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Rape Victims Should Have 'moral Responsibility' 

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  #1  
Old 10-31-2013, 06:23 PM
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Rape Victims Should Have 'moral Responsibility'

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Some rape victims have a “moral responsibility” for their fate, a leading barrister has suggested.

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Barbara Hewson, a human rights and civil liberties lawyer, made the comments as she attacked the “ideology of sexual victimisation” which she said has come to dominate discussion of rape.
She also expressed doubts over the “long term damaging effects” of rape and criticised the view that the offence was “morally absolutely unambiguous” with the victim “utterly innocent” and the “victimiser ... utterly guilty”.
Miss Hewson made her outspoken comments in a debate on the subject at the LSE earlier this week, saying: “We need to make a distinction between legal responsibility and moral responsibility.
“The law does not attribute any responsibility now to the victim of rape whereas traditionally we know the judge would say when they came to sentence ‘well she was contributorally (sic) negligent’ or something like that.”

Miss Hewson, a barrister at Hardwicke Chambers, added: “It seems to me, simply factually, we all know if you’re drunk you are more likely to have accidents. So if you fall off a bar stool and hit you head and have a serous brain injury because you’re drunk people are gong to say well you chose to be drunk.
“So it does seem to me something a little sanitised about the idea that (when discussing rape) we cannot even have a discussion about the moral responsibility whatever people may want to say about the legal responsibility.”
Miss Hewson, 52, who lives in Islington, north London, dismissed what she saw as four “components” of the dominant “ideology of sexual victimisation” surrounding rape.
“The first is the idea that rape and sexual abuse is very widespread but largely unrecognised even by victims themselves who need to be taught to realise what’s really happened.
“Secondly, that it has long term damaging effects. Thirdly that its morally absolutely unambiguous, the victim is utterly innocent and the victimiser is utterly guilty and this is infinitesimal. And finally that claims of victimisation must always be respected, anything less is victim-blaming.”
She said some rape victims spent too much time blaming failings in their personal and professional lives on their ordeals, adding: “It becomes the cause of everything that goes wrong in life.”
Her intervention has been strongly condemned by rape charities. Fiona Elvines, from Rape Crisis, said: “Barbara Hewson shows how out of touch she is with the realities of sexual violence. As a society, we have moved on from the rape myths she continues to propagate.”
Her comments come at a time of intense debate over the prosecution of sex offence cases and the treatment of victims in court.
In February this year, Frances Andrade, 48, killed herself shortly after giving evidence against a couple accused of sexually abusing her as a youngster.
Her husband said she had been “incensed” by the questioning of her by the prosecution.
In August, Robert Colover, a prosecution barrister, faced criticism after he described a 13-year-old victim as “predatory”.
And it is not the first time that Miss Hewson has courted controversy on the issue.
The University of Cambridge graduate attacked the decision to double the sentence for Stuart Hall, the broadcaster, following his conviction, after he admitted 14 counts of indecent against girls aged from nine to 17 between 1967 and 1985
Mr Hall’s original sentence of 15 months was doubled to 30 months after public outrage over the perceived leniency of the initial decision.
Miss Hewson has also previously called for the age of consent to be lowered to 13 and criticised the “witch-hunt” of ageing celebrities accused of sexual abuse.

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  #2  
Old 10-31-2013, 07:01 PM
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Re: Rape Victims Should Have 'moral Responsibility'

One wonders whether in all crimes in the UK if they consider contributory factors like if you're drunk, pass out and get robbed, does this somehow lessen the culpability of the robber who simply 'couldn't resist?' Or perhaps if you walk out of your house to go to the store forgetting to lock your door, if a thief is victimized by the temptation to steal your flat screen TV...

"So if you fall off a bar stool and hit you[r] head and have a seirous brain injury because you’re drunk people are gong to say, well you chose to be drunk."

So to use this logic, if a woman acts provocatively, she's inviting rape?

Actually, I think this woman's problem is that she can't get anyone to give her a second glance no matter the intent.

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  #3  
Old 10-31-2013, 07:34 PM
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Re: Rape Victims Should Have 'moral Responsibility'

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Originally Posted by Broadjumper View Post

So to use this logic, if a woman acts provocatively, she's inviting rape?
If you leave a bag of cash on the seat of your car, and leave the doors unlocked, are you inviting theft?

If you walk into a Black Panthers convention in a KKK costume, are you inviting an assault?

Neither instance lessens the culpability of the criminal, but in the presence of a real and present danger, it's perfectly reasonable advocate taking precautions.

All the slut walks in the world won't end the threat of rape, and the message to many young girls is that it's "empowering" to take risks with your personal safety.

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Old 10-31-2013, 09:07 PM
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Re: Rape Victims Should Have 'moral Responsibility'

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Originally Posted by GlowingGhoul View Post
If you leave a bag of cash on the seat of your car, and leave the doors unlocked, are you inviting theft?

If you walk into a Black Panthers convention in a KKK costume, are you inviting an assault?

Neither instance lessens the culpability of the criminal, but in the presence of a real and present danger, it's perfectly reasonable advocate taking precautions.

All the slut walks in the world won't end the threat of rape, and the message to many young girls is that it's "empowering" to take risks with your personal safety.
No one said that it's WISE to tempt fate, the POINT is that the 'victims' in these cases aren't engaging in illegal activities, (although you could argue that the Klan member was guilty of trespass) the perpetrators are...can ya understand the difference?

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Old 10-31-2013, 10:47 PM
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Re: Rape Victims Should Have 'moral Responsibility'

I completely disagree with her opinion. Rape is committed by aware human beings. Comparing rape to falling off a stool because you were drunk is beyond stupid.

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Old 11-01-2013, 12:42 AM
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Re: Rape Victims Should Have 'moral Responsibility'

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Originally Posted by GlowingGhoul View Post
If you leave a bag of cash on the seat of your car, and leave the doors unlocked, are you inviting theft?
Just to be clear, you own that green Chevy that's parked near the fence?

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Old 11-01-2013, 01:43 AM
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Re: Rape Victims Should Have 'moral Responsibility'

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Originally Posted by Kelly View Post
...... the victimiser is utterly guilty
I agree with that. Rape is rape, there is no excuse for it, and should be punished to the full extent of the law.
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Originally Posted by Kelly View Post
..... the victim is utterly innocent
I do not fully agree with that because in some cases they're not.

One problem with society today is that alot of people refuse to accept responsability for their actions. Perfect example - trip over a crack in the footpath and get injured. Legally you are able to sue for damages, but should you? No, you should have been watching where you were walking.

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Old 11-01-2013, 10:46 AM
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Re: Rape Victims Should Have 'moral Responsibility'

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Originally Posted by Blewvane View Post

One problem with society today is that alot of people refuse to accept responsability for their actions. Perfect example - trip over a crack in the footpath and get injured. Legally you are able to sue for damages, but should you? No, you should have been watching where you were walking.
So lets say I put piano wire across two trees in a park and a cyclist gets beheaded, is it the cyclist fault for not seeing it?

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Old 11-01-2013, 12:01 PM
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Re: Rape Victims Should Have 'moral Responsibility'

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Originally Posted by icheerthebull View Post
So lets say I put piano wire across two trees in a park and a cyclist gets beheaded, is it the cyclist fault for not seeing it?
That would be a moot point. The cyclist would be dead and you'd be charged with murder.

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Old 11-01-2013, 02:50 PM
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Re: Rape Victims Should Have 'moral Responsibility'

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Originally Posted by Blewvane View Post

One problem with society today is that alot of people refuse to accept responsability for their actions. Perfect example - trip over a crack in the footpath and get injured. Legally you are able to sue for damages, but should you? No, you should have been watching where you were walking.
These examples are illogical and irrelevant. Rape is not a crime that stems from lack of personal responsibility, it's a result of a willful physical attack upon another person. You can argue all day about contributing factors or how unwise or even negligent the victim was in their conduction leading up to the attack and even their morality, but none of this is a legal defense to sexual assault because ultimately the perpetrator made the choice to carry out the assault. At best, all that can be argued is that the victim may have been able to avoid the attack if the victim had made different [not necessarily better] choices.

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