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Dealing with rape face to face

Dec 08, 2014

from the article by Ruth Krug in the Battle Creek Enquirer:

More than a dozen women have now stepped forward alleging rape by iconic funnyman Bill Cosby, but few are likely to achieve some element of justice.

That's because they are clinging to the hopes that the criminal justice system will do what its name seems to imply: restore some sense of balance, or justice, after a crime has been committed.

But our legal system can't accomplish that. It's institutionally incapable of achieving this kind of justice because the U.S. legal system is focused primarily, if not exclusively, on putting people behind bars for their crimes. They are depriving people of their freedom and ability to interact in society....

According to the Rape Abuse & National Incest National Network, out of every 100 rapes, 40 will get reported to the police, 10 will lead to an arrest, eight will be prosecuted, four will lead to a felony conviction and only three will spend even a single day in prison. Yet experts estimate that 90 percent of alleged raped claims are, in fact, true.

As women break their silence about the rape allegations against Crosby, some cannot press charges because of the statue of limitations. Others already filed suits and settled. Others have stayed silent until now.

So, what is the answer? What is the best way for these women to find justice?

Perhaps it's not through the legal system. Perhaps it's through a civil process of holding perpetrators accountable for their actions, intended or not, by forcing them to confront the human damage they caused.

This is the essence of a new and surprisingly effective movement called Restorative Justice....

Read the whole article.

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