On Judging Victims

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Learning about humanity’s nearly infinite shades is an unending process, so lately I’ve been getting to know a rape victim.

It started with asking her to sit next to me and trying to give a beginner’s lesson on how to read people at a glance. It continued one night with hearing that she was celebrating the anniversary of her rape. It went further when I looked after her as she tried to drink herself into oblivion, and later, while her head rested on my shoulder, I used a tiny bit of my knowledge of history to make the point that “her day” was also “the” day for millions of other people (It was 27 January, Holocaust Remembrance Day), that she wasn’t alone in the justified bitterness, anger, hatred and pain.

 

 

A few days later, I kept her company while she waited fruitlessly for the bus and watched as she nearly had a panic attack because of the deep-seated fear of people (especially men) she carries inside.

Instead of feeling sorry for the woman, I showed up on her birthday with a small package nicely wrapped in pink paper, which I presented with the words “Happy birthday! May this mark the beginning of a beautiful year for you and an end to your fear”.

Under the wrapper was a beautiful yet deadly Tanto-edged knife which I’d hoped would foster the beginning of a sense of security, assuming she ever learns how to use it for self-defence.

 

 

Recently, she was talking about having drunk too much over the weekend. A younger woman told her bluntly “you’re an alcoholic”.

I didn’t know if that was true, but after the woman had left, I bought us a round and raised my glass with the words “They say in order to get over something, we have to go through it. That works for some people, but others go through things for the rest of their lives and NEVER get over them. Here’s to not being judged”- by those lacking the knowledge necessary to pass such judgment, that is.

 

 

The Locard Principle states that when you touch something, it touches you in return and each leaves a trace of itself on the other. Nietzsche said when you look deep into the darkness, it will stare back into you. To live life, we must experience it as shallowly or deeply as we can or must.

In return, life experiences us as shallowly or deeply as it does. Rape is a deep experience, about as deep a look into darkness as one can take, and that darkness stares in the survivors’ souls, changing them to the point at which many never see the light again.    

 

 

Like everybody else, I make judgment calls every day. In this case, I judged that a woman needed empathy (not pity, that’s demeaning) and empowerment instead of shallow criticism. So, what did you do with your judgment today?

Comments

Mark Klaers Added Mar 22, 2017 - 8:52am
Most people have little to no idea what they can do or take. So very few have ever been "tested". Most believe they have, but their frame of reference is usually somewhere near learning to tie their shoes. Others, like the woman you mention here has been "pushed" so far they're a broken shoe lace away from a breakdown.
Being judged by those without a clue is laughable. If booze is what it takes for her, who am I or anyone else to comment. I've seen where women in the same situation choose promiscuity as their relief. Until they choose a better path, stay close enough for support, but otherwise, keep out of their way. They'll work their through it and be stronger for it.
Mircea Negres Added Mar 22, 2017 - 3:32pm
You're right, Mark. Most people have no clue. I set some of them a little straight later. Still, it was quite annoying to see adults and teenagers who knew nothing of the situation pass judgement on her. I originally sent this to my local newspaper, but they never published it, perhaps because it's not the weak stuff about such horror they often print. My opinion is that it is foolish to judge people without knowing what's happening to them and worse, not do anything about it. Then again, I think it was you who once wrote if a guy gets attacked by four or five people, passersby are more likely to pull out their phones to film the attack than to jump in. Such is human nature.
Mircea Negres Added Mar 22, 2017 - 3:40pm
Thanks for the compliment, Tom. I understand what you mean, rape being one of the most cowardly things a poor excuse for a human being can do. This woman's case was even worse- she was gang-raped by five or six guys and I don't know if they were caught. 
Mircea Negres Added Mar 23, 2017 - 7:00am
Tom, I agree with you, for whatever that's worth. I have no problem with executing rapists, it's just the South African law enforcement and legal systems which worry me, because they're probably only a step above the Mexican one in terms of efficiency and professionalism. Then there are myriad of instances of corruption and wrongful convictions along with thousands of documented cases of torture since 1994, which make the prospect of executing innocent people rather unappealing. Had it been otherwise, I'd be marching in the streets to demand that capital punishment be reintroduced.
Louis E Weeks Added Mar 23, 2017 - 7:31am
As a small child I was introduced to the reality of monsters in society when a little girl I went to school with and had played with and been to her home before ended up the last victim of Ted Bundy, I still can't think of her without being very emotional about it.  The things he did to her is not something we can discuss openly.
 
There is evil in the world, and from that evil men like Ted Bundy and others are born to hurt others.  I agree with Tom, I would gladly handle a rapist or any other real monster and make sure he can never again do what he did to someone else, we can't erase what was done, but we can ensure that monster can never do it again.
 
 
Mark Klaers Added Mar 23, 2017 - 7:45am
That's hitting the nail on the head, Mr. Weeks. The Death Penalty is not about deterrence, it's about punishment. Bad people are going to be bad no matter what the penalty is. To me, life imprisonment is unfair. You still get to enjoy some level of a life. Something you denied someone else.
With that being said, I want  all doubt removed before I'll allow the state to take someone's life. If there is any question, then grant life imprisonment until you can be exonerated or proven guilty. If we have you on film committing a murder, along with eyewitnesses and your DNA, you should be executed at the end of the week.
William Stockton Added Mar 23, 2017 - 8:15am
Thumbs up Mircea.
Doug Plumb Added Mar 23, 2017 - 8:28am
Real rapists, the kind that are really guilty, (rape by force and not charisma) are just wired wrong. Most of the people accused probably aren't guilty.
Dino Manalis Added Mar 23, 2017 - 1:11pm
We shouldn't judge victims, we ought to judge criminals whoever they are!
Donna Added Mar 23, 2017 - 5:01pm
Mircea,great article..and thank you for taking a moment like that and not pitying her..You showed what a true man and human being can be..
Doug, care to clarify what you mean by most are not probably not guilty?
Leroy Added Mar 23, 2017 - 6:03pm
Nice article, Mircea.  Let's hope that your little present is well used on any would-be rapist.   Death is too good, though.  Perhaps cutting their genitals off and feeding them estrogen and housing them in a multiple person jail cell would be not only punishment but a deterrent as well. 
Billy Roper Added Mar 23, 2017 - 10:10pm
Since the end of the apartheid, Jo'berg's rape statistics have become appalling. I think it's only recently been overtaken by Malmo, Sweden, where hordes of nonWhite Muslims have been dumped, as the rape capitol of the world.
Mircea Negres Added Mar 24, 2017 - 2:38am
Well put, Mr. Weeks.
Mircea Negres Added Mar 24, 2017 - 2:40am
Mark, I'm with you there. If there is indisputable evidence, the ultimate punishment should be swift and ultimate...
Mircea Negres Added Mar 24, 2017 - 2:42am
Doug, there are indeed a lot of innocent men in prison due to wrongful convictions, although I don't know what the percentage is.
Mircea Negres Added Mar 24, 2017 - 2:47am
Agreed, Dino. However, most of the people I've met are inclined to judge superficially instead of taking the time to understand the situation. I think it's largely due to the difficulty of becoming involved and the sometimes hopeless causes out there, which discourage them. Of course, they don't understand that even a little help can make a difference while indifference merely allows evil to triumph.
Mircea Negres Added Mar 24, 2017 - 2:52am
Donna, society pities victims and almost never empowers them. That's a mistake which perpetuates misery, and I wasn't going to stand by while another human being endured a living hell.
Mircea Negres Added Mar 24, 2017 - 2:56am
I hear you, Leroy. To me it was about helping the woman understand that she could face a dangerous world and I tried to give her the means to do it. In general, rapists have a very hard time in South African prisons, much like American ones, though it's probably a lot worse here because of the overcrowding which makes it very difficult to segregate. Based on what I know most of them end up walking funny out of jail, if they make it out...
Mircea Negres Added Mar 24, 2017 - 3:02am
Billy, you're right. The rape statistics have gone through the roof over the last two decades since the death penalty was declared unconstitutional. What's worse, it seems most of the rapes go unreported because the police aren't very good at dealing with rape victims and cases drag on for a long time. In one case, a lesbian was gang-raped because of her sexual orientation (it's called "corrective rape" but rape corrects nothing) and her case went through 4 years and 48 postponements. The rapists were eventually sentenced and she was awarded a measly R55.000 in compensation for the court's bungle, but $4000 or thereabouts is nothing when compared to the damage done by both rapists and legal system.
wsucram15 Added Mar 24, 2017 - 4:33am
Mircea..you did a kind thing and I wish more people were like you.  If everyone took the time to understand what rape really is, how it affects the victim both long and short term and how the judicial system treats victims and offenders both.  On college campuses, it is a hidden crime and the statistics are very high.
In America however, a majority of rapes are committed by people the person knows and 69% of men accused of rape are white and only 3% serve jail time for the crime.
As a rape victim, it is a life altering experience, pretty much everything stops for a time, and how you look at people, even people you know changes. For me, I developed a strange instinct about people that I didnt have prior to that. I love people and that made it difficult for me in my life.   I learned self defense, I knew how to shoot a gun, my older brother gave me one and I was wicked with my knife.   After about two years, with the help of friends and family I went across the country and tried to not be so afraid.  It was very difficult. Even now, I still carry a self defense tool, which I have used to defend myself.  Ive known women who have gone to jail for going after their rapist since the justice system does nothing.
 
I work with victims, often addicts themselves, sometimes in jail.  I have heard some horror stories about rape that made what I went through seem so small in comparison.  In the end though, the feelings are the similar. Except in cases of physical damage, and pregnancy.  Sometimes its within the family, rape is rape. ITs not about sex. People really do make that mistake. 
 
But for giving a woman who is having a hard time, the benefit of doubt, keep up the good work.  There is a reason she hides with Alcohol..see if there is a womans peer group for victims and try to get her to go...
William Stockton Added Mar 24, 2017 - 8:24am
wsu, ". . . and 69% of men accused of rape are white and only 3% serve jail time for the crime."
 
Racist and sexist!  So 66% of white women are liars?  Prove it!
 
oh wait . . . 
 
So you mean those white men, with their white priveledge, are swaying the juries (or plea-dealing with their white cash) with their white smiles and white haircuts.  Prove it!
Mark Klaers Added Mar 24, 2017 - 9:28am
Damn! You beat me to it, Will.
Billy Roper Added Mar 24, 2017 - 9:37am
Sara, or Jean, or WSU, whatever it is calling itself today, is one of those morbidly obese, anti-White feminists who have fantasies of a White man raping her, and make up lies to have it seem more likely to happen. In reality, the racial aspect of rape here in the U.S. is just the opposite of what she implies.
 
target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Year 2003 – Rape/Sexual Assault
White on Black:0
Black on White: 20,309
Black on Black: 21,104
 
target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Year 2004 – Rape/Sexual Assault
White on Black: 0
Black on White: 11,610
Black on Black: 35,330
 
target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Year 2005 – Rape/Sexual Assault
White on Black : 0
Black on White: 37,460
Black on Black: 36, 620
 
target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Year 2006 – Rape/Sexual Assault
White on Black: 0
Black on White: 32, 443
Black on Black: 7,705
 
target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Year 2007 – Rape/Sexual Assault
White on Black: 0
Black on White: 14,092
Black on Black: 12,780
 
target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Year 2008 – Rape/Sexual Assault
White on Black: 0
Black on White: 19,292
Black on Black: 34,841
 
Total over six conservative years:
White on Black: 0
Black on White: 135,206
Black on Black: 148,380
 
Average over six consecutive years:
White on Black: 0
Black on White: 22,534
Black on Black: 24,730
 
 
wsucram15 Added Mar 27, 2017 - 6:30pm
William those are the statistics. The accusations of white men on campuses is much higher and they hide it completely.
Look it up...those arent my stats.  But I do work with rape victims...those are the stats.  Only 3% of rape cases are prosecuted currently.  Some sites do have 7% listed, but Im sticking with my stats..think what you want.
I will say this..you can buy a good defense, I guarantee you most of the attorneys I know (some are Professors with a practice), would get a walk on rape, most wont even take a case like that. Remember William I have worked in and around the law for almost 40 years.
Even with DNA evidence, defendant might have a defense, but most rape kits dont utilize DNA.  The DNA proves the defendant was there, not a crime, the burden of proof is on plaintiff and she better be Mother Theresa.
wsucram15 Added Mar 27, 2017 - 8:12pm
Let me state though that RAINN says the current number of whites accused is now 57%.   My last numbers are from a DOJ report from 2015 and Washington Post. 
Currently for offenders, the DOJ and FBI utilize victim advocacy groups for data. It is more reliable with the exception of incarceration rate.