Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Limited Contact

I was disappointed and upset to see that this case resulted in an acquittal. It's hard to be surprised, the woman was drunk, and it's hardly news that there are people who believe a drunk woman automatically consents to sex. But what really upset me, was the effects this is going to have on her life:

The complainant, who is also a student at the polytechnic, told the Nelson Mail that she planned to pull out of her studies at NMIT and transfer to another polytechnic, because she felt she could not return to the campus if Mr Singh was there.

NMIT chief executive Tony Gray said the polytechnic would continue to manage the situation if both students decided to stay there, as it had done previously by making arrangements to limit their contact on campus.
Without a guilty verdict this woman has nothing. Her polytech can't even guarantee that she won't have to see the man who raped her. To do this is to choose the abuser over the abused, because it is those who have least power who will feel compelled to move on.

The justice system don't care what survivors of sexual violence want, or what they need to get on with their life. There is no way for a woman to say: "I want to live a life free of the man who raped me" without first proving that he raped you beyond reasonable doubt.

We all know that most rape cases will not result in convictions. We must be able to offer those who have been raped something more than the responsibility to avoid their rapist.


  1. Anonymous4:02 pm

    The first comment is idiotic; the caps further spell out the intense fear this person has.

    That said, this is the first time I've come to your blog. I've seen some of your posts on Alas, a blog that I like but only rarely visit.

    I agree with everyone you wrote in this post, especially the inference that the legal system has a male perspective, and, in making an alleged victim responsible for her own health after an assault, completely shifts responsibility for sexual violence to women. (The great male privilege is to expect to do nothing, while thinking that women, if they want to be treated better, need to change the system themselves...after all, they're the ones wanting change.). Tara

  2. Anonymous5:46 pm


    Off topic, but I just wanted to say that I applaud your guts and tenacity in carrying on saying what you want to say considering the abuse and dickheadism that happens in your comments.

    Your blog is great. You are great and inspiring.

    Don't stop!

    x Helen

  3. Anonymous12:32 pm

    Quote: "The first comment is idiotic; the caps further spell out the intense fear this person has."

    Notwithstanding that the first comment has obviously been censored by an insecure blogger, what is the intense fear alluded to here? A fear of lower case letters perhaps?

  4. Hell yeah. I agree completely

  5. What is it you don't get (Johnny) about someone choosing to control the comments on their own blog?