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Too Drunk to be a Victim? | thesobersingle.com

Too Drunk to be a Victim?

Jun 08

Too Drunk to be a Victim?

It’s an age-old belief that if a woman drinks too much and something bad happens, she deserves what she gets. Verbal abuse, physical violence, rape and even murder have been justified by this ingrained attitude.

It would be nice to think that we are making progress and that harmful opinions such as this are a thing of the past but the verdict in the New York ‘Rape Cop’ case last month harks too loudly of antiquated attitudes.

In this case, a New York cop was accused of raping a woman after escorting her home. She was too drunk to make it to her apartment without assistance so the taxi driver called the cops. Two arrived.

Not only did they help her home, they made sure she got to her bedroom and one left her a parting gift.

When she awoke the next morning, she took a shower without thinking and it wasn’t until she visited a friend later that morning that the whole sorry memory surfaced in her mind.

When she confronted him later outside his precinct, the accused cop admitted to wearing a condom. In court he claimed he said that just to quieten her.

The two cops in question have lost their jobs although they have been acquitted of the rape charge.

One of the jury members on the case, Melinda Hernandez, was so traumatised by the experience that she has gone into hiding. In the only interview she gave – to Womens E News – she said that what was so frustrating about the case and what led to the accused’s acquittal was the lack of forensic evidence.

Plus there were discrepancies in the victim’s account. She used vague words such as I ‘think’ and I ‘believe’ as opposed to I ‘know.’

She also asked for 57 million in compensation, which enabled some to paint her as a ‘money grabbing whore.’

In effect, the trial was reduced to a case of his word against hers.

But few people will consider the practical elements, which led to the cop’s acquittal. They will register one fact and one fact alone. She was drunk. And drunk women are easy prey.

This is not my opinion but it sure is the opinion of a hell of a lot of people who are commenting on various websites about this case.

The Frisky, for example, contained a surprising number of comments from young women condemning the victim for being drunk. This, despite the fact that the site posted an article from a New York journalist who retold her own drunken near-miss in a bid to support the victim.

Sisterhood? Dead and buried?

Not so. When this verdict was announced, women protestors poured on to the streets of New York with placards and angry voices.

Sadly I wager it is going to take a lot more that one acquittal and a few placards to change this deep-seeded attitude.

I know because I have been a victim of it myself.

It was ten years ago now. I left a club after a night of partying and agreed to go with a close friend, her fiancée and his best friend to the best friend’s house.

Shortly after our arrival I passed out on the couch. That’s when Mr. Best Friend carried me to his room and got busy. I woke up to find him on top of me. It wasn’t until the next morning that I discovered the sperm.

He promised me that nothing had happened. I believed him. I wanted to believe him. When I discovered weeks later that I was pregnant, all belief systems went out the window.

Having talked to many counsellors over the years, I know that the hardest thing for many rape victims is admitting that they were raped. No one likes to think that they have been violated.

Try to imagine how hard that is and then imagine how much more difficult it is when everyone is telling it didn’t really happen or if it did, it was your own fault anyway.

Is that woman to blame because her night of celebration got out of hand? Was it my fault that I fell asleep?

The vast majority of people would answer those questions with a deafening yes. They say the world is not a safe place and therefore it is the responsibility of people to protect themselves.

Well, excuse me but I believe it is this kind of individualism that has made our world so fucking dangerous in the first place.

So many people are so happy to think, I am a good person therefore I am valid and fuck everyone else. How about assuming responsibility for other people? How about instead of condemning a drunk woman having some compassion for her?

I realise many people will consider me naïve for having this opinion but isn’t the opposite so much worse?

The victim in the New York case said the hardest part of the trial was having the prosecutors go through every detail of her private life, her intimate relations, her sexual history.

In no other type of case is the victim also put on trial.

Think of it this way. Two drug dealers are drunk outside a club. One takes out a gun and shoots the other. The courts do not assume the dealer deserved to be shot because of his history.

Or how about the drunk homeless man that gets beat up on the street. No one would say his circumstances justified the beating.

The only place where this kind of logic holds is in a rape case where the victim is a woman and she is drunk.

I never made any attempt to press charges against my rapist. I rang the police but never pursued it. I felt dirty enough as it was. I could not have coped with the kind of interrogation this woman suffered.

How many other countless woman have never come forward for the same reason? My mind shudders to think.

Why don’t the same clear lines apply to drunk rape victims?

It’s very simple why? Because men with power always want to have the choice to take advantage of the weak in society and even the judges will do everything in their power to protect that status quo. Women know this, which is why they say nothing.

If every woman who was ever groped, mauled, molested or assaulted while drunk or otherwise was to cry out, it would produce a scream loud enough to shatter skyscrapers from Tokyo to Lisbon. I say, start screaming girls!!!

 

Note: The victim is this case was crushed by the verdict. Read her statement here.

 

6 comments

  1. William /

    So long as there is not a serious enlightenment throughout western civilization about our attitudes to alcohol consumption, it will be impossible to consistently and successfully prosecute rapes where alcohol is involved.

    Not true that this logic only applies to women. Tens of thousands of men are assaulted every year when they have been out drinking. Sometimes this is unprovoked, and sometimes it is after an exchange of insults, or a provocation, or whatever. Many people believe that if someone acts aggressively or provocatively, they deserve the violent assault that might ensue.

    I myself was assaulted by two men 5-years-ago when I was very drunk. They cracked three of my ribs and kicked me repeatedly on the head. I still have a car on one eye where I was punched with a metal ring. Most of my friends later said that I “probably deserved”. Did I deserve it? Maybe I did. I was so drunk I don’t even remember why the attack happened.

    Should I have gone to the police and tried to press charges? If so, would I have been successful in court? Or would the jury have also thought that I probably deserved it, and that, anyway, my incomplete memories of the event were unreliable as evidence?

    Someone whose own behaviour does not meet basic standards of decency is always going to have a hard time in court convincing anyone of anything, whether they were raped or beaten. I have stopped drinking all together because of incidents like the one I’ve described, and I would suggest to anyone who is afraid of being involved in undesirable situations of sex and violence to do the same.

    • tasha /

      Thanks for this comment William and yes, I do agree with you that these cases say more about our attitude to alcohol. It’s interesting to hear of an experience from a male point of view and how ultimately similar circumstances/values apply …. also interesting to hear that your solution was to quit drinking … there is no doubting that quitting alcohol changes our perspective on life dramatically!

  2. Dont Blame Victim /

    Being raped has NOTHING to do with being drunk. It has to do with forcing yourself onto someone without their consent. It is done by someone who lacks decency. Rape is disrespectful and disgusting. No one ever deserves to be raped. Seriously. Whether a victim is drunk and passed out, sleeping in her bed after going to church, or lady walking a child in a stroller, or worse yet, a young girl or baby. It is not her action that is suspect. What is suspect is a bunch of sorry goons that can’t keep their hands to themselves and are not MAN enough. The perpetrators are LOSERS. Plain and simple. Yes babies barely a year old are RAPED. Are you going to tell me a BABY was raped because of her lace panties and the infant “asked for it” ? GROW UP. NO SIR. Women, girls and infants do not “ask for it”. Rapists are pathetic LOSERS who lack control, they lack self discipline and they sure do NOT belong on a police force. The ladies were NOT raped because they were drunk. They were raped because a someone wants: power, dominance, feels entitled, has anger or wants retaliation, has an inferiority complex (perhaps resents her self assurance), is hostile or is a weirdo and is aroused by causing fear. If you have been raped..don’t believe the bull. It is NOT your fault and YOU did NOT “ask for it” and you certainly did not deserve it. If there were no drunk women..there would still be rapists. I’m tired of blaming the victim. “She should not have”…duh duh duh. HOW about we EXPECT more of grown men and police officers? Yes ladies respect yourselves and your bodies. But that will not stop rape. Rapists treat the victim not a human being. They avoid eye contact. They are detached as they commit the offense against another human being. If I left my front door unlocked and someone robbed me..would it be because I left the door unlocked or because he was a no good thief? I maintain I should be able to be drunk, leave the door unlocked and you would leave me and my stuff alone. Wow, what a concept! Because I forget to lock the door it somehow gives you the right to violate my property? BULL. I’m not buying it. Ridiculous. GROW up. This is not grade school. We respect each other and we respect each others property. We don’t torture people because we are bigger. Cops are supposed to serve and protect… If it was YOUR Baby, mother, daughter, or sister would you feel the same way? Was it the babies fault because she was sleeping. Of course not. There will always be sleeping babies. The PROBLEM is the prick who lacks respect and discipline. Don’t blame the victim. And don’t excuse the perpetrator. It is NOT ok..to rape someone because…you felt like it. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. Well, she did not say no. She was there. I was turned on. Do you realize how feeble and childish that sounds. Really. You robbed my house because “well the door was unlocked..so you were ASKING for it”. Tell that to the judge. I ain’t buying it. You robbed my house because of YOU YOU YOU not me. You robbed my house or car because you do not respect me nor my property. YOU lack self control. You lack a sense of propriety. You robbed it…because you are a robber. You are a crook. A creep. A Thug. Seriously…You think you deserve my stuff..because I left the door unlocked? Rationalize all you want…it is still 100% wrong. It is 100% inappropriate. Rape is never deserved. Stealing is wrong. Rape is wrong. No difference. Wrong is wrong. Rob my house or car, or try to rape me and I will shoot you dead. Bang. Bang. I’m not going to be a willing victim. We need to teach girl self respect and how to shoot. We need to teach boys to respect women. We need to quit blaming the victim and excusing the perpetrator. A lady was not raped because she was drunk. She was raped because one pathethic excuse for a man is a worm. Got it?

    • I got it …. and I agree with you …. sadly many don’t and sadly ranting and raving won’t change their minds. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

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