Rape and Silence

I have had more than one woman tell me they have been raped or sexually assaulted. They never reported it. These women, who shall remain nameless, and are nameless because of the way things are, can be described as friend or client.

I am a lawyer. In my travels in that sphere more than one described to me how they had been raped. It was always by someone they knew and someone they knew pretty well and trusted. I did family law so intimate relationships was the topic. The perpetrator was always a man on a woman; they offered little details and did not want to; it just happen to come up.

Other women, who I know, also confided in me they had been raped or again, sexually assaulted (if you desire that term). As a lawyer, the confidence I had been given did not trouble me; it is part of the territory. As a personal friend, it was troubling and difficult.

Here is the tale of the tape:

None of these women will likely ever come forward.

They will die with the secret they possess.

Most of them know where the perpetrator is currently.

They wanted someone to do something but felt no faith in the system to carry it out and leave them intact psychologically. Why is this so?

According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAIN), only 2 percent of all rapists will serve time. It is a crime that most get away with in other words. Only 32 percent get reported to the police, 3 percent get reported to prosecution. Would you come forward under such a system?

How many rape allegations are false?

According to the National Associations of District Attorneys, between 2–10 percent of rape cases classified as “non-strangers” are false. This conclusion was reached after an extensive statistical gathering of over 2000 rape allegations by an organization known as End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI).

The Cosby case really brings this to a head. If the study referenced above is true the likelihood that all of the women are lying is virtually impossible. Even the most conservative studies of false rape allegations concludes that 40 percent of rape allegations are false. That means if you take 20 of the women Mr. Cosby allegedly raped, only 8 of them are likely making it up. The other 12 were sexually assaulted. If you take the extensive study for the truth it means that even more of the women were likely raped.

I am the father of three daughters. When I hear the defenses of Bill Cosby based in emotion and admiration and not the facts or at least common sense, I cringe. How would I look standing with Mr. Cosby? They even have their own silent protest: they have stopped watching the Cosby show on DVD or on streaming channels since all this re-emerged. They loved the show and barely can look at Mr. Cosby’s face now.

Some black people have said he should be let free because the police are shooting black people and getting away with it. Under that logic, no one should go to jail. The police in the U.S. have been shooting black people and getting away with it ever since I can remember. This is the madness of rape. This is the madness of the silence that it invokes.

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