Today in Rape Culture

[Content Note: Rape culture, sexual violence, revictimization.]

Last week, Shaker nina_bruja sent me this item about a judge in Sacramento who had imprisoned a 17-year-old rape survivor in order to compel her to testify against her alleged rapist. There was due to be a hearing yesterday, to determine if the young woman would have to spend even more time imprisoned, in addition to the two weeks, she's already spent there, so I waited to see what the outcome of that would be.

She has been released—but she is now being forced to wear a GPS monitor.
A 17-year-old alleged rape victim who was placed in juvenile hall to ensure she would testify was released from custody Monday, a week before she is expected to take the stand in Sacramento.

News 10 in the state capital reported that the teen will be released with GPS monitoring to ensure she does not flee before the April 23 trail. The Associated Press reported that the girl, a key witness, has a history of running away from her foster home.

The teen is slated to testify against defendant Frank Rackley Sr., 37, who prosecutors say abducted and raped her in July.

Superior Court Judge Lawrence G. Brown apologized to the girl Monday, saying she showed "great courage" throughout the ordeal, the Sacramento Bee reported. The paper said Brown had ordered the girl jailed last month after she failed to appear at both Rackley's preliminary hearing and trial.

As a result, prosecutors were forced to drop charges against Rackley in February, but the charges have since been refiled.
I understand that the prosecution wants to convict a man they believe to be a serial rapist. I understand that they don't want him to have the opportunity to create any more victims. But that admirable objective does not justify treating one of his known victims like a criminal.

Yes, that's right: One of his known victims. "Rackley has also been accused of rape in a second case. Rackley, who has a lengthy criminal record, is also accused of raping a prostitute who identified him through the Swastika tattooed on his chest."

One presumes that prosecutors consider the 17-year-old to be a more compelling witness than a prostitute, because of all the despicable rape culture narratives that argue sex workers can't be raped, or sex workers deserve it.

So not only is this 17-year-old young woman a survivor of rape; she's being revictimized by a justice [sic] system that has to treat her like a criminal because the rape culture makes it hard for them to do their job without her.

And while, again, I understand the urge to get this guy off the street, at some point once has to ask: At what cost? It's not fair to burden a victim with the singular task of helping (possibly) convict a serial rapist; if he rapes other people, that's his responsibility; not hers—and, even if it were fair, I guess I don't need to note that the possibility of being thrown in prison is a rather strong deterrent to other survivors of sexual violence when contemplating making a report.

Is conveying to survivors that this is what they risk by reporting, thus potentially discouraging multiple reports against multiple rapists, worth getting this one guy...?

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