Rape culture isn’t getting any better.
And archaic laws, like the one in Norfolk, Virginia, that assumes all rape victims are lying, aren’t facilitating change either.
In short, if you are raped in Norfolk, police classify your sexual assault as “unfounded” or not valid by default. You might even be given a speech on how lying about your assault is a felony. So basically, the rape victim is on trial before the assailant is reprimanded.
Because that makes total sense.
According to Think Progress, the law came back to the forefront after a 22-year-old rape victim prompted police chief Mike Goldsmith to update the policy so that officers must now assume rape victims are telling the truth.
The woman reported the attack immediately to police, only to be told, “If we find out that you’re lying, this will be a felony charge.” Before giving her a medical examination, officers subjected the woman to interrogations during which they said things like, “You’re telling us a different story than you told … the other detectives,” and “This only happened hours ago. Why can’t you remember?” Having had enough, the woman cut off the interview.
The police eventually arrested and charged the attacker for multiple other sexual assaults and felonies, and Goldsmith apologized for mishandling the woman’s initial allegations. Now that Goldsmith has updated the policy for handling sexual assault cases, the department will also undergo training for post-traumatic stress disorder and rape trauma.
And they wonder why victims lose trust in the justice system…or don’t tell their tragic stories at all.
SOURCE: Think Progress