Op-ed recommendation: “Until we treat rapists as ordinary criminals we won’t stop them”

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/04/12/op-ed-recommendation-until.html


Sounds good to me


As Scully put it, her subjects saw rape as ‘a rewarding, low-risk act’.

The one sentence which really nails it in that article. I know a shocking number of victims, male and female. None have ever gone to the police.


After the Jian Gomeshi trial his lawyer was interviewed by one of Canada’s most notable journalists. At some point in the interview she said:

“The legal system is premised on our fundamental belief that if you are going to a accuse me of a crime you will have to prove it.” (CBC)

The fact that this stood just blew my mind. If someone stole my car, I wouldn’t have to prove they stole my car, I would report it to the police, the police would investigate, they would pass evidence along to a prosecutor who would prosecute (if the evidence warranted). My report of the events would be part of the evidence.

The idea that it is up the victim of a crime to prove the guilt of the perpetrator is absolute nonsense that no one would ever think of applying to theft or non-sexual, non-domestic assault. But if the assault is sexual, or if the assaulted person is in a sexual relationship with their attacker, then the rules of the justice system change.

Treating rape as a crime seems like it should be obvious, but we don’t do it.


I agree that rape needs to be dealt with consistently like other kinds of transgressions, in a non-sexist, non-gendered manner.

BUT where I don’t agree is that the “criminal justice” model is truly beneficial to either the victim or society, for anything, rape included. If the goal is truly greater safety and social harmony then a medical/therapeutic framework seems far more realistic.


Even if the criminal justice system is resistant to change, that is where our efforts must be directed if we want to eradicate rape.

Like we’ve eradicated murder and theft? You know, other crimes we treat as… crimes?

(Not that I disagree with the main points the author makes about rape. Implying that it can be eradicated if only we did this… is doubtful. Colour me a pessimist).


I’m not defending Gomeshi in any way but taken in context, I think his lawyer was referring to the need of the state to prove the accusation, not the victim themselves.

But Henein said the defendant’s right not to take the witness box is integral to the presumption of innocence in requiring the state to prove its case.

"The legal system is premised on our fundamental belief that if you are going to a accuse me of a crime you will have to prove it, " she said.


Exactly. Rape isn’t something people do for shits and giggles like jaywalking or pirating a song; it is a disgusting abuse of power over another individual. Are there serial rapists who rape at random? Yes. But the majority of rapists are known to their victims. They do it because they are sociopaths. And sociopathy cannot be cured by pretending it’s not an act of sociopathy.

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[EDIT: mjlonsda beat me to it! I’m too verbose I guess…]

I believe you’re misinterpreting that quote. It comes after this paragraph:

But Henein said the defendant’s right not to take the witness box is integral to the presumption of innocence in requiring the state to prove its case.

Thus it is talking about the STATE having to prove the crime, which is exactly correct (as it has to do in any other crime, including your hypothetical car theft). If you don’t have a case unless the accused incriminates themselves… you don’t have a case.

Unfortunately in rape cases it often comes down to the victim testifying, as they are often the only witness to the crime and sometimes there is no physical evidence (like your car being absent from your driveway, but present at the chop shop being clear evidence of theft. Not much room for reasonable doubt there…).

I think the Ghomeshi case was ineptly handled and the prosecutors did a piss poor job of preparing their witnesses, but IANAL so what do I know…


if you really want to eliminate rape/violence, remove these people from participation in the gene pool…!!
10/20 generations would do it…!!

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You mean all people? That would do it even faster. But if you think all evil springs from evil genes, I have to disagree.


Sociopathy==clinical term. Try better!

25 posts were merged into an existing topic: Eugenics?

TL;DR, because the many pages spent on the why really doesn’t matter. Rape is committing violence and should be punished as such. The headline includes the headline, argument, and conclusion all in one gloriously concise truth. Cory could take a headline lesson here.


I think that Humbabella wasn’t arguing with the concept of innocent until proven guilty; I think she was essentially saying that, only in rape is the victim treated with such skepticism that she/he must first “prove” that a crime had even been committed in the first place. (@Humbabella, correct me if I’ve interpreted you incorrectly!)


Agree, it was pretty clear @Humbabella was saying that proving a crime existed should be the job of law enforcement, not the burden of the accuser, and in no other violent crime other than rape do we require the accuser to prove the crime.


9 posts were merged into an existing topic: Eugenics?

For the record: he.


How do we breed them out when they won’t admit to what they’re doing?


Is that Humbabella’s chosen pronoun, given their selection of a non-binary gender on driver’s license?