Monday, January 25, 2010

Richmond Girl Recants Rape

As some of you may have heard, the young woman who told police that she had been held against her will and raped in Richmond, California has recanted her story. She has told police she had consensual sex and needed an excuse as to why she had been out that night. Police are still investigating what happened, and other reports have said that they are checking on the young girls mental state. The unfortunate thing is that this teenager felt the need to tell a very serious lie. Given that another girl was brutally gang raped just a few months back in the same city, and that story received national attention, it makes one wonder why she would make up a story like this. Now we ask, is there other issues she is dealing with, such as emotional or mental problems that need to be addressed? Was she just being a silly teenager, who was really just needing an excuse because she is underage and was out with a boyfriend? Is she trying to cover up a real rape because she has been threatened? Regardless of her reasons, it is good to hear that she wasn't assaulted, but lying about the circumstances is unfortunate. Some of the biggest obstacles rape victims face is having others, including law enforcement, believe their story. To have someone make up a story, most likely to stay out of trouble, just to lie about it, does not help this cause. It's something we've all heard over the years, something that PAVE and so many other organizations try to change...the misconceptions and prejudice...."What if she (or he) is lying?". Stories like this can put these very thoughts into the minds of the people we are trying to educate about sexual assault. The first thing we are supposed to remember is that we must always believe the victim. Without support from family, friends, law enforcement, and the rest of the public, victims of sexual violence will continue to hesitate to come forward. They need our strength, our support and our help. We cannot allow these stories of false reporting discourage those who have been violated.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

City of Richmond Has Another Gang Rape

In Richmond, California, a sixteen year old girl was gang raped after her high school homecoming dance a few months ago. The story gained a lot of attention because of the abundance of bystanders and participants. Police are still searching for suspects in that case. Now, a fifteen year old girl has endured a similar fate. She was forced into a vehicle Friday evening by four young men who drove around before two of them raped her. She was found by police later that evening. Going to a high school dance, or just casually walking down the street should not be dangerous activities for young girls! For one person to assault another is bad enough, but to have others willingly particpate or to stand by and watch? Are they too afraid to help, or that cruel to not care? What kind of group mentality is going on here?

Rapist Does Not Get New Trial

Paul Shanley is an ex priest who was convicted of child rape wanted a new trial because of "junk science". He thinks the "junk science", which was testimony given by his victim about his repressed memories should not have been allowed during his trial. The victim was only six years old when the abuse began and it lasted until he was twelve. Anyone who is assaulted is probably going to push some details out of their mind as a defense mechanism. A six year old who is being abused repeatedly by a trusted adult is probably scared and confused. He didn't come forward for twenty years? So what? Why shouldn't he be allowed to talk about his memories at the trial? That's the one thing he has to fight the man who raped him, betrayed him and used his power against him. There were reports of abuse by this man in 1967 and the church did nothing about it then, thank goodness this victim finally did.