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Sexual Assault Victims

Should victims report crime, even without proof?


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spud_meister

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If the victim of a sexual assault can't provide conclusive evidence of the assault, should they even bother reporting the crime?
 

Indian Giver

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Your poll is incomplete. If they were assaulted, yes, they should report it to the proper law enforcement agency as soon as the alleged assault took place.

Not 10-20 years later, just prior to an election, and to the Washington Compost.
 

Aristaeus

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If the victim of a sexual assault can't provide conclusive evidence of the assault, should they even bother reporting the crime?

Of course. The victim doesn't need to provide proof, that's why the police have detectives and forensics teams.
 

Phys251

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Terrible OP that (1) puts the burden of sexual assault onto the survivor and (2) tries to dictate to them an action that should ultimately be their choice.
 

Masterhawk

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While it is true that the burden of proof is on the accuser, that shouldn't stop the victim from pressing charges in the first place.
 

Kal'Stang

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If the victim of a sexual assault can't provide conclusive evidence of the assault, should they even bother reporting the crime?

Simple question to ask. Not so simple to answer.

IMO yes, they should report sexual assault as soon as they can right after the perp leaves them. However this can come at a price. If enough sexual assault victims start reporting the crime immediately (which has a higher chance of successful prosecution) then the perps will simply start killing the person and dispose of the body afterwards. A person may not want to report what happened to them for fear of that. And there are far too many unsolved crimes to rely too much on the justice system.

I'm not saying that no one should report sexual assaults. They most definitely should 100% of the time. But it may start coming up with a price in the future.

That said, what shouldn't happen is for someone to claim that a sexual assault happened 10-20 years in the past. That long in the past there is no way to prove that it actually did happen. But public opinion will assume that it did and respond accordingly regardless if it actually happened or not. And there is plenty of evidence that there are some people that will use that fact against someone simply because they don't like that someone, even though they know no actual sexual assault (or any other crime) happened. If we could trust that people wouldn't do such then this wouldn't matter. Unfortunately there is no way to give that much trust to people. They're simply not worthy of it. Yes, this sucks for actual victims that were too afraid to speak up at the time. And I wish we could weed out the liars vs the truth with 110% accuracy. But, we can't. And as harsh as it sounds, that's life, and no one ever said life was fair.
 

HowardBThiname

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If the victim of a sexual assault can't provide conclusive evidence of the assault, should they even bother reporting the crime?

Yes, if that's what they would like to do -- they should do it.

They should not be forced to do it, however.
 

Aristaeus

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If the victim of a sexual assault can't provide conclusive evidence of the assault, should they even bother reporting the crime?

How does one go about providing conclusive evidence one has been sexually assaulted before going to the police?
 

Aristaeus

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Simple question to ask. Not so simple to answer.

IMO yes, they should report sexual assault as soon as they can right after the perp leaves them. However this can come at a price. If enough sexual assault victims start reporting the crime immediately (which has a higher chance of successful prosecution) then the perps will simply start killing the person and dispose of the body afterwards. A person may not want to report what happened to them for fear of that. And there are far too many unsolved crimes to rely too much on the justice system.

I'm not saying that no one should report sexual assaults. They most definitely should 100% of the time. But it may start coming up with a price in the future.

That said, what shouldn't happen is for someone to claim that a sexual assault happened 10-20 years in the past. That long in the past there is no way to prove that it actually did happen. But public opinion will assume that it did and respond accordingly regardless if it actually happened or not. And there is plenty of evidence that there are some people that will use that fact against someone simply because they don't like that someone, even though they know no actual sexual assault (or any other crime) happened. If we could trust that people wouldn't do such then this wouldn't matter. Unfortunately there is no way to give that much trust to people. They're simply not worthy of it. Yes, this sucks for actual victims that were too afraid to speak up at the time. And I wish we could weed out the liars vs the truth with 110% accuracy. But, we can't. And as harsh as it sounds, that's life, and no one ever said life was fair.

There are many reasons why someone may wait years before reporting a rape or sexual assault. Read up about Jimmy Savile for insight of this kind of behaviour. You think a 15 year old girl who accused a famous and powerful celebrity of sexual assault in the 70's or 80's would be believed? Would a 15 year old want to go through the media circus and a trial with not much chance of winning?
 

Kal'Stang

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There are many reasons why someone may wait years before reporting a rape or sexual assault. Read up about Jimmy Savile for insight of this kind of behaviour. You think a 15 year old girl who accused a famous and powerful celebrity of sexual assault in the 70's or 80's would be believed? Would a 15 year old want to go through the media circus and a trial with not much chance of winning?

Please re-read what I said. I know very well many reasons why someone would not want to report a rape. That doesn't make anything that I said any less true.
 

HowardBThiname

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How does one go about providing conclusive evidence one has been sexually assaulted before going to the police?

The thing is -- no one can provide conclusive evidence unless they recorded the event and have it on video, and even then, some might be accused of doctoring the video.

The right thing to do, however, is to immediately report the incident. Depending on what the investigation turns up, charges may or may not be eventually filed, but that's true for all crimes - not just sexual crimes.

If a person does not want to make a report, however, they should not be forced to do so, but they should understand that any accusations they report later will have much less credibility.

We all have to take some responsibility for sticking up for ourselves, and reporting crimes against us is part of that responsibility. If it's a child, the parents should report.
 

Crosscheck

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A better question is the defendant less guilty as time goes by since the crime was committed?
 

gulfman

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Dont report it immediately.Wait 10 or 20 years like most women do.
 

Moderate Right

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If the victim of a sexual assault can't provide conclusive evidence of the assault, should they even bother reporting the crime?

It should be reported to the police, not the media.
 

Moderate Right

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Terrible OP that (1) puts the burden of sexual assault onto the survivor and (2) tries to dictate to them an action that should ultimately be their choice.

It was just a poll question. The OP did not specify which way they felt.
 

Indian Giver

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How does one go about providing conclusive evidence one has been sexually assaulted before going to the police?
Presence of semen is a good indicator. Rape kits exist, you know.
 

Aristaeus

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Presence of semen is a good indicator. Rape kits exist, you know.

1) presence of semen does not prove rape.
2) I was talking about sexual assault you Nazi scum.
 

Crosscheck

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Dont report it immediately.Wait 10 or 20 years like most women do.

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -
A victim of sports doctor Larry Nassar has accepted a public apology from a police department near Lansing, Michigan, nearly 14 years after officers took a complaint from her but didn't seek criminal charges.

Nassar victim accepts apology from police - WNEM TV 5


Yes, they should report it immediately but it isn't like reporting someone stole your yard's Christmas decorations. There are so many societal factors involved.
But nothing makes me more happy than seeing some scum get nailed after years of believing he got away with a crime.

Years back I was a juror on rape trial involving the rape of a 15 year old girl. She did the right thing and reported it that evening. Our local police drove out to the park in which the crime occurred and with flashlights scanned the area and located the semen she told them she spat out. They brought it back for evidence and it sat there for over a year. Then finally the rapist got arrested elsewhere for stolen property and since it was a felony his DNA was taken. A short time later they had a match between that rape and this gentlemen in the DNA bank. And boom over a year later our finest walks up to his front door and ask he come downtown for a little discussion. He thought since it had been so long that surely he was free of any responsibility for his act. The rest is history.
 

Phys251

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It was just a poll question. The OP did not specify which way they felt.

So you don't care how the survivor felt. That lack of empathy is a key component of rape itself.
 

Cephus

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Absolutely. If they choose not to, then they have to understand that if they come forward later, their testimony will not be taken as seriously as it might have had the police been able to investigate and gather evidence at the time. Of course, it's their choice what they do, but actions, or in this case inactions, have consequences.
 

Rogue Valley

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Yes, do so immediately. You may think there is no evidence, but that may not necessarily be true. Do the rape-kit test at the hospital. It the victim resisted, have an evidence technician check fingernails and clothing for skin/hair samples for a DNA analysis. The ET's may also check certain crime-scenes (such as inside a vehicle) for fingerprints and may be able to locate private/commercial video cameras the victim is unaware of. Never simply assume a crime is unsolvable.

That said, much also depends on the effort/resources of the police/investigative agency.
 

Travelsonic

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So you don't care how the survivor felt.

Eh, I think he was just saying that you can create a poll with opnions, and not give your opinion on the matter per-se.
 
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