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When a Camera Isn’t Enough

People who haven’t spent much time talking about rape often point to lack of physical or other corroborating evidence as the reason for low conviction rates. People who do talk about this frequently aren’t impressed. Here’s why.

An online website monitoring the case yesterday reported that commenting on a DVD tape sent to his CP to expedite investigations into the activities of the criminal gang, J.G. Micloth, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Abia State Police command Criminal Investigation Department said the lady had consented to the gang crime.

He was quoted as saying that after watching the DVD, he said he did not see the young lady resist the rape.

[…]

Mr Micloth yesterday said gang rape is often videoed as a tool by under-graduate boys to rubbish the self esteem of snobbish girls. He said even if the lady had not consented, he figured that she was a girlfriend to one of the cultists and must have probably cheated on him and when queried ‘insulted’ the boy hence he probably assembled a gang to teach her the lesson of her life, the website said.

[…]

In the rape video, which lasted well over an hour, the girl could be seen trying to fight off the men. When her efforts proved abortive amidst beatings, she resorted to pleading with them to spare her; but her pleas fell on deaf ears. And when she could not take the excruciating pain any longer, she begged them to kill her, instead of letting her live with the stigma our society would pile on top of her already horrendous trauma. As she pleaded with them, the boys laughed and mocked her, asking her to ‘co-operate’ or face two more days of torture by rape.

The police did, however, manage to see and stop a protest of 300 women urging them to look further into the rape. Physical evidence does nothing for victims (and nothing to prevent future rapes) in a society that insist upon looking at that evidence with eyes that start, not neutral, but on the side of the accused rapist.

Lest you notice that this particular society happens to be located in Nigeria, don’t feel too superior. Remember the 11-year-old girl whose victim-blaming was picked up and reported as-is by The New York Times in March? Don’t forget how that story started:

The police investigation began shortly after Thanksgiving, when an elementary school student alerted a teacher to a lurid cellphone video that included one of her classmates.

When you’re not willing to believe the accused might be rapists, nothing in the world is going to convince you.

Comments

  1. Glodson says

    Wow. That almost made me throw up. That is horrible. And it is made all the worse knowing that some of that crap is alive and well in our own society.

    I just cannot believe someone would say the girl “consented” to be gang raped. And I know that stuff like this happens in our country. And it actually makes me even more enraged at the thought of rape apologists even fucking existing.

  2. dizzlski says

    Gods, it’s like every other post here is meant to induce vomiting. I’m not kidding, but thanks for getting the word out.

  3. julian says

    People will bend over backwards and any which way to avoid having to recognize a rape has happened. Men, women, school teachers, the authorities, parents.

    But, of course, there’s no such thing as rape culture and it really doesn’t happen all that often. It isn’t a real issue not like all the false rape accusations out there. That’s what we should be talking about.

    *hurls*

  4. Pteryxx says

    I just cannot believe someone would say the girl “consented” to be gang raped. And I know that stuff like this happens in our country. And it actually makes me even more enraged at the thought of rape apologists even fucking existing.

    I gather that when rape apologists say “consented” they really mean “deserved”.

  5. Glodson says

    I gather that when rape apologists say “consented” they really mean “deserved”.

    Goddamn it. I think you are right.

    Wow, I just realized that I’m quite an angry man. Sadly, I think that much of that anger is quite justified.

  6. besomyka says

    That article is so profoundly upsetting. Stomach in knots, teary eyed, confusion. I simply cannot get my head around how a group of people could treat another person so badly. There is some core thing there that is corrupted just by reading about it. Deeply saddening.

    What can we do about it?

  7. Tom Clark says

    This is probably the weirdest thing I’ve ever read. And by weird, I mean “disturbing.”

  8. says

    I can’t even process this…

    There’s video evidence that shows her resisting, and the police are saying she “consented”.

    Ugh.

    *goes into fetal position*

  9. says

    For those of you who want to know what you can do, you can call people on it when they start minimizing and excusing sexual aggression and violence. You can make noise when cases are dismissed without investigation or prosecution. You can object when anyone assumes that “innocent until proven guilty” means that the accuser is guilty of lying until proven otherwise. You can support rape shield laws, which limit the ability of defense lawyers and the press to put the victim on trial.

    Most of all, you can listen to victims and support them: not walk away because the topic is painful, even when they need to go over it many times; not try to make any more sense of their assaults by suggesting they could have done something to stop it; not try to find a way to make the event less than it was so it seems less intimidating. Just listen.

  10. mal says

    Thank you Stephanie for the article and raising awareness. I believe a lot of the problem with society dealing with issues like rape, suicide, etc are based around the stigma or taboo in openly talking about them.
    You’re advice about ‘just’ listening is great! Nonjudgmental listening is so supportive.
    May I also offer that in many areas there could be free services available for people who need to talk or get advice and if you know contact details for those services may be able to help someone by pointing them in that direction.
    I live in Australia and I know of a few telephone services and web sites that off great sound information and help all for free.

  11. The Ys says

    I have already cried once today after reading through Congress’s “Hey, doctors! You can just let pregnant women die!” bill.

    I have no tears left. I’m sad and violently angry, and I wish there was something I could do to help that poor girl.

    How the fuck can anyone live with themselves when they hurt people like this?