Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Letter of the day: Blaming the victim

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Re: Rape victim 'inviting,' so no jail (Feb. 24). I am more than a little disheartened that Queen's Bench Justice Robert Dewar handed down such a sentence for the convicted Kenneth Rhodes. Justice Dewar blamed the victim, pure and simple.

What a woman wears, be it a tube top and makeup or nothing at all, has no bearing whatsoever on her ability to give informed and continuous consent. To state that the convicted was simply "insensitive to the fact that she was an unwilling participant" is irresponsible and in no way fitting or appropriate of a judicial official.

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I am disgusted and disturbed by this ruling. Because of a judge's preconceived notions that a woman "wanted to party," he has put other women at risk of this offender. Rape is a crime of power, not one of desire. To undermine the victim based on what she wears and her "unintentional invitation" is not acceptable. He has taken us back to the 1950s.

 

HAYLEY BRIAND

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 25, 2011 A15

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