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17-Year-Old Rape Victim Is Released After Being Forced to Spend 25 Days in Jail

Illustration for article titled 17-Year-Old Rape Victim Is Released After Being Forced to Spend 25 Days in Jail

Good news: the justice system in Sacramento has finally done something good for the teenaged rape victim who was being held in a juvenile detention facility to ensure she would be in court to testify against her alleged attacker. You may remember that she was held after she failed to show up to two previous court dates. Her attacker has a long criminal record and is considered a threat to public safety; thus the District Attorney is eager to have him prosecuted successfully.

The case has been getting considerable attention since she was first jailed on March 27th. She could have been held until the trial starts on April 23rd, but, fortunately, the judge decided at a review of her case earlier this week that she could be tracked using GPS monitoring. One wonders why that couldn't have just been done in the first place, but better late than never in terms of releasing her from custody, since she was no doubt suffering every day she was detained.


Alleged Rape Victim Released From Custody [CBS]

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I understand that the victim of sexual assault didn't choose to be assaulted, however, I'm confused by the logic that it is not the victim's responsibility to testify against the assailant. Where does diffusion of responsibility fit into this reasoning? I know this question is going to piss people off but I'm not asking it to be an asshole. I'm genuinely interested in how you come to peace with the idea that taking a stand against sexual assault is not a victim's responsibility when they're in a unique position to combat it.

It seems like saying just because you're standing next to a hose doesn't mean it's your responsibility to put out a fire that occurred through no fault of your own. Yes, you didn't start the fire so it's not technically your responsibility to put it out, but as a proactive member of society who is genuinely concerned with others, it is your responsibility.

I appreciate that it's difficult to relive traumatic events and to be under scrutiny. At the same time, don't you owe it to your fellow women to do what you can to stop assaults?