Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Court Rules It Wasn't Rape!!!

Wednesday, October 3rd the Connecticut State Supreme Court overturned the sexual assault conviction of a man who had sex with a woman who “has severe cerebral palsy, has the intellectual functional equivalent of a 3-year-old and cannot verbally communicate,” as stated by Alternet Civil Liberties. The Court held that, because the definition of physical incapability for the purpose of sexual assault in the state of Connecticut as “unconscious or for any other reason. . . physically unable to communicate, unwillingness to an act,” the defendant could not be convicted if there was any chance that the victim could have communicated her lack of consent. Since the victim in this case was capable of “biting, kicking, scratching, screeching, groaning or gesturing,” the Court ruled that the victim could have communicated lack of consent despite her serious mental deficiencies. The court truly decided that due to little to no proof that the victim was unconscious and/or ineligible to prove that it was consistent with the law they were not going to budge or convict this man because she never announced she was not giving consent.

When do we say enough is enough. At what point whether a woman gave consent or not that when that mutual agreement has been violated that we are protected. In what world are we living that a women with the mental capacity of a 3-yr old and limited abilities how could there ever be a way to show or give consent when she is not mentally capable of understanding what consent is. I couldn't even imagine how this woman felt or even came to realize she was violated but I am pretty sure she could not have allowed this act to happen willingly without being taken advantage of. According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), lack of physical resistance is not sufficient evidence of consent as “many victims make the good judgment that physical resistance would cause the attacker to become more violent.” RAINN also notes that lack of consent is implicit “if you were under the statutory age of consent, or if you had a mental defect” as the victim did in this case. Even the director of the Public Policy and Communication department of Connecticut stated that law makers are taking all other important factors out of the case because simply what is written on the books. It is truly saddening and repulsive that someone could walk out free and possible attack a variety of mentally and physically incapable women because now he knows he can do so. This ruling effectively holds people with disabilities to a higher standard the rest of the population wouldn't have to consider when it comes to proving lack of consent in sexual assault cases. Failing to bite an assailant is not the same thing as consenting to sexual activity. I hope there is a turn on this case an an indictment to take it to supreme court.

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