own fault, really."

No one has the right to rape another person, I don't care what their supposed excuse is.  And if victim blaming isn't bad enough, to then intimidate the person by threatening them if they have the audacity to officially complain is perhaps the most disgusting thing I've ever heard of.

Okay, I'll put the soap box away now.

58 comments:

  1. You are 100% correct, and guess what men? It really is not that difficult to not rape a woman. I have seen plenty of women who were dressed prococativly, were drunk and sometimes even walking down a dark ally and I decided "I am not going to rape them." It was not that difficult.

    It is in fact very possible to NOT rape a woman even if she is "asking for it."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you are right on :) it is not that difficult to NOT to a lot of things.

      Delete
    2. Exactly! It's not a hard decision to make at all.

      Delete
  2. I don't know how it is in other countries, but this kind of shit happens all the time in the U.S. Stay on the soap box--we need more people shouting about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think the whole College thing is as bad here in Australia, at least I haven't heard stories about it, but there's still the stigma and victim blaming here that you get everywhere.

      Delete
  3. Ugh, this sets my blood boiling. Am I the only one who thinks treating a victim this way makes them complicit?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, it absolutely makes them complicit. It's just disgusting the lengths some people will go to to cover their own asses.

      Delete
  4. Holy crap! How ridiculous can this world get?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is terrifying that this is still happening. You'd think we'd be beyond it by now.

      Delete
  5. What's more...she is facing discipline but has NEVER publickly named her rapist; it's all about the university protecting itself. There is, in fact, a very large suit lodged against the university by a number of female students and staff, including the woman who was in charge of the office meant to deal with this type of incident and was repeatedly harassed, blocked, and threatened with losing her job.......for trying to perform it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what really gets me. She's done everything right. She put in her complaints in the appropriate way through the appropriate channels, the channels that supposedly exist to help victims, and she's being punished for having the cheek to stand up and say it happened. Ugh!

      Delete
  6. This is an issue that is very near to my heart for personal reasons. I'm not compeltely over my experience - I never will be. What we need to focus on as a society, I think, it changing the conversation. Rather than shout at each other about what constitutes "legitimate rape" (Don't even get me started) or how pressing charges is disruptive, let's talk about respect for a moment. Let's raise our young men (and in rare cases, women) to understand respect for another person's body, to teach them boundaries, to give them a sense of personal responsibility and accountability. Persecuting victims is abhorrent and does nothing to solve the problem. If anything, it empowers the perpetrator. Which is disgusting. A little less rhetoric and a lot more respect and accountability would go a long way, I think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It always frustrates me so much when they educate kids on how to NOT get raped, but they never bother to talk to them about how and why it's wrong to do it in the first place! It's like they're so afraid of unintentionally offending someone they'll just sweep the whole issue under the mat.

      Delete
  7. This is a soap box I would stand with you on. I have never had any personal experience with any sort of sexual attack, but it has always been my worst fear. I don't think of getting robbed, beat up, or killed. I worry about rape. It is such a horrific, awful crime. I have teen daughters, who will be heading off to college (or atleast out into the world) and that is my greatest fear for them. Parents entrust their children( o.k., technically they are adults, but to parents they are 'our children') to travel hundreds of miles away and be safe. The University may not be able to stop crimes, but they sure as hell should not make them worse if they happen!
    And I agree with the comment above.Along with the birds and the bees talk that I had with my son when he was in Junior High, sadly I also talked with him about rape. Not pressuring a girl, no means no, all of it.
    I think I just used your comment form for my own soap box. Sorry :(
    Here is an interesting article I just read the other night. The 10's of thousands of rape kits that go untested, and the victims have no idea. For the lady that is heading the efforts to go through each of these kits, I would give a big hug to and a "YOU GO GIRL!YOU ROCK!"
    http://rockcenter.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/15/15848051-prosecutor-leads-effort-to-test-long-abandoned-rape-kits-brings-justice-to-victims?lite

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's dreadful! You mean that those victims were brave enough to go through the trauma of having the kit done, but then no one bothered to do the tests? I just can't even! I've officially lost the ability to even!

      Delete
  8. No wonder lots of women and girls never go to the authorities.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boys too, and I'd imagine they're even more reluctant to report a rape. The whole attitude our culture has to it is the problem.

      Delete
  9. Things like this make me so angry! The university is so busy trying to protect itself that it's failing to protect its students. This failing is all too common.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just can't understand how anyone can see situations like this and think it's okay. Surely SOMEONE in charge at the College should look at it and think that it's wrong.

      Delete
  10. Colleges are very interesting places to exist and the layers of messy that come out of them are stupefying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They do tend to develop their own little microcosm, which of course leads to them thinking that they can then form their own laws and rules of social behaviour. But that definitely doesn't excuse them from being accountable to the same laws as everyone else!

      Delete
  11. Replies
    1. It is horrible the lengths some groups will go to protect their own asses, isn't it.

      Delete
  12. Word up Kellie! Criminals are the new victims.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, which leaves the real victims in a really bad situation. Poor girl, I can't even imagine having something like that happen only to then have to deal with this too.

      Delete
  13. I've heard of this from students themselves and it's absolutely appalling. Criminals have more rights than the victims and I agree with Pamela Foley, criminals are the new victims, at least in our corrupt society..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree too. This girl needs support, not crap like this.

      Delete
  14. I think by now we all realise that victims have few (if any) rights. No wonder the Victims of Crime agencies are busting at the seams. Same doesn't change anything though.
    A group of us were having a conversation about rape quite recently and one person said that (men) rape for 3 reasons: because they can (few consequences), sexual gratification and, POWER.
    In one of our Courts recently the term "real rape" was used. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT??
    Anyhow this poor student's experience within the university is just appalling. Sometimes I just can't believe we are in the 21st century. Women (in general) have come a long way in the equality stakes, but in the 'important' stakes sometimes I wonder if we've moved at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The idea that anyone could believe there's different levels of rape is awful. I remember reading an article about a woman the other day who was trying to get anal rape included in the legal definition because even though she was dragged forcibly into a back street and violently attacked, they only charged him with sexual assault rather than rape. So, does that mean by that definition that a guy can't be raped, cause we all know that's not true!

      Delete
    2. I don't know how many states of Australia (as it can be different in each with lots of laws) but in SA several years ago rape included male or female and included penetration whether shallow or deep of the vagina, mouth or anus. Big win for SA.

      Delete
  15. Why do these people feel such a compulsion to punish the victim?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have no idea. God, if only I did I might be about to understand it all a bit better.

      Delete
  16. Males suck! I won't call them men because so many are not. I would sue the fucking arse off anyone who even dared to tell me shit like that. Arseholes are never going to learn and males will always let them get away with it because it is such a fucking boys club.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Men (and women too, for that matter) who rape people are doing it for the power trip the majority of the time. The idea that this is what it takes to make them feel powerful is just disgusting.

      Delete
  17. I can totally see why you would have your blood boiling. What is WRONG with people??? How is it even possible that reporting a crime could have a backlash by a school. This system of making a victim of rape MORE victimized by the system has got to stop. Seriously messed up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's VERY messed up. I just hope the media coverage and the support she's getting from some of the students and employees at the College helps.

      Delete
  18. No one would accuse a murder victim of being responsible for their own death. You must not be watching the Jody Arias trial. It's common place for killers to blame their victims. But I couldn't agree more with you about how wrong it is to blame rape victims who speak out. This is America, not Pakistan or India.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right of course, there are instances where the victim is blamed other than in rape cases, it just seems that with rape it's the norm rather than the exception.

      Delete
  19. oh no no.. don't get me started on this one.. just don't get me started..

    ReplyDelete
  20. It's stupid shit like this that makes women scared to speak up about this horrid act. This is inexcusable. I hope these asshats get herpes.

    Hugs!

    Valerie

    ReplyDelete
  21. UNBELIEVABLE!! Perhaps they feel we should stone women who are raped?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't give them any ideas. I'm beginning to think nothing is beyond them.

      Delete
  22. Outrageous. We had something similar happen here (we have 2 universities). A student complained she had been sexually assaulted, her complaint was basically 'filed', and now she is dead!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wow, "disruptive and intimidating" behavior? So awful that someone should be afraid to say anything because they might give a couple of school officials a bad day

    ReplyDelete
  24. I could use a box of soap to wash myself after that...or maybe to scrub down the officials at that university.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Completely agree with you when you say that we get to hear some stupid comments and statements even in this day and age. News on rapes have been hogging the limelight in recent times in India and some of the statements passed by senior politicians and people in responsible position really do make me seethe in anger.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suppose it's good that we're talking about it, we'd be in a much worse position if we weren't.

      Delete
  26. LOVE this post - could not agree more. It's disgusting the way the University has treated this girl. If someone did that to me or someone I cared for intimidation would be the least of their worries xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It looks like the girl has a lot of support from other students and some of the staff, so that's good at least. Still, it shouldn't be happening at all.

      Delete
  27. I read that too and it made me so made. At least that university got media shitstorm on their front doorstep for the way they handled it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hopefully it'll make them rethink a few of their practices.

      Delete
  28. Did my eyes read this right? I re-read it to make sure. I don't give a monkies if this girl was 'disruptive, intimidating' or anything else for that matter. Rape is RAPE and the university needs to deal with it as such. I'm now wondering if maybe they have a high number of rapes already and this is just another tactic to sweep it under the carpet (just my thoughts doing overtime).

    I've said this before and I'll shout it out again. I don't care if a person is fully naked running down the street with legs at 3.45pm, nothing justifies them being raped.

    This university should be named and shamed Big Time for all to see. The authorities need to step in and look at their policies and give them an update.

    ReplyDelete
  29. If I had a hammer, I'd build ya a soap box, but that's all I can say except you are right.

    ReplyDelete