Rape Victims Will Do Jail Time if They Refuse to Testify in Louisiana
According to The New Orleans Advocate, an Orleans Parish district attorney, Leon Cannizzaro, has been arresting victims in rape cases with the intent of forcing them to testify.
Raw Story reported Cannizzaro saying, “If I have to put a victim of a crime in jail for eight days in order to keep the rapist off of the street for a period years, and prevent him from raping or harming someone else, I’m going to do that."
Bustle explained it perfectly by saying, "What Cannizzaro and others fail to realize is that rape survivors are already grappling with emotions of guilt, confusion, and fear. If they don't report, they are made to feel like they are reprehensible individuals. If they do indeed report, they fear that they will be blamed for what happened to them or, worse, not being seen as the perfect victim in the eyes of society. If they remain completely silent, they risk isolation and a lack of support from others."
Every 98 seconds a person experiences sexual assault in the United States. According to RAINN, only 6 out of every 1,000 rapists will end up in prison.
The worst part about this is that he is not the only attorney that thinks this way. For example, District Attorney Devon Anderson in Houston has done this as well. In fact, Raw Story discussed an incident in court involving Anderson and a female victim who ran out of the courtroom to attempt suicide by standing in traffic.
Is there no sympathy for the victim? I get that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but a victim of sexual assault may not be in the best mental state to recall every horrifying moment of their experience in front of a courtroom of people. This can add to the immense trauma that they are already experiencing.
Putting rape victims in jail to force them into testifying is wrong and insensitive.