Monday, September 22, 2008

Rape on the rise in ND

Ohhhhhhhh sometimes the irony is just too much. Just days after ND attorney general Wayne Stenehjem decided that a victim of gang rape deserved no justice, I see a story in today's paper talking about how aggravated assault and rape are up in North Dakota.

Gee, really?

Violent crime in my state went up 12.1 percent in 2007.

FBI stats showed that rapes in North Dakota were up 7.3 percent last year.

AG Stenehjem said this could be due to more people reporting the crime.

“New science is helpful in the area of DNA,” he said. “Victims used to think, ‘It’s just my word against my assailant’s.’”

Yes, you priggish asshole. Victims would worry about "my word against his" after seeing how you treated Nancy Peterson, a high profile victim of gang rape.

You had a complaining witness, photos showing physical evidence of violent assault (which were picked up WEEKS later, when your constituents FELT like finally doing their job)... But when it came to seeking justice for Nancy, you gave her the big middle finger.

Why?

Because she's not a pristine victim. She went into a bar looking for sex. She admitted it. She was married. She drank a lot. She went home with someone she knew.

So, it's her fault that three other men decided to take advantage of her, grab her hair, slam her body into the sink, falsely imprison her and force her to perform sex acts.

Stenehjem might as well have stamped "it's her own fault" on the case file. Instead he agreed with county attorney general, Stuart Larson saying it would be too hard to prove rape in this case.

Never mind the documented police incompetence -- leaving a crime scene unvisited for days, not interviewing attackers for near a week, forgetting to pick up evidence at the hospital, not to mention their fabulous interview skills (when dealing with a rape victim Lesson #1 is NEVER ask "why didn't you fight back?")

No, no... Stenehjem just decided to give all those involved a nice big pat on the back for a job well done. You prosecute what you can win and to hell with the future victims, right?

DNA wouldn't have made a damn bit of difference in Nancy's case. It was never a question if sexual contact occurred but rather if it was consensual.

Even though she went to the ER the next day. Even though she said "I was raped." Even though she had bruises, lacerations, and a swollen lip. Even so -- she wasn't pristine. She was unworthy of the EFFORT to do a serious investigation. She was not worth doing their job.

More irony -- the article also states that aggravated assault is up 15 percent from the last year... nearly nearly triple what it was in 1999.

Stenehjem attributes this to alcohol and thinks we should begin giving repeat drunk drivers a twice-daily breathalizer test (if they fail, they go to jail.)

But when it comes to rape rising 7.3 %, Stenehjem offers no solutions. He doesn't want programs or education regarding violence prevention and sexual assault. Nope, he just shrugs and attributes all this to "more ladyfolks coming forward to report."

Yes, I'm sure with your glowing record of competence and empathy, that must be it.

More complaining victims and DNA evidence is fucking meaningless unless we have trained officials who understand the politics of sexual assault, who will at least attempt to put their suspicion about "slutty" woman aside and do their job. Victims need to know that they aren't speaking up for nothing... that someone will listen and investigate and may even show rapists that there are consequences to their actions.

Later in the article, AG Stenehjem said, “North Dakota will maintain its status as one of the safest states in the country.”

And you will maintain your status as an out-of-touch douchebag...

4 comments:

STaylor said...

Thank you so much for following this story. What is pathetic is that I live in Bismarck and had not heard a THING about this until I happened to see a cross-reference to your original post on another blog.
I've now added your blog to my favorites and check it periodically. Keep up the great work!

Tobes said...

Staylor,

Thank you! If you have a blog, please send a link as well. Midwest feminists need to stick together.

I tried not to be so 'angry' in this post but I couldn't help it. The damage they have done is unbelievable...

flewellyn said...

Dammit, this is right next door to me (I'm in Moorhead). I need to get talking to the folks I know in Fargo who can raise hell about this.

Renee said...

more evidence of the ways in which women don't matter and yet the patriarchy would have us believe that there is no need for feminism.