Posts Tagged “Rape”
This belated edition of District Digest (courtesy of crashed computer) includes a new kind of flash mob, foul play, more Council member corruptions, a bad birthday, and a terrible restaurant experience.
Flash mobs of crime
On Saturday, Mayor Vincent Gray announced that the District would crack down on flash mob robberies. Thursday morning, about ten girls invaded a Benning Road convenience store and stole about $70 of snacks and other items.
To combat similar instances, Montgomery County Council proposed a new curfew requiring children under 18 to be home by 11 p.m. on weeknights and 12 a.m. on weekends.
Foul play in the village
Last Tuesday, police arrested Albrecht Gero Muth, 47, for murdering his wife Viola Drath, 91, a former journalist and Georgetown socialite.
Drath was found unconscious in her Q Street home after purportedly falling down the stairs. The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide. Drath had taken out several protective orders against Muth before the incident.
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Earlier this week, students at American University vandalized copies of The Eagle, its main student newspaper, over a column by student Alex Knepper in which he calls date rape “an incoherent concept.” Anonymous students littered hallways with Eagle copies taken out of their stands and hung a sign that read “NO ROOM FOR RAPE APOLOGISTS.”
In the column, Knepper explains that feminists are sucking all the passion out of sex by pushing for “a bedroom scene in which two amorphous, gender-neutral blobs ask each other ‘Is this OK with you?’ before daring to move their lips any lower on the other’s body.” He continues:
“For my pro-sex views, I am variously called a misogynist, a rape apologist and — my personal favorite — a “pro-date rape protofascist.”
Let’s get this straight: any woman who heads to an EI party as an anonymous onlooker, drinks five cups of the jungle juice, and walks back to a boy’s room with him is indicating that she wants sex, OK? To cry “date rape” after you sober up the next morning and regret the incident is the equivalent of pulling a gun to someone’s head and then later claiming that you didn’t ever actually intend to pull the trigger.
“Date rape” is an incoherent concept. There’s rape and there’s not-rape, and we need a line of demarcation. It’s not clear enough to merely speak of consent, because the lines of consent in sex — especially anonymous sex — can become very blurry. If that bothers you, then stick with Pat Robertson and his brigade of anti-sex cavemen! Don’t jump into the sexual arena if you can’t handle the volatility of its practice!”
Knepper also expounded on how feminists want to ban “gendered thrills” like cross-dressing. In the comments section below his column, Knepper wrote that the article had gone through five rounds of edits to remove “remove remarks deemed too inflammatory” before it went to print.
AU student K. Travis Ballie, a feminist and LGBT activist, told Amanda Hess of the Washington City Paper section The Sexist that the vandalism, which included copies flung at the door of the AU Eagle‘s office, is unsurprising given similar Eagle pieces that had appeared and inflamed campus tempers recently.
“The Eagle has repeatedly refused for months to show adequate sensitivity, compassion, and common decency to the well-being of rape survivors on campus and is complicit in promoting a rape culture where survivors are blamed for the crimes of sexual assault perpetrators,” she wrote in an e-mail.
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A recent study by the Center for Public Integrity has found that at colleges and universities across the country, sexual assaults and rapes are being under- or unreported, and many students who are victims of these crimes face confusing bureaucratic processes when they try to confront their attackers.
Proceedings against suspects in such cases are often conducted with little transparency and in a way that keeps cases relatively hush-hush, the first part of the study said. Rather than be prosecued by attorneys, sexual assaults are often adjudicated through the school’s disciplinary structure, which can be a closed affair, or resolved through informal mediation by an administrator.
The second part of the article describes how some students feel their schools are more interested in avoiding negative fallout from alleged incidents than helping their students, and that very few universities give their students training on how to respond to sexual assault. And in the third part, the report found that many schools don’t report the number of sexual assaults recorded on campus to their students accurately.
So how does Georgetown stack up? While its responses to sexual assault often concern us, its official policies place it above most of the schools studied in the report.
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Editor’s Note: The following is personal commentary about the University’s treatment of last Friday’s reported rape. It should not be taken as objective coverage of the incident or the editorial position of the Voice as a whole.
Last Friday, a Georgetown student was reportedly raped in her residence on the 3500 block of O Street. So why haven’t we heard that from the University?
In the Metropolitan Police Department’s report, the crime is described as “non-consensual sexual intercourse.” That is rape. That is the dictionary definition of rape. Yet in the Department of Public Safety’s PSA that was posted yesterday, the incident is described only in the vaguest terms as “sexual assault.”
That catch-all term, sexual assault, can cover anything from unwanted touching to, as in this case, rape. There are no details in the entire PSA that convey that this reported incident was actually a rape. Unless you read our coverage, ABC’s or the Hoya‘s, you would have no idea what the extent of this crime was.
Furtermore, except for a line about MPD investigating the incident, the email sent out announcing the PSA is interchangeable with those sent out about less serious sexual assaults, such as the one announcing a PSA about a woman’s breast being fondled. There is no way to discern that this incident is on the far extreme of the spectrum of sexual assault.
While DPS does indeed need to be mindful of balancing the victim’s privacy with the larger community’s need to be informed about public safety threats, this level of obfuscation is detrimental. PSAs about less major sexual assaults—like groping and the “Cuddler” incidents—have included details of what happened. Whether it’s due to squeamishness or laziness, it’s bizarre and inappropriate that they decided to omit pertinent, necessary information when reporting this particularly serious case.
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A woman was raped at her residence on the 3500 block of O Street on Friday, according to a report from the Metropolitan Police Department.
According the the report, the incident occurred at 3:50 a.m. on July 10th:
Complainant 1 reports that while at the listed location, she awoke to an unknown subject laying on top of her having non-consensual sexual intercourse with her. Suspect 1 entered the location in an unknown manner. Complainant 1 was unable to give a description of Suspect 1.
The MPD report does not contain any descriptions of the victim or the suspect.
MPD Communications Specialist Gwendolyn Crump wrote in an e-mail that Georgetown’s Department of Public Safety was notified of the incident, but said she could not comment further on the particulars of the case. DPS and the University’s Office of Communications have not responded to requests for comment.
As of 5:55 p.m. DPS had not sent out a Public Safety Alert about the incident and their Daily Crime Log did not have any mention of it. It is unclear at this time whether the incident is related to the string of sexual assaults that have occurred on and around campus recently.
Update 8:45 p.m. We spoke with the victim who confirmed that she is a Georgetown student but declined to discuss the incident. She said she spoke to DPS about the assault this morning and expects a PSA to be sent out shortly.
However, Georgetown’s Director of Media Relations Andy Pino wrote in an e-mail, “MPD responded to this incident, and no incident report was filed with DPS. We have no information about the victim in this case.”
Update Wednesday 3:35 p.m. Pino just sent the following e-mail:
The complainant filed a report with DPS this afternoon, and a PSA is going out later today. MPD is conducting this investigation, and we’ve reached out to them to offer our full cooperation.
Update Wednesday 4:40 p.m. DPS just put out a PSA about the incident.
Additional reporting by Sam Sweeney.
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