BY AWA DIA
Earlier this week I was scrolling down my timeline, and I saw that my cousin reposted an article from VOX about Bill Cosby. The headline titled“, I believe Bill Cosby.” At first, I was taken back, a little angry but I decided to click on the link anyway. Making my way through the article I soon realized that it was an open letter. As soon as I read the first sentence of this article I could not stop reading.
“ Bill Cosby, let me say this: I believe you.
I believe you when you say in a 2005 deposition that “yes,” you give women Quaaludes.
I believe you when you say you knew it was illegal to get the prescriptions. (I also believe that the gynecologist who gave them to you knew you really shouldn’t be his patient in the first place.)
I believe you when you describe your version of what consent means, one that isn’t so much based on “yes.”
Cosby’s case was declared a mistrial, but it said a lot about how difficult it is for women to prove rape. I personally was unaware of how difficult it was for women to prove rape. So… what really prevents rape case prosecution?
1.Not enough Rape kit nurses
The sad truth is that sexual assault situations are not like Law & Order SVU. The New York Times an article headlined“,Where are the Rape-Kitt Nurses ?” There are not many rape-kit nurses in any hospital in U.S. The small amount of rape-kit nurses are more common in rural areas. Even if a survivor gets a rape-kit the examination will take up to six hours. The NYT article includes the extensive testing for this kit.
You would imagine that the six-hour long rape-kit would be enough evidence, but no. According to the NYT article, It has been a national issue for some time. Many rape kits go untested across the U.S. A rape kit can give all the information one would need to prosecute for a rape charge.
3.Statutes of limitations
This one, in my opinion, is extremely unfair. I don’t think many people understand how difficult it is for survivors to come forward with their assaults. There are so many factors that keep someone quiet for a long time. Their attacker could be close to them (family, friend, authority figure, ex-boyfriend.) They could also worry about their life is at risk or just the idea of anyone knowing. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) reported that only 344 of every 1,000 rapes are reported. In addition to that, they reported: “Out of every 1000 rapes, 994 perpetrators will walk free.”
4. Bias Bias Bias
I personally believe that when someone says they’ve been stabbed or shot people would believe them. When a rape victim says they’ve been taken advantage of, many are lead to automatically believe that they’re lying. If your friend got stabbed you would be more likely to say “, Oh my gosh, are you okay?” It would be weird to say,“Are you sure?” “Were you drunk?” “What were you wearing?” I just wonder why our country does not like to discuss the topic of rape?
5.Reputation is more important than the victim.
I think this is something that has been brought to attention in the past few years. From college campuses to Hollywood, it is very clear that people think about reputation more than the person that has been assaulted. We see this in the news all the time. The college football player, the football coach, the teacher, and even America’s Dad. Not all of them get away with what they did, but reputation is most important.
I challenge you all to open up the conversation. It’s definitely more than “he said she said.”