RE "RAPE cases underscore difficulty for investigators" by Maria Cramer (Metro, Nov. 9): There's nothing inherently difficult about prosecuting rape. It is, in fact, the easiest and least expensive crime to investigate and prosecute. The victim takes the stand and says she was forced to have sex without her consent. If the jurors believe her beyond a reasonable doubt, they vote guilty. If not, they vote not guilty. All the silly excuses people come up with to justify the system's failure to deal responsibly with rape allegations are thin cover for the truth: We've never valued women's personal autonomy and bodily integrity enough, and we've always used the law as a way of indulging male entitlement over women's freedom.
That we allow defense attorneys to obfuscate and eroticize rape trials as a way of distorting the truth to produce an unfair result only adds insult to injury. The cases highlighted in Cramer's story emphasize that we are long overdue for reform laws that focus on the pervasive maltreatment of women in our legal system. We can start by calling rape what it is: a crime primarily caused by males against females; a civil rights violation that denies equal citizenship to an entire class of people. Understanding the true nature of the crime as a collective threat to all women is an important first step on a very long path to real justice.
New England Law