Thursday, November 07, 2013

Blog #9: New Zealand police probe ordered over 'teen rape club'

New Zealand's government has ordered an investigation into the police handling of an investigation of a group of teenagers who called themselves the Roast Busters. According to the article, these teens got under aged girls drunk, raped them and then posted their cruel deeds online. The police could not prosecute the group because they had never gotten a formal complaint. However, it was discovered that a girl had made a formal complaint in 2011. The girl who had made the complaint had been told that she did not have enough evidence because of what she was wearing despite the evidence she gave through a video interview. The people of New Zealand, especially the parents, are extremely concerned that if this is how the police handle these situations, then that would mean that if their child were to walk in they would not be taken seriously. Due to the new investigation, the police were able to interview two members of the Roast Busters and have compiled evidence that can aid the investigation. 

This article reminds me of the article about the rape case in India in September because both deal with not only socialization but also rape culture. Once again rape culture can be seen as the reason the police did not take the girl's complaint seriously in 2011. It is because rape culture tells people that "girls ask for it". Rape culture's main focus is that societies have a hidden rape culture that encourages men to sexually assault women and those who are immature, irresponsible and lacking in social conscience are more influenced by rape culture. It can be seen from this article that this is true since it was teens who created this so called "club". Everything from treating women like property to using women as prizes in masculinity contests as well as the way society socializes men to participate and embrace rape culture while socializing girls to be victims, are all reasons why cases like this continue to happen all around the world. Also the myth of victim precipitation is most likely the main reason why the girl's formal complaint was not taken seriously and was brushed aside despite her video evidence. Everything from what the girl was wearing, in the police officer's eyes, was asking for it and also possible victim contribution, that the victim kissed the offender or was engaged in some other form of intimacy before the attack whether it was true or just something that was assumed, all played a part. This reflects the biased, male-centered view of rape instead of the accurate description of the crime itself. However, in a world where the majority are men and the minority are women, men control what happens and men make the decisions. It is this thought that just because a woman goes out wearing a short dress and is therefore asking to be raped is absurd. No one asks to be raped. Yet rape cases continue to surface and there is always a group of people who blame the victim because of what she was wearing or what she was doing. It is reasons like this that rape is so under reported and the reason why rape victims are so afraid to report the horrible crime that had been done to them. 

Society must change. There must be a change that rejects rape culture and ideas of victim precipitation must stop or else rapes will continue to be under reported and rapists will continue to go on committing these crimes and think that just because a girl is dressed a certain way or because she looked interested, that it is okay to rape her. No means no and rape is not the victim's fault and the world, as a whole, must come to this understanding or else these terrible cases will continue to happen. 

Catherine Choi

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