Monday, December 20, 2010

Why not innocent until proven lier?

Can I just say it again...

I don’t know enough about the Assange rape accusations and trial process to comment on the specifics of the case.

I don’t know whether he is guilty or not guilty.
At this point, I have to assume he is not guilty.
There are women who are accusing him of rape.
I have no idea whether they are lying or not lying.
Until they are proved to have been lying (essentially a guilty verdict for a crime) they are not.

I’m not choosing sides at this point because I DONT KNOW.

Neither do you I will bet.
There are only three people who know what happened and I bet you, yes You; the asshole who sent me, and my friends messages saying we're talking out of our asses are not one of them.

Consequently you must also be talking out your ass, if you have already come to a conclusion.

What I do take issue with is the large number of people using bullshit terms and phrases that have no relevance to the case to validate their opinion.
Check out the rape apologist bingo below for some absolute gold that has been being repeated on twitter, Face book, and in the media.

My issue is that I personally know three people who have been assaulted in one fashion or another and either not reported it, or dropped charges.
All three genuinely occurred. Two resulted in medical treatment being required and one was me.

There are a large host of reasons why women don’t report rape. The biggest one is that even after going through the process of reporting, opening yourself up to forensic examination, re living it to multiple police and legal staff and your friends and family, you might not even get to see the case in court.

We haven’t even gotten to the point where rape statistics are even known properly.
But wait – there are rape stats right?
Yep - Statistics show that Sweden has one of the highest rape rates in the world.
WOW! That must mean that they have more rape than anywhere else – right?
But hold on a minute.
The Middle East has one of the lowest rape rates in the world.
A place where in some areas women are seen as second class citizens, and have no legal voice of their own has the lowest rape rates in the world – REALLY???
Oh, but hold on a minute – those statistics are taken from REPORTS.
So what I can see is that rather than the Middle East being a veritable Mecca of safety for women, is that the women simply do not report rape when it occurs.

Rape is everywhere, and affects everyone.
How we talk about it is so important, because reporting is sometimes just as hard as the rape was originally.

My friend who was brutally raped by two men, including restraints and violence didn’t even make it to charges because their defence of “we didn’t know her drink has been spiked”, the fact they knew her, and the fact she had a history of online dating was enough to lower the chance of them being convicted to zilch. The police officer she reported to gave her the advice to drop it because she would be "dragged through the mud for nothing."

My experience was with an older more powerful, much liked man.
Not only would it be unlikely that I would be believed, he didn’t get to do much because I was lucky enough to catch him by surprise, fight back and get away. Proving that I knew he had intent to continue his actions to the point of rape would have been almost impossible.

I have had someone violate my personal space and deliberately try to hurt me.
My word as an honest human with nothing to gain was not enough.

These women in the Assange case are accusing someone well liked, internationally known, and powerful.
They either have an option of a future with new names, or are the bravest women I have ever heard of.
I have to wonder why they would put themselves at risk like this for a false accusation.

I hope your opinion will not matter to the women involved in the Assange case.

They certainly will not read your little Twitter account.
Or your blog.
They don’t check your Facebook page.

But women and men you know, love, and care about do.

Women statistically have a one in four chance, and men with a one in eight chance of having been raped in the past by the time they read your post.

People who will feel the bile rise into their mouths
Their hearts race.
Their throats tighten.
They may cry.

Because you, YES YOU, are just one more person who makes it difficult to report rape.

I would like to thank Sady for her writing here and here which inspired me to stop cowering in a corner, scared of the fallout, and write on this topic.
You are an inspiration.


  1. Very good post. Early on, before Sady started the tag I did a post about "alleged" and some of the other tactics I saw in my twitter feed from men who I thought of as 'allies'. You are right on target. It's something you can't help but take personally, and feel so betrayed and unsafe when someone casts doubt on your experiences.

  2. Thanks for blogging about this. It's really getting me down. It's all so triggering.

  3. Thank you for posting this. It's especially difficult for female gamers as the word "rape" is used frivolously, most often by teenagers, to describe a total victory over a foe. For those of us who have survived such assaults, every misuse of this word is a slap in the face and a reminder that the world doesn't give a damn about what so many women suffer. And they never will as long as we stay silent.

  4. I have found myself getting more and more despondent how many, men who I had previously respected, just. don't. get. it.

    I am sick of having to explain the same shit over and over again.

  5. B.Fre Said
    Thank you so much for taking the time to write. To read such a clear passage is great becouse it takes things out of my head and gives it some frame work to think about the issue more.
    I am trying to break through my own silence and the world at the moment is still, such an unsafe place for my natural loudness to be. To think 2011 is nearly here and rape victims are still victimized by our justice system.

  6. Very brave, powerful post. Thank you!


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