BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Rape IS a Serious Crime

Posted by jpflaste on May 5, 2009

rape2A recent op-ed appeared in the New York Times about the handling of rape cases. It’s an issue that is definitely not discussed enough.  The article revealed that often when a rape kit is collected, in many cases there is at least a four-month delay in processing. FOUR MONTH DELAY. One outrageous example from the article noted that during the time it took for processing, the rapist attacked two more women. Once the kit was processed, there was a direct hit and the man was arrested. Had they more efficiently processed the evidence, two women might not have been raped.

Rape is a life-altering, traumatizing event and should be taken seriously by the authorities. This delay and hesitance to move forward with rape kit testing clearly denotes that investigating a woman’s rape is not worth the money and effort it takes to process a crime scene.  And even if a woman moves forward with reporting the rape and the kit is tested, once they hit trial it often turns on the woman– blaming her for being in the situation and finding things from her past to discredit her character.  I guarantee that a victim in another case, such as a burglary, is not going to have their credibility tested in a way that a rape victim’s often is during a trial. You don’t often hear, “[Fill in the girl’s name] had a lot of expensive electronics, so it was only a matter of time before they were robbed, they put themselves in this situation.”

I believe that women can put themselves in situations where they are unsafe, but under no circumstances are they “asking for it.” That’s kind of like saying if you are walking in a crowded train station with a purse or backpack and have your wallet stolen you are asking for it.  Was it maybe a bad idea to have an open bag in a crowded place? Yes, but did you leave your bag open because you were asking for your wallet to be stolen? I doubt it.

So how does a woman wearing a short skirt out at night insinuate that she wants to be raped? It doesn’t.

Rape is much too serious to be overlooked and happens way too often in our society or any society for that matter. For all the advances that women in the United States have made over the years, you’d think that being able to report and have timely prosecution in a criminal sexual assault case would be a given.  Unfortunately, we are still behind in prosecution of crimes against women.

photo credit


5 Responses to “Rape IS a Serious Crime”

  1. Four months is ridiculous. Rape should definitely be treated with the same sense of urgency as other crimes.

  2. Sheena said

    WHat can we do to change the laws on how the case our handle?

  3. […] 9. Rape IS a Serious Crime […]

  4. Juliana said

    I am a victim of such kind of crime. I live in Canada and I can assure you that the situation here is no better. My life is a living hell since the day I experienced such a trauma. I was personally re-victimized, mistreated and humiliated in the court room, but I am courageous enough to to not keep SILENT about it. Obviously, no one likes a woman who has a LOUD voice. I still have a Rape Kit kept in a sexual assault crises center…I still have two more weeks to disclose it, otherwise, I will lose the DNA evidence. Now, I keep thinking over and over about whether or not I shall go with reporting it…..But then, when I remember what I went through, I try to give myself more time. We, North Americans, do have a Legal System but we Do not have JUSTICE. Let’s us admit it ladies: We live in a men-dominant world and we ALL need to change that. I am trying to submit a petition regarding the flaws in the legal system in North America when it comes to deal with Violence against Women and all other rellated issues. Is there any BRAVE woman out there who is interested to join me to make a difference here?! Is there any woman willing to devote part of her time and effort to help other women in A similar situation? We NEED a better approach to Rape and Sexual Assaults cases.

  5. ALAMZEB KHAN said

    When a person has been found guilty of rape he must be castrated.

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