02 October 2012

Rape Victim Charged With Indecency

What do you do if you are assaulted and your attacker files charges against you?

Apparently, that is just what happened to a woman in Tunisia.  According to reports, three police officers approached her and her fiance when they were in their car in Tunis, the capital city.

Two of the officers raped her in the car.  The third took her fiance to a nearby ATM to extort money from him.

The woman filed a complaint against the officers.  After they were charged with rape and extortion, they claimed they found her and her beau in an "immoral position" in the car.  Neither the police nor any other authority would say what was meant by "immoral position."  However, the country's interior ministry repeated the claim, according to Amnesty International.

As a result, the couple was charged with "intentional indecent behavior," which could land them in prison for up to six years. 

Some might say, "Well, that's the Middle East."  What they don't realize is that women--and, especially transgender women--sometimes meet with harassment and worse from law enforcement officers and other authorities. Now, because the US is a secular country, its representatives of power can't invoke Sharia or Mosaic or any other kind of religious law against us. On the other hand, they can--and, in some cases, do-- claim that we somehow provoked their behavior.   Or they claim that we pose some sort of danger we couldn't pose even if we'd wanted to.

Or they simply dismiss us or find other ways of discouraging or intimidating
 us from speaking up about inappropriate behavior.  (Think of implicit and explicit threats of losing one's job.) 

After all, who is a better target for violence, and a better object of the abuse of power, than someone who is frightened and silenced?


No comments: