View previous topic | View next topic

Assault vs Sexual Assault - a civilised debate

Page 3 of 9
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next

Celebaelin
1372130.  Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:41 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
When no lawyer ever asks a man who has been assaulted what he was wearing, what time of night it was and whether he was sober, and uses his answers to claim that the assaulter was therefore tempted and the victim is in some way to blame, and that the assaulter shouldn't have his life ruined for one silly mistake, we can start parsing out the difference between common sense self-protection and systemic misogyny.

 
Celebaelin
1372131.  Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:42 pm Reply with quote

AlmondFacialBar wrote:
Jenny wrote:
When no lawyer ever asks a man who has been assaulted what he was wearing, what time of night it was and whether he was sober, and uses his answers to claim that the assaulter was therefore tempted and the victim is in some way to blame, and that the assaulter shouldn't have his life ruined for one silly mistake, we can start parsing out the difference between common sense self-protection and systemic misogyny.


This! Also...

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/15/world/europe/ireland-underwear-rape-case-protest.html

 
Celebaelin
1372132.  Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:43 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
When no lawyer ever asks a man who has been assaulted what he was wearing, what time of night it was and whether he was sober, and uses his answers to claim that the assaulter was therefore tempted and the victim is in some way to blame...

Celebaelin wrote:
...there are those who would criticise my choice of attire as a younger man for making people feel uneasy; I have been known to argue that that is their problem not mine and that nothing in my behaviour indicates any threatening intent.

Celebaelin wrote:
If you’ve been drinking at all the chances are that the outcome will be nothing more than a police taxi ride home for the aggressor...

Additionally I've been challenged by the police on more than one occasion* for walking around after the hours of darkness; naturally this is widely considered a damning admission because there is, as is well known, no smoke without fire.

I think you have to accept that there are some parallels.

* by which I mean a couple of times I've had a police car mount the pavement in front of me at some speed cutting off my forward progress and the officers then literally leap out of the car and demand at some volume and with some urgency that I justify my presence on the street at that time.

Quote:
The police can stop and question you at any time - they can search you depending on the situation.

A police community support officer (PCSO) must be in uniform when they stop and question you. A police officer doesn’t always have to be in uniform but if they’re not wearing uniform they must show you their warrant card.

https://www.gov.uk/police-powers-to-stop-and-search-your-rights

 
Celebaelin
1372133.  Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:43 pm Reply with quote

crissdee wrote:
I too have been stopped a non-zero number of times on suspicion of "being out after bedtime" or some such bolleaux.

 
Celebaelin
1372134.  Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:43 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Celebaelin wrote:

I think you have to accept that there are some parallels.


I think you may have missed the part of my post where I did not discuss the circumstances of the police or anybody else stopping you in the street, but of a subsequent court case where the lawyer asks you about what you were wearing, your sobriety and why you were out after dark in the first place, and uses your answers to claim that there should therefore be a reduced consequence for your assailant.

 
Celebaelin
1372135.  Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:44 pm Reply with quote

Snark!

Jenny I never knew you had it in you!

Firstly asking a person such questions with a screeching of brakes and raised voices 'out of the blue' is a lot more unsettling and traumatic than being asked the same question in safe and controlled circumstances - and yet it is still a given of police powers that they are allowed to behave in such a manner and to ask you your business in any place at any time and under certain circumstances to search you as well. Women, generally speaking, are less likely to be subjected to this treatment. In the event of a crime being perpetrated by or upon a person 'out after bedtime' as crissdee put it the police will almost certainly imply one way or another that they did say it was something they're not generally keen on.

Secondly, not that this is a good thing, we're perforce dealing with how things are not how they should be; I refer you to my previous point about bloody-mindedness and I remind you that I'm as likely, if not more so, to exhibit bloody-minded behaviour as anyone else. To hyperbolise somewhat it's as if someone playing hide and seek were playing a trumpet and wearing a strobe light on their head; there's nothing in the rules that says you can't, indeed there's no reason why you should be criticised for doing so, but it seems obvious that if that is your choice it may well influence the progress of the game.

That a lawyer brings up a given circumstance suggests that the details have been entered into the account submitted by the police (I'm not familiar with the terminology) as they see it as in some way contributory to the background of the case. Again IMO ideally nobody should feel constricted from any reasonable behaviour because of the criminal activities of a section of society but the practicalities are that the world cannot (and for reasons of privacy and liberty IMO should not) be policed in its entirety at all times and private individuals are encouraged to cooperate with the police by considering their own circumstances in light of the fact that criminal acts might be perpetrated against them by bad people and from which for practical reasons they cannot always be protected by a police presence.

Quote:
Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962)

People have a perfect right to dress how they wish within reasonable limits and a justifiable expectation that any offences committed against them should not be mitigated in terms of severity because of their choices in that regard. However if you were to examine the numbers I doubt you would find that football fans openly advertising their preferred team are treated as sympathetically by the courts when they are assaulted for doing so as those who are unobtrusively attired. I may be wrong about that and it is certainly not reasonable that clothing should be considered as mitigation in the motive for any assault but if the statistics and/or 'common knowledge' suggest that wearing a football shirt makes you more likely to be assaulted then one has to question the wisdom of doing so when alone (or nearly so or, I suppose, at all). Is the court right in differentiating on the basis of clothing in this case? It is far from unknown for public order to deteriorate at and around football matches so I suppose there is a rather obvious argument concerned with the notion of self preservation rather than placing the burden of protection on the state and in particular the police as the appropriate organ of said state.

I'll close out on another quote out of so very many on which Eleanor Roosevelt and I are in one mind.

Quote:
When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962)

Since I would not presume to suggest that she had not considered the full ramifications of what she was saying I can only assume that she too wished that it were not in fact necessary to have a police force at all as we know it but alas we are headed towards the Sci-Fi territory of Minority Report at that point.

 
Celebaelin
1372136.  Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:45 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Cele I am very capable of snark - I just restrain myself most of the time!

I hate to keep assaulting this deceased equine but it seems to me that there is a howling great blind spot in all your reasoning.

Your analogy to football fans fails completely, in my opinion.

If a young woman goes to a night club, is she supposed to dress in the kind of 'unobtrusive' clothes you might wear to a football match? I assume you agree that she is entitled to a) go to a night club and b) wear night-club-appropriate clothing.

Should a young woman out 'after bedtime' be required to have an escort?

Should a young woman limit her alcohol intake? The answer to this one, for a man or a woman, perhaps should be 'yes' from the point of view of health. However, in the case of being the victim of rape I suggest to you that if a man was the victim of rape, the extent of his lack of sobriety would not be an issue in the subsequent trial of his rapist, and if he was drunk it would not be seen as a reason for his rapist not to have a life ruined by a conviction for rape. This has been the case in many examples of rapes of women. Moreover, it is undeniably the case that many men will ply a woman with alcohol for the express purpose of taking sexual advantage of her later. So should women not drink at all when in company with men?

Look, what you are saying essentially agrees with the lawyerly tactic of shifting the blame from the assaulter to the victim by implying that if only she were not dressed provocatively/out alone/drunk she would not have been assaulted and therefore there is less blame to be attributed to the rapist, whereas in fact women have been raped when none of those things apply.

https://www.cnn.com/2016/06/06/us/sexual-assault-brock-turner-stanford/index.html

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/rape-drunk-women-consent-police-new-york-andrew-cuomo-a9087301.html

https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/08/do-cautionary-measures-let-rapists-off-the-hook/497663/

https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh25-1/43-51.htm

 
Celebaelin
1372137.  Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:46 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
I hate to keep assaulting this deceased equine but it seems to me that there is a howling great blind spot in all your reasoning.

It's fine by me Jenny - how could either of us persuade the other that their reasoning is partisan except by stating and defending a point of view? Each of us setting out our appreciation of the matter in a non-acrimonious manner is how these things should be done; it is the premature abandonment of the discourse rather than its pursuit which allows unjust attitudes and opinions to become thoughtlessly entrenched rather than reaching a potentially eye-opening and rewarding conclusion.

That said civilised resolution of differences in opinion necessarily requires that the areas of disagreement are emphasised and debated - to whit:

Jenny wrote:
Your analogy to football fans fails completely, in my opinion.

To set the ball rolling as it were let's get the semantics out of the way - I wouldn't agree that this is an analogy as much as a comparison of two different activities of young people at leisure.

This comparison between attending football matches and attending night clubs is not a staggeringly close parallel in and of itself (numbers, clear schism of allegiance, access to alcohol on site) but neither circumstance is theoretical so the attitudes of the police and the regard of the legal system applied to people enjoying either activity should be open to examination on a similar basis.

• Both activities tend to promote the wearing of specific forms of attire.
• Both activities are social events after which violent conflict is relatively common.
• Both activities are part of a 'self reward process' as regards the expenditure of disposable income and are used by many participants to emphasise that fact.

I think the parallels are quite strong.

Jenny wrote:
If a young woman goes to a night club, is she supposed to dress in the kind of 'unobtrusive' clothes you might wear to a football match?

My point is that wearing a club shirt to show who you're supporting at a football match is neither uncommon nor unobtrusive - it is accepted as a clear statement of solidarity with the efforts of the players on the pitch. Additionally wearing a football shirt would be likely/certain to prevent you from entering a night club as the bouncers wouldn't let you in the door - this is implicit, and possibly explicit, evidence of the provocative nature of that mode of dress. As far as I'm concerned a young woman is not supposed to dress in any particular manner at all; the contrast between even 'professional' work clothes and more flamboyant and possibly expensive night-club clothes is readily apparent however - I'll cite the example of the colour of men's suits. When challenged with 'and you're gonna walk home in that are you?' the answer surprisingly often quickly changes from 'yeah, why not?' to 'nah, I'll get a taxi' - just saying. FWIW I actively dislike night clubs and I do so at least in part because of the restrictions they place on those deemed worthy of admittance though as I understand it some people relish that illusion of exclusivity.

Wearing a supporters shirt to a football match is not unusual - it is in fact so common as to be practically expected - but it is recognised as definitively polarising and in spite of the implicit provocation still in some cases worn even outside football related environments.

Jenny wrote:
I assume you agree that she is entitled to a) go to a night club and b) wear night-club-appropriate clothing.

She is absolutely entitled to do both those things, yes, but the wisdom of it is what is in question.

Jenny wrote:
Should a young woman out 'after bedtime' be required to have an escort?

You are emphasising the sex of the theoretical person here - why is this relevant? To answer you directly my response is 'obviously not' but the question is moot to a large extent as people tend to go out to meet up with their friends and many do not travel to their ultimate destination alone.

Jenny wrote:
Should a young woman limit her alcohol intake? The answer to this one, for a man or a woman, perhaps should be 'yes' from the point of view of health. However, in the case of being the victim of rape I suggest to you that if a man was the victim of rape, the extent of his lack of sobriety would not be an issue in the subsequent trial of his rapist,

Yes; getting tanked up is taking a risk in all sorts of ways so every individual must live with the consequences of having made that decision no matter who you are, where you are or why you did it.

Reported rape of a male is almost unknown - I have no means of drawing any generalised comparison because as far as the official statistics are concerned men, drunk or otherwise, essentially do not get raped. There is however one prominent case we know about because the attacker filmed himself in execution of the crimes.

Quote:
Reynhard Sinaga, 36, a mature student from Indonesia, is thought by police to have abused at least 195 men over two and a half years after luring them to his flat under the guise of being a “good samaritan”, drugging his victims and then attacking them after they passed out. All but four of the 48 victims whose cases came to court were raped.

The student was proved to have committed 159 offences, including 136 rapes, which he filmed on two mobile phones. Police have yet to identify at least 70 of his victims.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jan/06/reynhard-sinaga-jailed-life-drugging-raping-men-manchester

Jenny wrote:
and if he was drunk it would not be seen as a reason for his rapist not to have a life ruined by a conviction for rape.

Unless you can cite statistics to the contrary I suggest that this is speculation.

Jenny wrote:
Moreover, it is undeniably the case that many men will ply a woman with alcohol for the express purpose of taking sexual advantage of her later.

If you're worried about accepting drinks from strangers then, well, don't; it's the slightly, but not much, more grown up version of kiddies being tempted by sweeties anyway. If an individual is of a mind to enter into a social situation then perhaps 'How about I buy you one instead?' should be put to use; personally I usually say 'I'd rather you didn't, I don't want to get into buying rounds'.

Jenny wrote:
So should women not drink at all when in company with men?

Not if they don't want to.

Quote:
undeniably... many... express purpose...

What sort of company are you keeping? Sorry to be so facetious but I do question your use of each of those words.

Jenny wrote:
Look, what you are saying essentially agrees with the lawyerly tactic of shifting the blame from the assaulter to the victim

I don't accept that in those terms; I'm suggesting that people make deliberate choices and should accept some measure of responsibility for them given a foreknowledge of the nastier and more volatile elements of society. What you are suggesting is that the individual can abdicate responsibility simply by metaphorically saying 'Well, they shouldn't'. We all know they shouldn't, if that wasn't the standpoint of society as a whole there would be no crime committed in the first place for the question of mitigation to arise. The question we're addressing - or attempting to address - is 'If, taking as a given the knowledge that there are bad people in the world who will place their own wants and needs above individual liberties, certain modes of dress and/or behaviour might encourage or enrage other persons to the extent that they resort to a physical assault of some kind to gratify their baser passions is it incumbent on the individual either to accept the element of additional risk involved in not making any concessions to that or to modify their choices of dress and/or behaviour accordingly?' Your answer is no, mine is yes (although with an added shot of yah boo sucks 'cos you don't get to tell me how to conduct my life - I take possession of responsibility by making my own choices).

Jenny wrote:
by implying that if only she were not dressed provocatively/out alone/drunk she would not have been assaulted

When I write

Quote:
by implying that if only he were not dressed provocatively/out alone/drunk he would not have been assaulted

and place it in the context of football attire does that make it any more reasonable?

Jenny wrote:
and therefore there is less blame to be attributed to the rapist, whereas in fact women have been raped when none of those things apply.

Similarly if I modify your sentence to read

Quote:
and therefore there is less blame to be attributed to the assailant, whereas in fact people have been assaulted when none of those things apply.

is the situation not comparable?

My standpoint is that the choices individuals make are a matter of personal preference and that while individual liberties assuredly exist which do not prohibit or restrict the making of such choices the wisdom of them is questionable when circumstances may arise under which those preferences become an identifying factor in a perceived announcement of preparedness for a given form of societal interplay. That a willingness to enter into conflict or congress (or possibly both) is not implied by alcohol intake, manner of dress or group size is certainly so; the chances of either one occurring however are on average increased by the first being large, the second being provocative and the third being small.

I'd call that a parallel.

Quote:
"Judge Persky failed to see that the fact that Brock Turner is a white male star athlete at a prestigious university does not entitle him to leniency," the petition read. "He also failed to send the message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class, race, gender or other factors. Please help rectify this travesty to justice."

https://www.cnn.com/2016/06/06/us/sexual-assault-brock-turner-stanford/index.html

I don't see that this adds anything I hadn't already considered.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/rape-drunk-women-consent-police-new-york-andrew-cuomo-a9087301.html

Did you include this link to point out that morally reprehensible and illegal are not synonymous? This is often the case in a wide range of instances and regularly a major factor in terms of my assessment of people's character - and yet rolling drunks for fun and profit (which is both) is still a thing. That usually happens on the street of course and under circumstances where the assailant is untraceable.

Quote:
The point of me sharing this story is this: We can and will always find an excuse to explain why assaults happen until we decide that rape and assault are not inevitable constant forces. I’m tired of hearing excuses for why men assault women. Let’s stop excusing away assault and actually hold perpetrators accountable rather than accepting a scenario where we encourage young women to police themselves in the hope that some other woman will end up being the rape victim.

https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/08/do-cautionary-measures-let-rapists-off-the-hook/497663/

I think I would have to concede that rape and assault are indeed in my view 'inevitable constant forces' for the foreseeable future - they are at any rate a fact of existence related to our evolutionary history as surely as are reproductive imperative and social hierarchies. Perhaps the author is confusing 'excuses' and 'explanations' but in any event when caught the perpetrators of such crimes are held accountable. In addition to that everybody is encouraged to police themselves - everybody; the use of phraseology that narrows that universal pressure down to a particular group ignores the universality in order to suggest that it is unfair to or repressive of a particular element of society.

Quote:
Alcohol contributes to sexual assault through multiple pathways, often exacerbating existing risk factors. Beliefs about alcohol’s effects on sexual and aggressive behavior, stereotypes about drinking women, and alcohol’s effects on cognitive and motor skills contribute to alcohol-involved sexual assault. Despite advances in researchers’ understanding of the relationships between alcohol consumption and sexual assault, many questions still need to be addressed in future studies.

https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh25-1/43-51.htm
People do stuff they shouldn't and normally wouldn't when they're drunk. Is that the point you were highlighting because it seems to be pretty much all that paper is saying although they don't have a Conclusions section so it's difficult to tell. If I myself wasn't so often guilty of leaving a sentence unfinished before moving on I'd also be asking where the rest of the 'Beliefs' sentence is. That's not a good thing to let through in a peer reviewed journal; particularly up front in the section usually headed 'Abstract'.

 
Celebaelin
1372138.  Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:47 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Cele let me point you to a few facts and figures trawled out fromthis. All of these seem to me to have almost nothing to do with the conduct of the victim in the circumstance.

Quote:
In 1994 victims reported about 1 rape/sexual assault victimization of
a female victim for every 270 females in the general population; for males, the rate was substantially lower, with about 1 rape/sexual assault of a male victim for every 5,000 male residents age 12 or older.

Overall, an estimated 91% of the victims of rape and sexual assault
were female. Nearly 99% of the offenders they described in single-victim incidents were male.

About two-thirds of rapes/sexual assaults were found to occur during the 12 hours from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Nearly 6 out of 10 rape/sexual assault incidents were reported by victims to have occurred in their own home or at the home of a friend, relative, or neighbor.

More than half of rape/sexual assault incidents were reported by victims to have occurred within 1 mile of their home or at their home.

About 9 out of 10 rape/sexual assault victimizations involved a single offender, according to victims' reports.

Three out of four rape/sexual assault victimizations involved offenders (both single- and multiple-offender incidents) with whom the victim had a prior relationship as a family member, intimate, or acquaintance. Strangers accounted for nearly 20% of the victimizations involving a single offender but 76% of the victimizations involving multiple offenders. About 7% of all rape/sexual assault victimizations involved multiple offenders who were strangers to the victim


There's an interesting article here about what's involved in defending somebody from a rape charge.

My view there is that I have no problem with a defence lawyer using questioning to ascertain if a person charged is factually guilty.

My problem is with using the behaviour of the victim to reduce the consequences of the assault to a guilty assailant, or even for there to be no consequences at all.

To save myself a lot of abbreviating, I'll point you to a useful article that links to a lot of sources.

Given all these facts, are you surprised that the women around this forum aren't taking your thoughts about this lightly?

 
Celebaelin
1372139.  Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:48 pm Reply with quote

Jenny - I'm happy to pursue this and continue to discuss the points we've touched upon but I think this is the wrong thread to do it on. If you can separate out the relevant posts from post 1370598 to this one and put them in a thread in WFHIT we can leave the denizens of these boards to their Vents of varying sorts. If you can't do this I'll do what I can to shift copies of the text over so we can argue the toss without bothering other posters.

Jenny wrote:
...are you surprised that the women around this forum aren't taking your thoughts about this lightly?

Not in the slightest and I'm gratified that they're not - it's a controversial opinion to give voice to and I didn't expect female posters with an interest in such matters to welcome with open arms the expression of a hitherto in these circles rarely voiced wider interpretation of the legal standpoint you are criticising. In case it is not apparent I should be at pains to say that when I do so it is not intended as an attack on feminism and the many injustices it has highlighted or the societal freedoms it has brought about. I am entirely sympathetic to the questioning of accepted values but as a rule it is important that when doing so an argument be rock-solid and impartial or it will be derided and discarded. Part of that is examining the handling of comparable circumstances and the across the board consistency in application of accepted practices; in this case the laws regarding assault and, with regard to your specific example, sexual assault/rape.

I was going to carry on but I shall leave that until the discussion finds a new home where it doesn't interrupt those uninterested in reading it.


Last edited by Celebaelin on Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:42 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Celebaelin
1372140.  Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:48 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Cele - forgive me but I think I've said everything I want to say on the topic now. People can read it and make up their own minds.

 
Celebaelin
1372141.  Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:53 pm Reply with quote

That gets us up to date; I shall construct my reply to the content of post 1372138 later as it is coming up on 1 am at the moment and the topic deserves my full and careful attention.

 
Celebaelin
1372212.  Tue Jan 19, 2021 3:31 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Cele let me point you to a few facts and figures trawled out fromthis. All of these seem to me to have almost nothing to do with the conduct of the victim in the circumstance.

That's because that document doesn't examine any data of that nature at all - possibly because it might be viewed as sexist to do so. We don't have access to the raw US data or an analysis of it in order to draw conclusions about any presence or absence of a statistical link.

I am not contesting the disparity between the incidence of male and female victims what I am suggesting is that male and female victims of assault and sexual assault (although I can establish little of the treatment of male victims of sexual assault) are treated comparably by the legal system after the event. Before I get into that however here are some appraisals of reporting:

Quote:
We assessed 12-month prevalence and incidence data on sexual victimization in 5 federal surveys that the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted independently in 2010 through 2012. We used these data to examine the prevailing assumption that men rarely experience sexual victimization. We concluded that federal surveys detect a high prevalence of sexual victimization among men—in many circumstances similar to the prevalence found among women. We identified factors that perpetuate misperceptions about men’s sexual victimization: reliance on traditional gender stereotypes, outdated and inconsistent definitions, and methodological sampling biases that exclude inmates. We recommend changes that move beyond regressive gender assumptions, which can harm both women and men.

The Sexual Victimization of Men in America: New Data Challenge Old Assumptions
Lara Stemple, JD and Ilan H. Meyer, PhD
Am J Public Health. 2014 June; 104(6) Published online 2014 June
Quote:
The odds of men reporting rape are less than those for women, but both men and women are more likely to report victimization when there was physical evidence of the crime to corroborate their claims. Women, but not men, were affected by such considerations as whether the assailant is a relative, whether a weapon was present, education and income background, and whether or not something was stolen during the rape.

Gender Differences in Rape Reporting
Sex Roles, Vol. 40, Nos. 11/12, 1999
Nathan W. Pino, Robert F. Meier

Personally I doubt that the figures for male and female victims would ever equalise but that might be an inherent bias on my part so we must await further investigation in that regard.

Jenny wrote:
There's an interesting article here about what's involved in defending somebody from a rape charge.

Quote:
All participants in the system need to be clear about the where the boundaries are when defending sexual assault cases. Prosecutors need to object to improper questions and arguments by defence counsel. Judges need to sustain those objections. Defence lawyers need to refrain from asking improper questions or making improper arguments in the first place.

Seems about right to me. There may however be some disagreement about what is considered an improper question – this is the subject of our debate. If I were to suggest that a male victim of an assault charge is likely to hear it read into evidence in court from a police officer’s notes that ‘both parties had been drinking’ would you contest that or find it improper that the observation was made? If not where lies the distinction?

Jenny wrote:
My problem is with using the behaviour of the victim to reduce the consequences of the assault to a guilty assailant, or even for there to be no consequences at all.

The instances cited all look like failures of the judicial system to me but without precise details it’s difficult to be sure. The convicted rapist doctor walking free is bewildering but there must be some reason why this adjudication was made of which we are left unaware. Whether that is in any way a justification for the decision of the court must be in some considerable doubt.

It transpires that this was a decision made by the jury of 5 women and 7 men in Texas and as such not a reflection on the legal system.
https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Ex-Baylor-doctor-awaits-sentence-for-sexual-13163835.php
https://abc13.com/why-did-jurors-choose-probation-for-doctor-in-patients-rape/4011331/

Jenny wrote:
To save myself a lot of abbreviating, I'll point you to a useful article that links to a lot of sources

The emphasis on Minnesota, while it is likely to be indicative of a systemic dismissive attitude to reported sexual offences in that state, must surely be considered as evidence only for common practice in Minnesota not for the legal system as a whole in the US much less an indication of practice in the UK. I assure you I am not insensitive to injustice or the failures of the legal system.

I re-iterate that the point I have been trying to convey throughout was my dismay at the distinction being drawn between assaults on women and those on men. Initially this arose through instance of persons having the temerity to walk alone at night in poorly lit areas where assaults are, for obvious reasons, easier to conduct with impunity and therefore more likely. As it stands this is a non sex-related observation that certain behaviours and environments decrease the chances of an individual being attacked and therefore, relatively speaking, others will increase them.

Your persistent referencing of incidents of sexual assault and rape carries with it an inherent weighting towards sex-based analysis (although as we have seen the weighting is subject to some question at least in terms of extent) and thus places the reader in the mindset that police attitudes and the questioning used by defence lawyers are designed to undermine the surety of conviction only in rape cases. My assertion (which covers the English judicial system alone) is that they are not and that all assault cases are influenced by either identical or comparable factors. In my experience the most significant of these factors is alcohol consumption – if both victim and assailant have been drinking (as is very likely in this country under normal circumstances) the police will not even pursue the matter and the assailant will simply get the aforementioned ‘police taxi home’. The number of instances of assault and actual bodily harm which go unreported is staggeringly high in my experience although for obvious reasons I cannot cite statistics. The number of reported assaults which do not result in criminal proceedings would serve only to add to the implication, as some would see it, that the legal system is deliberately allowing violent criminals to escape justice.

As I understand it sexual assault is viewed as more serious in the UK than many places; in terms of offences against the person sentences for rape are second only to those for murder – assigned custodial periods are in the range of 4-19 years although life imprisonment is a possibility.
https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/offences/crown-court/item/rape/

As such a considered and serious examination of the victim (even if the victim is not the person reporting the crime) as well as the person(s) accused is warranted. The law dictates that this is so and quite rightly so in any legal system where the onus of proof is on the prosecution.

I am however being drawn away from my point again which is that physical location, alcohol consumption by the victim and manner of dress are considered as contributory factors in assaults against males and that many males factor one or more of these elements into their decisions. Consequently this is not an example of sex-based victimisation or the imposition of a demand that women conduct any greater degree of self-analysis with respect to their conduct than men do. To assert that women should be exempt from being forced into decisions which prioritise personal safety over freedom of choice is an artificial distinction because the freedom to behave as you wish does exist for both sexes. This personal self-determination is conceded alongside an expectation that the responsibility for making such a choice against a background of potentially violent illegal acts on the part of others rests with the person making the decision. Rightly or wrongly the crux of the matter is that irrespective of sex to a certain extent the court regards the protection of the personal safety of the individual with as much seriousness as they themselves regard it and will reflect that in its sentencing.


Last edited by Celebaelin on Tue Jan 19, 2021 3:56 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
CB27
1372214.  Tue Jan 19, 2021 3:55 pm Reply with quote

Going away from the extremes, as they don't apply to the majority of people...

Do you think a man in an outfit he wears for going to work in an office, or going out for the night, is more likely to be physically assaulted than a man wearing non designer jeans and top? Or more to the point, do you think his clothing will be considered as something he should have thought about before going down an alleyway?

Then consider a whether you'd consider a woman in a knee length skirt, blouse and modest heels as more likely to be physically assaulted than one dressed in non designer baggy jeans and baggy top? Or more to the point, wouldn't her choice of clothing be very likely to be one of the first questions that people will ask about is she was attacked?

This is not just about whether someone is more likely to be attacked or not, it's also about whether we immediately apportion some blame on the victim or not.

This leads me sideways to the problem I have with many religions and their rules of modesty for women which are so much more stricter than for men. They openly pronounce that it's natural for men not to be able to control themselves, so it's the fault of the woman if she's attacked. The reason I bring this up is because you have to remember that most of Europe, the US and elsewhere were also living under very religious codes only a few generations ago, so many of our legal and social attitudes are still inherited from these times and it's up to us to stop them.

 
Celebaelin
1372223.  Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:58 pm Reply with quote

You've already divided this along sex-based lines as a pre-supposition but I'll oblige you temporarily.

CB27 wrote:
Do you think a man in an outfit he wears for going to work in an office, or going out for the night, is more likely to be physically assaulted than a man wearing non designer jeans and top?

I'm suggesting that work clothes (1), night club clothes (2), jeans and a football shirt (3) and jeans and plain T shirt (4) are all separate categories and by no means are they the only categories. For the sake of argument however I would guess the order of likelihood of attack (by % rather than numbers) to be 3, 2, 4, 1.

CB27 wrote:
Or more to the point, do you think his clothing will be considered as something he should have thought about before going down an alleyway?

Definitely. That changes things entirely to the point where (to someone who is so inclined opportunistically or habitually) a business suit is more or less an invitation to get mugged and have your money, phone etc. taken.

<E> With apologies I'm editing by adding this section because I misread that initially and skipped the words 'considered as'. I'm pretty certain that should the situation arise most people would at the very least think twice before heading down a dark alley in work clothes@ for the reasons I outlined in my initial response. However I'm less certain that the court would consider it as a mitigating circumstance on the part of the assailant irrespective of the sex of the victim. This is not the scenario in which I envisaged any mitigating circumstance we have discussed arising; I was picturing a series of events where the assailant and the victim had previously had at least some social interaction over either a brief (i.e. that day/evening or some part of it) or an extended time period and some form of misunderstanding or conflict had arisen.

CB27 wrote:
Then consider a whether you'd consider a woman in a knee length skirt, blouse and modest heels as more likely to be physically assaulted than one dressed in non designer baggy jeans and baggy top?

Again there are a whole range of dress options available but playing along and with all other factors being equal I'd imagine the former is at greater risk of assault.

CB27 wrote:
Or more to the point, wouldn't her choice of clothing be very likely to be one of the first questions that people will ask about is she was attacked?

I don't know, would it? I think you need to define 'people' and 'one of the first' - running through it in my head as a police interview then I'm thinking not one of the first five or so 'establishing' questions under any circumstance and hopefully not before the victims account of events. The alcohol question might come before a victims account however and it may well be repeated afterwards - from experience and trusting to memory it is a question that's asked (even when the answer is already known) at least in part to gauge openness and honesty on the part of the interviewee.

CB27 wrote:
This is not just about whether someone is more likely to be attacked or not, it's also about whether we immediately apportion some blame on the victim or not.

Immediately? Whatever the precise circumstances this is not as absolute as blame which always rests with the perpetrator of a crime. Jenny's argument is about the justification or otherwise for mitigation of sentence for a guilty party because of a victims choices. Mine is about acceptance of the de facto additional risk of certain behaviours in advance of any crime being committed and the fact that the court too considers this. Jenny's argument is moralistic and appears to be confined to sexual assault and rape contending that this is almost exclusively perpetrated by males on females. My argument is pragmatic and applies across both sexes and all categories of assault.

CB27 wrote:
...you have to remember that most of Europe, the US and elsewhere were also living under very religious codes only a few generations ago, so many of our legal and social attitudes are still inherited from these times and it's up to us to stop them.

An admirable suggestion but you confine yourself to a sex-specific point when it is my contention that in relatively recent times in the UK (as of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 or perhaps earlier and with regard to non-sexual assault the Offences against the Person Act 1861*, the Criminal Justice Act 1988 and the Crime and Disorder Act 1998) the application of these considerations deliberately transcends matters exclusively regarding the sex of the victim.

Quote:
Je n’avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là.
[I had no need of that hypothesis.]

Pierre-Simon, marquis de Laplace (1749–1827)

@ or for that matter in certain instances night club clothes or a football shirt in the hours following an event at which many locally had been in attendance or were aware of; necessarily the exact nature and/or sequence of events will vary.

* I'm making an assumption here based on the fact that to the best of my knowledge at least portions of the Act are still applicable.

Incidentally I think that page carries a misprint and that specified offences refers to the Sentencing Act 2020 Section 266 not 226; Section 226 refers to lack of legal representation which is not pertinent to the matter at hand.


Last edited by Celebaelin on Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:18 am; edited 1 time in total

 

Page 3 of 9
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next

All times are GMT - 5 Hours


Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group