Friday, February 25, 2011

Women's Centres Rally Today Against Thompson Rape Case Judge's Suggestion of "Implied Consent"

Via the Canadian Federation of Students - Manitoba.
NEWS RELEASE


For Immediate Release

Thursday, February 24, 2011

WOMEN’S CENTRES RALLY AGAINST THOMPSON RAPE CASE JUDGE’S SUGGESTION OF “IMPLIED CONSENT”

MANITOBA—Women’s Centres are appalled that a Manitoba Judge seems to be holding a Thompson rape survivor responsible for her rapist’s actions, on the basis of her sexuality and attire at the time of the incident. The centres point out that survivors of crimes such as theft or assault are not blamed for the perpetrators’ actions, yet women continue to be re-traumatised in the courtroom because some judges fail to understand the legal meaning of “no means no”.

Who: Campus and Community Women’s Centres
What: Rally against Judge Robert Dewar’s rape case ruling
Where: Manitoba Law Courts Building
When: Noon, Friday, February 25, 2011
Why: Judge Dewar said: "inviting circumstances" and survivor’s attire make rapist less morally responsible for rape
The Canadian Federation of Students developed the No Means No campaign nearly thirty years ago to raise awareness about and combat sexual assault, especially sexual assault by an acquaintance, or date rape. The goal of the campaign is to illustrate the many ways of signaling no to sex, and to bust the myth that rape survivors are responsible for rape.

“Judge Dewar was wrong to question what the woman was wearing the night that she was raped,” states Alanna Makinson, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students–Manitoba. “Flirting, a short skirt, or a kiss never implies consent to intercourse.”

Added Joan Dawkins, Executive Director of the Women’s Health Clinic: “When a judge ignores the reality of sexual violence and blames a woman for the actions of her attacker, he not only harms the woman but makes it that much more difficult for the next victim to come forward and trust the judicial process. The result – rapists go free.”

The Canadian Federation of Students–Manitoba is calling on Judge Dewar to apologise for his ruling and be held accountable for his failure to understand that there is no such thing as “implied consent”. The level of moral responsibility assigned to a convicted rapist should not hinge on his victim’s attire or sexuality.

“To suggest that a rapist is less guilty because he was ‘insensitive’ to the fact that the victim was not a willing participant is irresponsible,” states Katie Haig-Anderson, Women’s Commissioner of the Canadian Federation of Students–Manitoba. “If a person is not a willing participant in a sexual interaction, if she does not give consent, then that is sexual assault. Judge Dewar has muddied the waters, and he should get some education on this issue, as well as apologise to the rape survivor, to the justice system and to the Manitobans serves.”

−30−

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Alanna Makinson, Canadian Federation of Students–Manitoba
204-783-0787 (office)
204-997-8269 (cell)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

If the judge woulda known everybody was gonna have a cow over this, he probably would have just found the poor kid "NOT GUILTY". It was a he-said/she-said situation, with no witnesses, no video, no confession, and no physical evidence. His Solomon-like verdict and sentence was an attempt to believe BOTH parties: She really didn't consent; and he really didn't realize that she didn't consent. The trouble the boy has already been put through was sufficient to teach him a lesson, and a custodial sentence would have been ridiculously harsh. The judge TRIED to please everybody. But there's just no pleasin' some womyn. Here's some good advice, Your Honor: Next time you wanna avoid sending a guy to prison for an unproven crime, just find him NOT GUILTY, and comment no further.

Anonymous said...

If the judge woulda known everybody was gonna have a cow over this, he probably would have just found the poor kid "NOT GUILTY". It was a he-said/she-said situation, with no witnesses, no video, no confession, and no physical evidence. His Solomon-like verdict and sentence was an attempt to believe BOTH parties: She really didn't consent; and he really didn't realize that she didn't consent. The trouble the boy has already been put through was sufficient to teach him a lesson, and a custodial sentence would have been ridiculously harsh. The judge TRIED to please everybody. But there's just no pleasin' some womyn. Here's some good advice, Your Honor: Next time you wanna avoid sending a guy to prison for an unproven crime, just find him NOT GUILTY, and comment no further.