Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Cost of Speaking Up: Charges Dropped Against Upskirt Photographer Because Victim Won't Testify

Posted By on Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 10:30 AM

silence.jpeg
Charges were dropped against the guy caught taking upskirt videos in the High Street F train station because the victim doesn't want to testify. Which sucks but man, can you blame her? Women accusing people of sexual violence or violating behavior are subject to as much or scrutiny and attention than the people they accuse. Don't believe me? Believe this person:

One New York City prosecutor, who would only speak on condition of anonymity, offers some insight about the challenges encountered with these kinds of cases: "Reporters frequently stalk our sex crime victims, talking to their doormen, neighbors, family members, etc.—a total invasion of privacy, whether or not the name appears in print. I know of several cases where witnesses or victims stopped cooperating because of this, including some who did not even want close family members to know they were the victim of sex crime." [Gothamist]

That, my friends, is the very definition of rape culture. It creates an environment where the cost of reporting any kind of violation is too high, and victims have no expectation of protection. That's an environment where upskirt photographers, gropers, rapists, and sexual assaulters flourish.

You only have to look at the whole Michael Brutsch/violentacrez outing story to see how very, very entitled a huge group of people feel to exploit women's bodies if they dare bring them in public. That's what puts the "culture" in rape culture. No, an upskirt isn't rape, I wouldn't ever try to compare the two. But when people defend Michael Brutsch's right to "free speech" that includes posting sexualized pictures of underaged girls, and when they punish people for speaking up about it, they're telling creeps like this upskirt guy—and even more awful creeps—that they have their backs. And they're telling victims of sex crimes that there is a high price for not shutting up and taking it. In a culture where reporting a sex crime leads to an ordeal nearly as bad as the crime itself, predators know they have a safe haven.

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