Because apparently women just shouldn’t leave the house


After an Arizona police officer was convicted of sexually abusing a woman at a bar, here’s what the judge had to say to the victim:

The judge sentencing Evans, Coconino County Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Hatch, said she hoped both the defendant and the victim would take lessons away from the case.

Bad things can happen in bars, Hatch told the victim, adding that other people might be more intoxicated than she was.

“If you wouldn’t have been there that night, none of this would have happened to you,” Hatch said. …

“When you blame others, you give up your power to change,” Hatch said that her mother used to say.

I guess bars are just a permanent no-go zone for women. Or anywhere that people are drunk. Or anywhere that anyone might sexually assault them. They just have to stay away from any place rapists might be.

Except, you know, that’s everywhere. Women are raped anywhere and everywhere: at bars, concerts, rallies, offices, in hotels, subways, alleys, parks, the woods, elevators, cars, any secluded or isolated space, in public, in broad daylight, even in their own homes. The “she shouldn’t have been there” argument is really nothing more than a “she shouldn’t have been anywhere” argument, because there is nowhere that women are not raped. What “power to change” ought the victim have exercised? The power to remove herself entirely from the society in which she lives, as all women supposedly must do because rapists just can’t stop raping people?

Would-be rapists do not have some Sims-like beacon above their head that says “I am here to rape someone”. If they aim to get close enough to someone to rape them, then broadcasting clear signals of their intentions is precisely what they will try not to do – they’ll seek to imitate non-rapists as best they can, so they don’t stand out at all. But hey, let’s not go blaming other people for raping women or anything. Let’s just hold the victims responsible for not being able to read people’s minds and identify predators at a glance, and for failing to wall themselves into a sealed room for the rest of their lives.

By the way, that claim of “If you wouldn’t have been there that night, none of this would have happened to you”? It’s not even true. It is explicitly, demonstrably false, in this very same case:

Evans also pinched another woman on the buttocks an hour before sexually abusing the victim in this case, according to a witness. The judge ruled before trial that the incident would be prejudicial if it was allowed to be admitted as evidence.

If she had not been there, someone else would have been assaulted. Someone else was assaulted. How many women should have to avoid public spaces just to keep from being abused by this man? All of them? They aren’t the ones to blame for this. If he hadn’t been there, none of this would have happened.

Comments

  1. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Makes one wanna rage-punch something that would make a satisfying cracking noise. Like bubble wrap or something.

    The ultimate message is, if you bitches didn’t exist, there wouldn’t be rape! So, stop existing!

    • says

      Makes one wanna rage-punch something that would make a satisfying cracking noise. Like bubble wrap or something.

      Punch the judge. It’d be her fault for being in your presence when you were enraged, after all.

      • Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

        Ah, but then and only then would victim blaming be wrong. Suddenly, touching other people without their consent would be a national tragedy! But only if they’re the right people. Sluts are fair game. And only sluts go to bars.

  2. says

    All this blame the victim crap is getting really old, it all boils down to “women, don’t do what you wanna do or its your own fault you got raped.” It is inherently frustrating that a society could be so stupid as to think that any of this is the victim’s fault. The victims are just living their lives, trying to have a little fun. They are called victims for a reason, now I am going to walk off mutter grumbling, lol.

  3. Coyote says

    Most of the time, lately, I’ve found Zinnia Jones to be insufferably liberal. On this issue though, I couldn’t fucking agree more. I understand that the judge was likely trying to make a point about looking out for one’s self to help prevent rape; at the same time however, I can’t imagine anyone pointing the blame at the rape victim here as the judge has done.

    I’ll admit, there are times when people do act irresponsibly and I believe they should know better than to place themselves in situations which are dangerous. This is not one of those times though. What the fuck was that judge thinking?

        • says

          In other words, Happiestsadist should have read your words as they resonate within the logic-deficient conservative world inside your head, not read what your words are communicating in the context of the actual world we — specifically, women and other female-bodied individuals — actually live in.

          Intent: It’s Fucking Magic™!

          • Coyote says

            Let’s be honest here. “Female-bodied individuals” is just another term for a guy who looks like a woman. I’m sick and tired of society having to coddle someone because they look like or try to look like a different gender than what they are. I’m not making fun of someone’s lifestyle choice, but say what you mean. You mean “a cross-dressing man”.

          • says

            I just saw Coyote’s response and I’m still unclear about what’s funny about “female-bodied individuals.” Seems to me it means people who are biologically female, not biologically male.

            A trans woman, or cross-dressing man, as Coyote would have it, would be a “male-bodied individual.”

      • Coyote says

        I’m not saying that a rape victim shouldn’t be safe any place they go, gods know that rape is never permissible. However, as people we all know there are some places and some activities that place a person at a higher risk of being assaulted. That’s not blaming the victim, that’s simply saying to be aware of one’s surroundings. In this case though, hell yeah that judge was out of fucking line.

  4. loreo says

    “When you blame others, you give up your power to change,” Hatch said that her mother used to say.

    This refrain… people seem to confuse motivational techniques (“Don’t blame others”) with sober, accurate assessments of reality.

    In this case, obviously, blaming Robb Evans was exactly the right thing to do, because he was at fault!

    • says

      The hypocrisy of this statement blows my mind because that’s what the judge is helping that police officer to do! He’s blaming other people for what he did. If we had removed the other party, he’d have done the same thing to someone else.

    • Corvus illustris says

      According to Judgepedia, judges at this level are elected in “nonpartisan” elections in the smaller counties of Arizona, including Coconino. Judges have to stand for election every four years, so in principle she could be voted out.

  5. natashayar-routh says

    But ket’s nit forget the icing on the cake, the man who assaulted her,a policeman, got off with probation. At least he did get fired from the force.

  6. S in Tokyo says

    “If you wouldn’t have been there that night, none of this would have happened to you,” Hatch said.

    Why can’t supposedly educated people use the subjunctive correctly? It should be:
    “If you hadn’t been there that night, none of this would have happened to you.”
    Not that I don’t find the sentiment absolutely disgusting.

  7. Richard Eis says

    “If you wouldn’t have been there that night, none of this would have happened to you,” Hatch said. …

    You mean near a police officer?

  8. cowalker says

    Apparently the judge would welcome some of that sharia law in Arizona, so that women who advertise the fact that they possess limbs and faces would have only themselves to blame if a man came up behind them in a public place and groped them under their clothes. What are those sluts doing going around naked under their clothes anyway? They’re playing with fire. There might be a horny drunk somewhere who they’re putting at risk of losing his hunting license.

  9. ottod says

    I don’t know how you could easily check, but based on the location and the name, I’d guess that the judge might be LDS. If true, this could explain the inclination to lack of sympathy for women who go to bars.

  10. ottod says

    For what it’s worth, the judge has apologized.

    http://azdailysun.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/judge-issues-apology/article_14f3a2e3-1be1-5b8a-9ade-e306a40964e1.html

    Also note that, according to the original story, the ex-DPS officer has lost his job, his right to vote, and his right to hunt. He will not have to register as a sex offender. I think that, more frightening than the leniency of the sentence were the friends of the defendant, including a local police officer, who essentially said that he shouldn’t be convicted because he was, you know, a police officer.

    • Old At Heart says

      I read the portion of the apology/story there.

      To me, it said “I’m sorry… that I got caught.”
      Or maybe, in all fairness “I’m sorry… that this became an international incident”.

      Quothe the judge:

      “I apologize to the victim for any additional anguish my comments may have caused…”

      That isn’t an apology. “I’m sorry that you can’t take the insults I’m hurling at you” is NOT an apology.

      Say this, judge: “I apologize for defending rape culture. My prior actions were inexcusable”. After which, ironically, I may excuse you. You can even toss an “inadvertently” in there somewhere, to cover your rear from getting fired.

      There’s nothing wrong with asking people to play safe. But this is not some coming of age novel, there is no “well I think we all learned an important life lesson” in here. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong lesson, wrong source (“my mum”, really? In a court of law?).

  11. says

    Ya know? Coyotes are very effective mid range predators, controlling populations of rodents, rabbits and even grasshoppers (locust), etc. Some anti-woman commentator, should use a male-human name. Don’t denigrate that name of a long-suffering, useful canine. (I believe first people/natives have a right to use his name and that they use it respectfully.)

    To the question: since this woman was in AZ, she could have been trained in martial arts and combat pistol shooting. The she could have had a concealed carry weapon and training in how not to have it turned against her immediately, OTOH, she could have carried a sword, but That is illegal.
    At the beginning of her rape, she could have killed her attacker in self defense or wounded him by shooting off some of his genitalia, also in self defense. But, since he’s a cop, there is no way she could actually win. Permanently stopping the rapist, would have been signing her death warrant!

  12. Edelmira Mayans says

    I guess Common can’t even read a calender. I had such high hopes for you, we were going to move onto clocks. Oh well, you can always play with your feet and try not to mess yourself.

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