Recently a man, appointed by authorities to protect her, raped a 15-year old girl. He also raped a 13-year old girl, and sexually assaulted another 15-year old. He pled guilty. His punishment? Probation. The fifteen-year-old girl that he raped? She received a year’s worth of incarceration for essentially skipping school.
Similarly, a man crawled through a woman’s window, threatened her at knifepoint stating that if she screamed he would kill her sleeping family. He then raped her. On his way out of her home he brazenly asked for her number – she thinking strategically gave it to him. The woman immediately reports the rape; the cops tapped her phone line and manage to record the assailant who does indeed call her. During the course of the conversation he admits to raping her. Yet despite this confession, he is declared not guilty. The jury feels that there is reasonable doubt, that perhaps the girl did know him, that perhaps she had consented to sex by knifepoint and had simply changed her mind after the fact. This despite the fact that she violently protested that she did not know her assailant and no one could establish any outside connection between the two.
Both of these cases happened in the United States, but the US is not alone in the way in which it views and treats women. Worldwide, when it comes to sexual assault between a man and a woman, the woman is almost always at fault. This inequality is rarely codified into law, but rather is codified in the court of public opinion that views what a woman wears, or a woman’s sexual past as evidence that any given sex act was consensual.