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There were two postcards this week that really hit me hard.
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In BLACK is from the Encyclopedia
In RED is my personal response
English Common Law
During the 12th and 13th centuries, an elaborate system of law based on judicial decisions, known as the common law, developed in England. The common law made rape a crime and provided for punishment of the rapist (but not of the victim). Rape was defined as sexual penetration of a woman forcibly and against her will. However, because the common law treated wives as the property of their husbands, a woman’s husband could not be found guilty of raping her, regardless of whether he used force against her to obtain sex. As a result of the wedding contract, wives could not legally refuse to have sex. Therefore, the law considered marital rape an impossibility.
(wives were not LEGALLY allowed to refuse sex? I sure am glad things have changed, but hear this...though in this day and age if a man rapes his wife there are consequences 17% of all men that do rape their wives are still getting away with it for lack of sufficiant evidence or because most wives STILL believe in a system that condones a wife as a husband's legal property. I kind of believe that perhaps every wedding contract should come attached with a brocheure educateing women about their rights as a spouse. Maybe then, more women will feel empowered and less women will feel trapped and ashamed.)
In addition to creating complete immunity for husbands, English law also contained a number of legal and procedural requirements that made the prosecution of rape difficult. Under the utmost resistance doctrine, a man could be found guilty of rape only if his victim could demonstrate that she had physically attempted to fight off the rape but had been overpowered. A woman who was not physically bruised had little hope of proving a case of rape. If a woman did not promptly complain of a rape, under the fresh complaint rule her case could not be heard. The fresh complaint rule was based on the theory that a delayed report of rape was more likely to be fabricated.
(I believe they still hold the FRESH complaint rule, it's called dis-belief or belief of fabrication. Why is it that any criminal is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law but if a woman reports her rape one year later than it happened she is deemed guilty until proven innocent? The rapist preys on a woman's shame and inability to come forward. He's satisfied in the comfort of knowing there will now be a substancial lack of evidence against him. Why don't we counsel the raped? God forbid she feel violated from this crime. After all, this rapist didn't take her panties, he took her body. Yet rape is treated like a common robbery; the rapist sneaks up, breaks in, steals from her home and gets away with it. Taking from the body is a violation, not a robbery. We still have a system that believes if a rape report is delayed it was more likely fabricated than true.)
Both the utmost resistance doctrine and the fresh complaint rule were based on assumptions that reflected the status of women in society. These doctrines were explicitly designed to protect men from false accusations of rape, indicating that English society placed more value on preventing false accusations than on protecting women from actual rapes. Legal decisions applying these doctrines assumed that women were likely to fabricate rape accusations, either because they were ashamed at having consented to sexual intercourse, because they had been rejected by their lover and wanted revenge, or because they had fantasized the rape.
(They created doctrines to protect men from false accusations first, without considering a doctrine to protect the raped or the rights of those who do the accusing. Though I believe in justice for all (yes we should all be protected equally), I still find myself wondering why the smaller percentage always wins over the larger? Why the violator is protected before the violated. Fabricated rape stories or false accusations, rejected lover revenge, or fantasized rape is what 2%? Even in our past it was hard to imagine a woman who wasn't violated in some way (beat, raped, molested)...God forbid the victim come first.) "society placed more value on preventing false accusations than on protecting women from actual rapes." - that says it all
Under English common law, certain rules of evidence also helped men defend themselves against charges of rape. Evidentiary rules governed what information was available to the jury during a trial, as well as the weight the jury should assign to the information. Special rules made it difficult to achieve convictions and made the trial an ordeal for the victim. Under these rules, a woman who reported a rape could expect to be questioned in great detail about her sex life. For example, the victim could be extensively cross-examined by the accused rapist’s attorney to show that (1) she had consented to sexual intercourse with the defendant (accused rapist) on that or another occasion, (2) she had consented to sexual intercourse with another man or men, or (3) she did not have a good reputation for chastity.
(A woman's sex life is still questionable after her accusation, her trial is still an ordeal causing mental anguish, pain and suffering, rape is still the only law where too often the victim becomes the accused. A lot has changed, but a lot has stayed the same in today's society.)
Although it was difficult to obtain a conviction under the common law, the punishment for rape was severe when prosecution was successful. During most eras, English law treated rape as a capital offense—that is, a crime punishable by death.
(Someone once told me that rape is murder for the soul. Perhaps rape is not necessarily a crime punishable by death, but some would say otherwise I'm sure. Though now days a pedophile can get away with raping a 5 year old and only serve 2 years in prison depending on how "severe" the courts say the case is. If he is her father he can expect to get off early with probation. If a grown man sticks his penis into a 5 year old girl, that IS VERY SEVERE! Pedophiles deserve life and sexually assaulted men and women deserve the right justice. In my personal opinion, castration doesn't sound like such a bad trade for one's murdered soul. It's hard work bringing the dead back to life. I should know, it took me 15 years of work, therapy and medication to resuscitate myself.)
I am so excited to announce the release of 'Voices of Strength', an Audio Documentary for Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence.
14 other survivors have ventured with me on a journey to break the silence using the power of the human voice. By telling our stories, we are fostering awareness surrounding the rape and domestic violence epidemic worldwide. We are also on a mission for our own personal well-being, for self validation and enlightenment. This is our way of showing the world we are not on this journey alone and that we truly can break the silence one voice at a time.
"An estimated 1 in 3 women and 1 in 8 men are survivors of the world's second leading crime. A crime that too often receives limited attention because of it's exposing nature. No one should feel ashamed of being a survivor; everyone deserves the right to speak out. We are on a mission to expose the truth and lift the rug on the mis-interpretation that the only rapists that exist are the ones who hide behind dark alley ways preying on damsels in distress. The truth is; a rapist can be anyone and anywhere. Survivors are just as diverse; they are your doctors, your lawyers, your authors, your housewives, your sales people, your friends and even your family members.
We hope that by listening to this CD, whether you are a survivor, a secondary survivor, or a supporter of survivors; that you will find the courage to help break the silence with us so that we can learn to help change the laws, reach out to others, raise awareness, stop the self blame and the shame that is associated with this crime, and make a difference in the world.
The most important message is that we are not alone, and that there is a place for all who desire the strength to heal and move forward in their lives.
We all have a voice. Every story is unique and every story deserves to be heard. Refusing to stay silent is empowering to the human condition."
Love & Support, Haullie
The Web Site Features: An Audio Trailer (clip, sample), Awareness Information, FAQ, Support and more
Before listening to the Audio Trailer of 'Voices of Strength' be sure to be in a safe place and in safe time in your healing
***CAUTION - This may be triggering****
Voices of Strength Audio Trailer
(the trailer will open in a new window)
If you would like to help, please contact: The Swedish Pentecostal Mission -- PMU Contact person: Marie Walterzon Telephone in Congo: 011-243-81-318-6246 E-mail: email@example.com Tearfund Contact person: Tilly Leuring Telephone in Congo: 011-243-997-089-850 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Denis Mukwege Mukengere E-mail: email@example.com
I am doing something in early August called 'The Survivor Digest'.It is a quarterly magazine for survivors of Rape, Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence. The Digest will have columns on influential survivors and stories throughout the world, poetry, artwork,inspirational stories, survivor stories, resources and campaigns.
One of the projects that I am doing for the inside of the first edition is something known as 'Healing Hands'. An Art project we can all get involved in and that is why I am making this announcement, to invite you all to submit your hand art to the Zine.Below is an example of Hand art that I have done myself so that you will know what this is all about. If you are interested in submiting healing hand art to the book please feel free to send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org. The guidelines are as follows.
1.) trace your hand on a blank white sheet of paper.
2.) Design the expression of your aftermath around your hand or on the inside of your hand or both.
3.) Scan your image but do not re-size it, send me the largest copy.
4.) Submit your hand drawing to email@example.com
5.) Don't forget to sign your name at the bottom.
6.) Deadline to hand them in - July of 2006
Below is an example of a Healing Hands drawing that I just did today. It resembles my pain, struggle and my passion to thrive towards persona lfreedom and affirmation. Please feel free to use this as a guide towards understanding what we need for the Healing Hands. All images will be printed in black and white. But will be piblished on theWWW.VOICESOFSTRENGTH.ORG web site in color in a special place as well(once the web site is launched). Be as creative as you'd like!
(Sadly, some of these images may be triggering so please view them with caution and an open heart. Each zine will have a TRIGGERING lable on the front of the Zines to help caution those who read them)
Love & Many Thanks!! ~Haullie
*MAY BE TRIGGERING*
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Mod Note: LJ-cut has not been disabled in any form from this community. Please in the future LINKS ONLY to possibly triggering pictures instead of just posting them un-cut.
When I first read this article, I was absolutely exsatic that something of this size was going to take place in the UK, in my neck of the woods. I thought it was about time that measures are about to be put in place for our safety, but on reflection, my view has actually changed a little.
I think that this may actually heighten some of the problems. Righly so, it is being put forward with all good intentions, but personally, I don't think that they have gone about it the right way. I think that they our government is starting to treat adults as children, and that we are moving closer and closer to the dreaded nanny state.
Let me explain, I may be mad, so feedback would be appreciated........Ok, something needs to be done about rape allegations making it to court, but do grown adults seriously need to have written consent before doing what adults do? Doesn't that take the passion out of the moments when we genuinely want to sleep with someone? Maybe the same thing was discussed when condoms were first intoduced, but I was too young then.
This may cause a little anger among the community, as all of us here, me included, have experienced the trauma of an attack. We can't deny though, that there are some women out there who cry wolf out of revenge, vendictiveness or other motives. Would I be wrong in saying that this, while putting a fair majority of the true attackers in jail, also put a few innocent men in there with them?
I have to say that the idea of a jury making a decision that a woman was to drunk to give consent is an excellent one, this will defintely help.
Am I thinking too deeply?
I am new here so please bear with me ;) I am not a victim of physical abuse but in a few days I will be attending a Model UN conference of the abuse of women in Mexico.
I posted in this community in hopes to find someone who is from or knows a thing or two about the equality of women in Mexico. It would be just wonderful if someone can help me out a bit :)
I want to understand the views of Mexican women and the situation they face(d). By doing so, I hope to discuss and present new matters and issues to the Model UN conference and even possibly gain awareness from higher groups of these issues.
(example: enviornment at home, at school, at work, in society, etc...)
Sorry if this doesn't meet the standards in the community and you can delete it if you want, but please help me out :)