Today in Rape Culture

[Content Note: Sexual violence; rape apologia.]

I read these stories back-to-back this morning:

1. Via Aspie Grumpy Cat: A survivor of rape in the UK was told by prosecutors that her case was dropped because she couldn't have been raped since she was wearing Spanx.
Suzanne (not her real name) was raped by her partner in December 2012 but was told that her Spanx - a type of undergarment that shapes the body - were partly to blame for the case being dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Her story emerges as it is revealed that there were 129 fewer rape suspects convicted of any offence in 2013 than in the year before, while the numbers of rape cases referred to prosecutors for charging has fallen by more than a third since 2011 - despite a rise in offences recorded by police.

...Suzannah was shocked to receive a letter from a CPS lawyer in September 2013 which said: "I have taken into account all the surrounding circumstances, including the exchange of text messages between you before and after the incident."

"I have also considered your account of the incident, particularly bearing in mind the type of underwear that you had on at the time," the letter added.

...She appealed the decision and a CPS prosecutions manager told her that the decision not to prosecute had been correct for a variety of reasons, but admitted that the previous lawyer "made an unnecessary reference" to the underwear, which had no relevance to the investigation.
Except for how it clearly did have some relevance to the investigation, as at least one lawyer involved with the case believes that a victim wearing Spanx is relevant.

Now, after failing to prosecute Suzanne's case, the CPS doesn't even have the decency to acknowledge its failure.

2. Via Feminista Jones: A confessed rapist in Texas, who raped a 14-year-old girl, was sentenced to five years probation and "won't have to follow many of the restrictions typically given to sex offenders" because, according to State District Judge Jeanine Howard, the victim was not a virgin and "wasn't the victim she claimed to be."
Howard said she made her decision for several reasons, including: The girl had texted Young asking him to spend time with her; the girl had agreed to have sex with him but just didn't want to at school; medical records show the girl had three sexual partners and had given birth to a baby; and Young was barely 18 at the time.

"She wasn't the victim she claimed to be," Howard said. "He is not your typical sex offender."
And now, as a result of this abject failure to meaningfully hold her rapist accountable, the victim regrets ever reporting the incident.
The victim, who is now 17, told The News on Thursday night that she feels it would have been better if she had never come forward about the 2011 assault. She and Young testified last week at his trial that she had told Young "stop" and "no" numerous times before and during the attack at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, where both were students.

"I did what I was supposed to do. I went to the law about this situation," she said. The judge's probation sentence and the removal of the restrictions — "that says everything I went through was for nothing."

"It would have been better for me not to say anything," said the girl, who is not being identified because The Dallas Morning News does not typically identify victims of sex crimes.
We are failing survivors, over and over. And then we wonder why survivors are reluctant to report, to engage with law enforcement and the legal system. And instead of getting its shit together to support survivors, the system increasingly just blames and criminalizes victims who refuse to cooperate.

This is rape culture.

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