I cannot believe this shit needs to be said

Trigger warning for rape and systemic abuse of a rape survivor

There are, apparently, “major holes” in the credibilty of the woman who alleges she was sexually assaulted by Dominique Strauss-Kahn.  A powerful man, Strauss-Kahn can afford a powerful legal team, and they have been working at full capacity.

The forensic evidence shows sexual contact did occur, so they have attempted a different method of defence: smearing the alleged victim. She is said to have lied on her application for asylum and spoken to an incarcerated drug dealer on the telephone following the alleged attack. While the legal team are deny being behind the rumours that the woman was a prostitute, they are certainly not doing much to stop this being splashed all over the tabloids.

I do not know whether Strauss-Kahn attacked the woman or not (please note: she is a woman, not a “maid”).

What I do know is that undermining the credibility of the witness says nothing about whether Strauss-Kahn attacked her or not.

Her immigration status and her alleged contacts are thoroughly unrelated to what may or may not have happened in that hotel room. Someone whose immigration status is dubious can still be raped. Someone who knows a drug dealer can still be raped.

Yet this is treated as though it is exonerating evidence. It is thoroughly unrelated. Immigration status does not indicate consent. Knowing a person in prison does not indicate consent. This cannot show that the sex was consensual.

I cannot believe anyone needs to say this shit. It should be patently obvious that these two characteristics of the woman are not related to the alleged crime. Yet this sort of thing is used in courtrooms repeatedly: unrelated facts which supposedly prove innocence. A woman’s clothes, her prior sexual behaviour, her job. These things are not consent. They are not relevant.

Another woman has come forward, also accusing Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault. By his defence team’s logic, this means he is guilty as sin. In this case, at least a prior allegation of sexual assault is dimly related to the notion that he may have committed sexual assault. Of course, it is not relevant.

Immigration status and incarcerated friends are thoroughly irrelevant.


3 responses to “I cannot believe this shit needs to be said

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