When is victim behaviour used to judge whether something is a crime?

29 Apr

If you guessed ‘in cases of rape’ then you win…nothing, because we all lose when a fucking court has upheld the fact that, if the victim is unconscious, then s/he cannot be raped.

Even if s/he’s penetrated without consent–remember, unconscious?–that is, in legal terms in Oklahoma, in this USofA, in this year 2016, NOT rape.


Mind you, I do understand that a court cannot change the law, that’s what the legislature is for–and I also understand that, if the court were to change the law, the case would be appealed up to hell and back. What irks the fuck out of me is that there are laws out there, today, which basically are providing predators with a ‘free out of jail’ card.

10 Responses to “When is victim behaviour used to judge whether something is a crime?”

  1. Katyte 29/04/2016 at 11:54 AM #

    I remember some years ago a woman was abducted from our local mall parking lot. Her abductor shot her in the chest, raped her, and left her for dead. She was found alive but was left paralyzed by the gunshot. The police were able to arrest her attacker. As part of the legal maneuvering, his attorney tried to get the rape charge dismissed because “if she was paralyzed and couldn’t feel the rape, how did she know it happened?” The district justice hearing this happened to be a woman, and she ripped the attorney a new one as she refused to dismiss. The rapist was either tried and convicted or pled out and got 20 years. There was an update in the news some years later: the victim had regained some feeling and mobility and had rebuilt a good life for herself.

    • azteclady 29/04/2016 at 12:57 PM #

      I was reading more about this over at Popehat (a group law blog), and I see their point, as lawyers; the headlines are classic clickbait.

      However, it remains true that rape victims, particularly female rape victims, are blamed–explicitly or by implication–for their own rape.

      Was it Kasich or Cruz who, when asked about what he’d do to prevent rape, he gave ‘advice’ that boiled down to, “don’t go to parties and drink, because after you are raped no one will believe you didn’t consent’? Either way, that was rape culture in a nutshell: if you are at a place where men can rape you, it’s your fault because you were there.

      Here, it was Kasich (video)

  2. Erin S. Burns 29/04/2016 at 4:19 PM #

    Fuck you Oklahoma, fuck you very much.

    • azteclady 29/04/2016 at 4:21 PM #

      The main problem, from where I sit, is that we (societies everywhere) concentrate more on whether or not it was rape, rather than in teaching our children–everywhere in the gender spectrum–about consent.

      Many men are still being raised on the belief that women don’t have the right to decide what goes on in their bodies–from contraceptives to dress to consent.

      If/when that changes, we’ll have a lot less confusion about whether or not “that” was rape.

      • Erin S. Burns 29/04/2016 at 4:27 PM #

        Agreed. This just seems like such a step backwards. Especially since Oklahoma, in 1993, was one of the last two states to develop spousal rape laws.

      • azteclady 29/04/2016 at 4:31 PM #

        If I read the stuff on Popehat correctly, this case stems from one of those archaic laws that, for reasons only understood by lawyers, are still on the books–I have a feeling that if someone looked, equally sexist, racist, etc. laws could be found in several (if not many) other states.

  3. heavenlea27 01/05/2016 at 10:01 AM #

    What the ever loving fuck? I’m sorry, but for me this is just begging for trouble. If it can’t be considered rape if the victim is unconscious, what’s to stop would-be rapists from first knocking out/drugging their victims? Does assault bring with it a lesser charge? Maybe they’re happy to wear an assault charge (assuming they even get caught of course) rather than have a rape one on their rap sheet. And people want to know why I never leave the house – what’s the point when the system seems to be there to protect the violator rather than the violated, no matter the crime.

    • azteclady 02/05/2016 at 8:22 AM #

      It’s a very thin line between ‘everyone is innocent until proven guilty’ (which I heartily agree with; compare it to systems where, historically, all you need is someone in power to accuse you of something, and you are automatically guilty); and “let’s put the victim on trial first.”

      Sadly, in cases of rape, it seems to me that the immense majority of people jump to the second position; questions like, ‘why was she there? did she accept a drink?’ and more, are brought up to justify or excuse the rape. “She lead him on” or “she said yes first” are often heard.

  4. Lori 02/05/2016 at 1:54 AM #

    There’s nothing like that moment when a man you care for suggests that women like to claim rape because of morning after remorse. I can’t begin to describe how much that makes me feel not devalued, but rather like dehumanized.

    • azteclady 02/05/2016 at 8:22 AM #


      The other one that kills me is when women jump on the ‘blame the victim’ wagon.

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