Theater of Cruelty

Publicity as a birth control

Should we hang out the rapists in public?


[essay] On April 25, we awoke to the news that as many as 48 percent of Norwegian men believe that the woman is fully or partially responsible for a rape if she flirts openly in advance. Grief and Veddegjerde reflect here on how the rule of law can give women better protection against rape.

Worries: First, let's establish some facts, so that we talk about the same thing.

Vedde Fence: OKAY.

Worries: From 2002 to 2005, four major studies on sexual abuse of women were published. Out of a total of 10.500 respondents say, after very careful interpretation, every tenth to have been subjected to rape or attempted rape. That means at least 200.000 victims and thousands of perpetrators who go free. According to. our own survey from 2002 only five per cent of the abuses are reported to the police. In addition, we know that only a fraction of those who are notified are convicted. A little brutally we can say that there is no legal risk in raping. The Norwegian state is unable to give its women the legal security they are entitled to. What on earth should we do?

Vedde Fence: The Marianne Aulie case shows how difficult this is.

Worries: What do you mean?

Vedde Fence: My first reaction was, "My God! Poor bastards, "but this is a reaction that presupposes that the two people [whom Aulie accused of raping during NRK's ​​live broadcast on March 12. eds.] are innocent. For what is just as bad as innocent of being accused of rape? Obviously being raped ... Here's the paradox. To put it mildly, it is astonishing how unison the commentators condemned Aulie's "confession." But behind the unanimous condemnation, some of the prejudices associated with rape are hidden.

Worries: What are you thinking about?

Vedde Fence: First and foremost, the prejudice about the creditor's lack of credibility. "This Aulie, she screams for the most part ... She sat drinking with these two men! Did she even bring what happened to her? She likes to show off now ... 'The same skepticism is facing many women, not just Aulie.

Worries: But is it unreasonable to assume that Aulie speaks correctly? This thought must be allowed to think aloud. Hardly anyone dared. Instead, a potential victim was left alone. Jon Bing said in Morgenbladet that Aulie was in fact entitled to express herself as she did if she spoke true. I haven't read it anywhere else, as obvious as it is. For it is ethics that is the basis of law, not the other way around.

Vedde Fence: Where do you want this?

Worries: The fact that someone escapes legally due to lack of evidence does not necessarily mean that he or she must also escape ethically and morally. I experience that one has confused a legal presumption of innocence with a moral one. We must at least be able to discuss whether women have a moral right to name perpetrators in public, even without evidence – as long as there is hardly any real possibility that the rule of law will judge them. But such a discussion does not exist and was suffocated in the Aulie case in its infancy.

Vedde Fence: There are good reasons for that. Public naming of perpetrators without evidence quickly leads to both rape and gap-law law…

Worries: I am fully aware of it and in no way think it is unproblematic. But isn't it thought-provoking that society so easily prefers one injustice to the other? One wrong applies to men, the other women. Which injustice is greatest? The injustice of being hanged for rape? Or being raped? We do not get past the fact that there are men who are best protected by the rule of law.

Vedde Fence: You are right that it is the potential offender who comes out best, but that is the whole idea behind the principle of innocence.

presumption to protect people from false accusations.

Worries: Yes, but ... is it a greater injustice to be found innocent of being raped than to be subject to the same crime? Both forms of injustice can each in their own way destroy lives, but society unilaterally sympathizes with the men here. I must say, I like you, that it is astonishing how unison Norway felt sorry for two men who are possibly innocent, while no one seemed to publicly sin on her who may have been the victim of a rape attempt.

Vedde Fence: An untested claim that you are labeled a rapist can do irreparable harm. Friends, neighbors and family will always remember, this will affect the rest of your life. After all, you can ask the suspects in the Bjugn case, who were actually acquitted, what this is like.

Worries: Okay, I see the point ... But if we emphasize women's moral right to hang the bell on the cat, we give them an opportunity to defend themselves. From time to time, the wrong man will be charged, but maybe this is the price one has to pay to increase women's legal security? We must remember what Jon Bing pointed out, there is no wrong in naming an actual, non-convicted abuser in public. It is wrong to abuse this right, it is wrong to accuse falsely. Do not mix these two things together!

Vedde Fence: I agree that women's legal security must be strengthened, I agree that abusers all too often get away too easily, but I do not see this justifying the publication of unproven charges. If violators are to be named publicly, then this must be defined within very clear boundaries, with clear procedures. One must secure innocents from false accusations.

Worries: But within what limits, with what procedures? My contention is that the boundaries are too narrow today – or enforced too narrowly. The abuser is protected more than the victim! If you believe that women's legal security should be strengthened, then come up with any concrete proposals?

Vedde Fence: One idea might be that you consistently deal with criminal proceedings and the private law issue of damages in one and the same case. In a criminal case, the guilt case must be proven beyond reasonable doubt, in a damages case it holds with reasonable probability. The Prosecutor's Office may take charges on a tactical basis.

Worries: How?

Vedde Fence: Although the prosecutor sees that a prosecution will not lead to criminal conviction, he or she can bring a case with the aim of obtaining damages. This is not practice as of today. In a damages case, you only have to prove with a preponderant probability that an abuse has occurred. Changing practices will result in more convictions, which in turn will lead to more reviews. Several convictions, in damages cases, will have a preventive effect. In addition, indemnity can offset some of the negative consequences that an acquittal has for the offended. At the same time, the accused will have procedures that protect against false accusations.

Worries: In addition, one should make it easier to report the abuses. What if the medical aid and the police could work closer together?

Vedde Fence: In what way?

Worries: When a woman arrives at the rape clinic, a policewoman should only be a phone call away to receive the report at the rape clinic – not at the police station. It definitely lowers the threshold for reviewing. The number of reviews must go up! We need to work for more reviews as this will lead to fewer abuses.

Vedde Fence: It sounds reasonable ...

Worries: ... And then you get the opportunity to make the offender visible by conviction ... and it will seem preventative!

Vedde Fence: Highlighting?

Worries: A modification of my previous thought. I propose that we in the MMV undertake to dig up the identity of men who have been convicted of rape or attempted rape, both in criminal and tort cases, unless they have served their sentence. This is publicly available information, which we must in principle be able to post on our website.

Vedde Fence: Uff, now you are pulling the gap again ...

Worries: Yes, but this time it is after the rule of law has said its. One could also have a scheme whereby the abuser's name is published for a limited period, as one of society's official ways of responding. In principle, such cases are public today. In spite of this, I predict that such thoughts could trigger a crazy fuss! Because if there's something perpetrators screaming about, it's public. But I fear that it is only when we men feel this way that we get a real interest in the number of rapes going down. Maybe we need to admit that Dad advises his son: "Don't go alone with unknown women, you could risk being charged for rape"? What do we say to our daughters today? "Now be careful which man you bring home ...!"

Vedde Fence: I must give you a point there ...

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