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The tale of Mr Smith

“The law discriminates against rape victims in a manner which would not be tolerated by victims of any other crime. In the following example, a holdup victim is asked questions similar in form to those usually asked a victim of rape.

"Mr. Smith, you were held up at gunpoint on the corner of 16th and Locust?"

"Yes."

"Did you struggle with the robber?"

"No."

"Why not?"

"He was armed."

"Then you made a conscious decision to comply with his demands rather than to resist?"

"Yes."

"Did you scream? Cry out?"

"No. I was afraid."

"I see. Have you ever been held up before?"

"No."

"Have you ever given money away?"

"Yes, of course--"

"And did you do so willingly?"

"What are you getting at?"

"Well, let's put it like this, Mr. Smith. You've given away money in the past--in fact, you have quite a reputation for philanthropy. How can we be sure that you weren't contriving to have your money taken from you by force?"

"Listen, if I wanted--"

"Never mind. What time did this holdup take place, Mr.Smith?"

"About 11 p.m."

"You were out on the streets at 11 p.m.? Doing what?"

"Just walking."

"Just walking? You know it's dangerous being out on the street that late at night. Weren't you aware that you could have been held up?"

"I hadn't thought about it."

"What were you wearing at the time, Mr. Smith?"

"Let's see. A suit. Yes, a suit."

"An expensive suit?"

"Well--yes."

"In other words, Mr. Smith, you were walking around the streets late at night in a suit that practically advertised the fact that you might be a good target for some easy money, isn't that so? I mean, if we didn't know better, Mr. Smith, we might even think you were asking for this to happen, mightn't we?"

"Look, can't we talk about the past history of the guy who did this to me?"

"I'm afraid not, Mr. Smith. I don't think you would want to violate his rights, now, would you?"”

Author: Susan, Female Glasgow
Date: 22/07/10

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Replies to this post

“weak analogy considering many rape victims know who their assailant is - too much focus on stranger danger as opposed to "him indoors"”

Author: glasgow mum, Female glasgow
Date: 26/07/10

“As a young mother 2 a 3yr old daughter it makes me sick to think that people stil only think of strangers as bein a threat that people think that only women can be raped that people are small minded everyones is at risk so always be aware keep safe and always keep ur wits about u x”

Author: Pamela, Female Glasgow
Date: 27/07/10

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Have your say

“Rape seems to be the only crime where it's seen as ok to put the victim on trial.”

Natasha, Female from Glasgow

“Short skirts don't cause rape. Rapists cause rape”

Joss, Female from Connecticut

“About time something like this was shown on TV. Hopefully it will make everyone realise there cannot be any excuse for rape - EVER.”

Helzo, Female from Renfrewshire