Thursday, August 20, 2009

Apparently this judge knows something I don't

Trigger warning

Or maybe I know something he doesn't. Cara over at The Curvature has posted about this man.

Three years ago in B.C., Canada, a woman woke up in the bed of the man in the image to the left. She was bleeding and bruised, and though she remembered going out for a night on town, she didn’t remember how she got in this bed, or what had happened to her. Medical examinations determined that a man had vaginally penetrated her, and also found sedatives in her system.

The man’s name is Fernando Manuel Alves, and he pleaded guilty to sexual assault in the rape of this woman. He was initially charged with sexually assaulting three other women, and administering a noxious substance, though those charges were eventually dropped.

Despite pleading guilty, though, to the rape of a woman who has described since feeling the loss of both her will to live and ability to feel safe, Alves is not going to spend a single day in jail. No, instead, he received a 9 month conditional sentence, and placement on the sex offender registry.

Why, exactly, is Alves not being sent to jail for his violent crime, when non-violent criminals are sent there all the time? Well, that would be the point of particular interest:

In sentencing, the B.C. provincial court judge said Alves was not pathologically dangerous but had committed a crime of opportunity.

The judge ordered that Alves be placed on the sex-offender registry for the next 20 years but that he not spend time in jail.

Yes. Seemingly, since the judge felt the need to express as much during sentencing, Alves is not going to jail because he is believed to be not pathologically dangerous. And the way we know he is not dangerous is because his crime, his rape, was one of of opportunity.

One can only assume that when a rape is called a “crime of opportunity,” the “opportunity” in question is a woman being in the rapist’s presence.

I don't even know where to begin with how fucking ridiculous this shit is. Calling this a "crime of opportunity" is misogynist victim blaming which says the victims simply do not matter. I cannot imagine the trauma his victims are now suffering from, and can only assume it has worsened by the lack of punishment. Apparently it was his victims' faults for being in his proximity, which of course removes any agency and responsibility from the rapist.

Cara goes onto point out

We are constantly treated as though our bodies are opportunities for rape. Victims are constantly told that they created an opportunity for someone to hurt them. And it’s absolutely disgusting that a court would buy into and propagate such a notion.

And it gets almost impossibly more disgusting still when you look at the fact that contrary to the judge’s assertion, this man actually is dangerous, not only because he has proven himself to see women’s bodies as an opportunity for rape, but because he has been accused of rape numerous times before.

In a rape culture such as ours, is it any wonder why most victims of sexual assault do not report the crimes, fearing the pervasive victim-blaming? This may be shocking to some people, but the only person responsible for rape is the rapist. It is entirely irrelevant to take into account what the victim was wearing, how much the victim drank, where the victim was, when the victim was there, if the victim was alone or with friends, etc.

No man has any excuse EVER to sexually assault a woman. And this judge is a fucking moron for thinking this man isn't dangerous.

But I guess that's what we women get for FUCKING EXISTING.

H/T: shani-o at PostBourgie


sexgenderbody said...

"Rape Culture" is the right idea, but I think it should be "rape planet" because every country on earth seems to suffer the same assignation of blame onto the victim.