A New View on Date Rape?

I had a thought to myself the other day that I would love to share with you and get some debate and feedback on.

It is often argued when a woman accuses a man of rape that she’s trying to defame his character based on some unrelated but factual (y’know, unlike her accusation) thing. The arguments against the woman expand if it is non-violent, or date rape. She doesn’t want society to know she’d consent to sex with this man; she can’t handle the consequences of her own sex life, etc.

I think in our legal system, people are innocent until proven guilty, and this applies to both rapist and accuser. So I don’t often agree with these arguments, and I think their place is a court is non-existent.

Women, who like sex, get raped. Women, who have sex with many partners, get raped. A woman could have consensual sex and then get raped within hours. It is not only virginal church-going girls who deserve justice for their attack, it is all women.

So I had this idea, that I hope if it caught on, would maybe lessen these attitudes that accusing rape is often a short sighted woman seeking massive consequences put upon somebody else for her own mistake.

Note that I’m totally open to conversation on this topic by you, the reader. Let’s debate this out. Let’s talk about what works and what doesn’t. Maybe we can make a solution to a problem?

What if it went like this?

A woman is date raped. At any point she can go to a legal source (police? Lawyer? I’ve never had legal troubles so I don’t know the course of actions in that sense) and report it. She has a time period to retract her story, including time with a therapist to make clear if it was in fact something she didn’t consent to and wasn’t happy with. If at the end of that time period she still says it happens, it goes to a court. If he’s found guilty (or likely to be, because I would imagine in these cases it would often be a case of he said/she said) then he has to attend a specific form of counseling, maybe anger management, maybe a course in respecting a sexual partner’s right to say no.  He’d be listed as a sexual offender until he attended the counseling, but once he cleared the program, the occurrence would be removed from his record unless he offends again.

So what do I think are the benefits of a program like this? I think, hope, it would inspire a defense team to play less dirty. She has worked through with a professional that this isn’t confusion or regret, it’s a legit claim. More importantly though, the legal consequences aren’t really massive enough for a woman to think, in the (rare) circumstance that she’s simply trying to scorn a lover or whatever the situation, that she’s ruining his life. She is, in fact, simply seeking his rehabilitation so he doesn’t do it again to another woman.

Would it be a perfect system, just the way I have it? Nope. It deals with rapes that aren’t violent or result in evidence, which is great because I believe it’s an underreported crime because of those things. It also means it’s hard to prove though, and it doesn’t change the legal chain of events in rapes that are violent. It also doesn’t change the social standard that causes rapes to be defended the way they are in the first place: the standard that says a woman can deserve a rape, or can be so easy that she can’t be raped.

I think it could start somewhere though, by making it clear on some level in the legal system that a woman always has the right to say no, and has a right for that to be respected.

ALSO! Totally unrelated to my post, but on the front page of wordpress I found an awesome entry on tattoos. As somebody with tattoos, I totally agree with this girl’s point of view, and I also love the tattoos she shows in the post. So yeah, take a read, have hope for the future http://kendallgoodwin.wordpress.com/2011/04/11/tattoos-a-21st-century-perspective/

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~ by Stefani Vonne on 04/26/2011.

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