Violence is a public health problem by the impact generated in both morbidity and mortality, as in mental health, fear, stress … One of its expressions is the rape: as a crime, it has a high registration of complaints precisely because, contrary to what Naomi Wolf says on The new Dawn (January, 3rd) complaints are not anonymous but is a real person that has to do that report and thereafter, be exposed to a re-victimization in different areas. It happens that the victims were tried in the Court of Public Opinion with intrusive attempts of interviews on the facts, and with judgments on the women themselves; as Wolf notes, “It is no one’s business whom a victim has slept with previously, or what she was wearing when she was attacked.”
However, that Wolf proposes: “preventing an accuser’s sexual history from entering into an investigation or prosecution is not the same as providing anonymity” is incredible: Is it because a woman has been sexually “promiscuous” that men acquire a license to rape? Oh my God!
Julian Assange has two warrants for alleged crimes in Sweden: rape in the case of Anna Ardin and sexual harassment in Sofia Wilen (Wikilpedia); the causes are not anonymous but referring to allegations made by two real women. But according to Wolf, they “are consistently identified only as “Miss A” and “Miss W,” and their images are blurred”. It good that the U.S. media do not give the name of the alleged victims of rape to avoid revictimization that often occur when all people can identify them, and can make the crime again become an indelible mark on her faces. If the Court should undertake to put behind bars the criminals, the media should report without judging or re-victimizing: no human pain make carrion to feed corporate profits.
No violation complained results in impunity, and can result also in anger and revenge (need of justice!); also, it undermines values and does not allow closing the wound. In the worst case: when it occurs within family, generates an ambivalent process, heartbreaking, where relatives take sides in favor of one -victim or perpetrator- and always, the victim is re-victimized in their forced silence and grief, and the rapist without judgment can follow his crime way with total impunity.
Contrary to the supposed “anonymous complaint ” that Wolf refers, the duty to make a real complaint make often that the victims decide not to talk about it, or are forced to shut to save appearances and avoid social scandal, despite the eternal pain that will mean the fact of not having claimed justice and for not seeing the weight of the law on the criminal offender. In other cases, tired of the trials that show that for women who have suffered rapes, it could be better to save public tears and mourn only in private spaces.
The crime of rape should be sized with the gravity that it has, with the terrible psychological impact on the victim. No crime should be prosecuted by anonymous, but it is desirable that rape victims are not exposed in the tragedy by the media because they do, not infrequently, from human pain, carrion feeding just the profits of an enterprise.
Yelena de la Cruz holds a Master in Public Health, UCRemail@example.com
Writer for Página 15, La Nación – Costa Rica