The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Psalm 118:22-23 NRSV

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Trauma

Because I have been reading Renita Weems's blog, I knew that today was a day for wearing red in solidarity with those who are drawing attention to the violence against women. For me, that means that it is also a day to stand against anyone who seems to condone such violence simply because the victim of the violence does not fit the mold of propriety or morality or whatever else.

Here in Philadelphia, a (female) judge last week reduced a rape charge to armed robbery and "theft of services" when a woman who had agreed to have protected sex with two men for a fee was forced to have unprotected sex with four men at gunpoint. Judge Teresa Carr Deni's problem with the case clearly relates to her disapproval of the original agreement, but it is frightening that a judge could miss the basic point when it comes to legal definitions of rape- namely, that when someone forces a sex act upon you, it is rape. The victim in the case was trying to turn a trick and got a trauma. The gunpoint part should have been a clue to Judge Deni.

This points to why we need days like today to draw attention to the wrong of violence. We need to remind the world and even judges that no on deserves the beating and that no one asks for being raped. We need to raise awareness so that the community and the courts do not traumatize abused women simply because we do not approve of them.

No comments: