Wednesday, January 31, 2007



Punishing the victim

When a woman goes to the police to report that they have been raped, you expect the police to investigate and ultimately arrest the perpetrator. In Florida last week, they arrested the victim instead:

A college student who told police that a man raped her was jailed for two days on an old warrant and was denied a dose of a morning-after contraceptive pill while in jail, her attorney said Tuesday.

The 21-year-old woman was released Monday only after attorney Vic Moore reported her plight to the local media.

"Shocked. Stunned. Outraged. I don't have words to describe it," Moore said. "She is not a victim of any one person. She is a victim of the system. There's just got to be some humanity involved when it's a victim of rape."

While she was behind bars, a jail worker refused to give her a second dose of the morning-after contraceptive pill because of the worker's religious convictions, Moore said.

The latter just adds insult to injury. Meanwhile, you have to wonder what sort of police force stops a rape investigation dead because the victim was in trouble with the law as a teenager. Aren't former criminals also entitled to the protection of the law? Or is this police force saying that anyone who has committed a crime, however minor or long ago, is an outlaw and able to be victimised at will?

[Hat tip: Talk Left]

8 comments:

Nice, defy the police and then turn around and ask for help when *you* need it.

Then get the media to help you out of the pickle you've created for yourself.

She should have thought about the consequesnces of her outstanding warrant a little earlier prehaps.

Posted by Anonymous : 1/31/2007 04:21:00 PM

Anon: the police are there to protect everyone, regardless of who they are and what they have done. If they are not, then they are nothing more than a gang with better uniforms than most.

I should also point out that the outstanding warrant appears to have been the result of a clerical error, and that it is difficult to think about the consequences of something when you do not know (and have no way of knowing) that it exists.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 1/31/2007 05:45:00 PM

Hey - this is Florida - where you get removed from the roll if they even think you could have or might commit a crime!

JonL

Posted by Anonymous : 1/31/2007 06:05:00 PM

I'm in two minds over this. Assuming the warrant was believed legitimate, didn't the police have a duty to follow it? OTOH, if a person is raped and goes to the police then this has to be followed up too. She should possibly have been sent to hospital and had an examination and tests taken.

As to the emergency contraception, this is a matter between her and the medical people involved. A jail worker is not the person to be getting involved here re: her access to proscribed drugs.

Posted by muerk : 1/31/2007 08:37:00 PM

gee idiot/savant it seems you are attracting some real depraved people into your comments section.

Any person who thinks that previous fines or warrents voids a persons right to protection under the law is a nasty looney and if thats how the system were to operate then anarcy would quite rightly follow.

As for the jailer with-holding her abortion pill it seems that its another example of " only in america ".

The whole story is sick ........ just like the u.s.a

Posted by nznative : 2/01/2007 12:34:00 PM

NZNative: yes, we seem to have attacted a greater troll quotient. I suggest that people ignore them. Deprived of attention, they wilt and die, and go elsewhere for their entertainment.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 2/01/2007 12:39:00 PM

"Anon: the police are there to protect everyone, regardless of who they are and what they have done. If they are not, then they are nothing more than a gang with better uniforms than most."

THAT WAS MY POINT. If a criminal comes in and reports a crime, both should be arrested.

The article is silent on the nature of the warrant, if it was a clerical error it most likely would have said so. Regardless, if she had heard of it she should have had it delt with asap.

But there are not enough facts here, all we end up with is speculation.

Posted by Anonymous : 2/01/2007 02:55:00 PM

A jail worker is not the person to be getting involved here re: her access to proscribed drugs.

Unfortunately once you're arrested it's very much up to the jail workers whether you're allowed to keep any of your possessions, and whether you're allowed the outside contact you need to obtain stuff like that.

The general answer is "no" unless it's life-saving drugs. I mean, should jailed drug addicts *really* be allowed to keep their kit?

But for rape complaints there are differences - I would expect that as part of the medical exam and counselling there would be not just permission to use the morning-after pill, but the suggestion to use it and supply it if requested for any rape complainant. But since we're talking about the US, I think she's lucky to be alive (Christians stone to death people who commit adultery, after all).

And I think you mean "prescribed".

Posted by Moz : 2/02/2007 12:05:00 AM