The Parthenon

Idaho sheriff proves law enforcement still does not understand rape culture

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An Idaho sheriff said the rape kit system is unnecessary because most rape claims are false in response to a state legislative proposal to require rape kits to be collected after a sexual assault is reported, according to the Associated Press.
Bingham County Oregon sheriff Craig Rowland said the decision to test a rape kit should be left to law enforcement. Rowland also said most of the rapes reported to his unit are “actually consensual sex.”
Attitudes like this are prevalent in law enforcement and simply should not be. This, on top of the social stigma attached with sexual cases, is one of a plethora of reasons women are afraid to report sexual assault.
If women can’t trust law enforcement to take their sexual assault cases seriously, law enforcement are directly choosing the attackers’ side and allowing them to continue to get away with these crimes. According to a 2002 study, a serial offender commits nine out of 10 campus rapes.
If women were not afraid to report rapes, there would be fewer serial rapists, meaning fewer sexual assault cases.
Rape culture continues to prevail in the United States, as this Idaho sheriff so unabashedly displays. We as the most powerful first world nation, need to take a good look at the way our society views rape, because we’re not doing a good job if one out of every five women experiences sexual assault of some sort and less than half of those cases ever get reported. Only a smidgen of those rapists ever see jail time.
Across the country, thousands of rape kits sit in storage untested, containing information that could send hundreds of rapists to jail, potentially saving more women from having to go through sexual assault.
The piece of legislation Rowland is against is to eliminate the bias in testing rape kits. Police forces are predominantly male. Men do not have the same experiences with rape culture as women and thus occasionally cannot comprehend or react to sexual assault cases with proper sensitivity.
Law enforcement should be trained to be more sensitive to sexual assault victims and should be willing to investigate every case until it is proven to be a false claim, which cannot happen until a rape kit goes through testing.

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