U.S. House Republicans have received a great deal of attention over the past week since seeking to qualify the crime of rape with the term “forcible” in a high-profile piece of legislation. Such a distinction could create classes of rape victims, with “forcible rape” victims somehow being ordained as worse off than victims of statutory rape, date rape, rape by coercion or deception, rape of the disabled or mentally impaired… You get the picture.
But what if rape victims could no longer be referred to as “victims” at all? What if people who have endured this horrible – and already chronically underreported — crime could only be called “accusers”?
Georgia Republican state Rep. Bobby Franklin (of gold-standard-wannabe fame) [Editor's note: visit his facebook page and tell him what you think: http://www.facebook.com/pages/State-Rep-Bobby-Franklin-R-43/67713033609] has introduced a bill to change the state’s criminal codes so that in “criminal law and criminal procedure” (read: in court), victims of rape, stalking, and family violence could only be referred to as “accusers” until the defendant has been convicted.
Burglary victims are still victims. Assault victims are still victims. Fraud victims are still victims. But if you have the misfortune to suffer a rape, or if you are beaten by a domestic partner, or if you are stalked, Rep. Franklin doesn’t think you’ve been victimized. He says you’re an accuser until the courts have determined otherwise.
To diminish a victim’s ordeal by branding him/her an accuser essentially questions whether the crime committed against the victim is a crime at all. Robbery, assault, and fraud are allreal crimes with real victims, the Republican asserts with this bill.
Rep. Franklin surely is aware that the crimes for which he believes there are no victims are disproportionately committed against women—and are disproportionately committed by men.
When there’s violence against women involved, the rights of the accused clearly are more important to Rep. Franklin than the rights of the victim.
But if there’s no such thing as a victim in cases of rape, stalking, and domestic violence, he may think there’s no need to for him to be concerned with their rights, anyway.
Source has a link to the bill
is he freaking serious???????