French and African Media Out Name, Photo of DSK Accuser
[Update: Many of the reported details below about the background of the accuser have changed since this was written.]
I have always objected to the media naming the person accused of a rape crime, but shielding the name of his accuser. How is that fair? If the woman was stabbed, the U.S Media would name her.
There should be no stigma associated with rape. Rape should not attach a sense of shame to the accuser. But it does in many cases, and so these accusers are looked upon as perennial victims, when a much better word for them would be survivors. Keeping their names from the media perpetuates the antiquated myth that women who get raped are fragile and weak, and need someone to look after them. Releasing their names could empower them and remove them from being under a shadow of shame and the stigma that all too often accompanies women who are raped. By allowing them to be treated just like everyone else, perhaps society will come to accept that rape is an expression of violence, it is not really about the sex. Women have nothing to be ashamed of when dealing with the aftermath of a rape. They were the temporary victim of a violent crime, just like the person who got mugged. Naming the accuser, when the male suspect is similarly publicly named, levels the playing field and makes them equal. No one wants to be a permanent victim.
In the Dominique Strass-Kahn case, no one but the two of them know for certain what happened and didn't happen in that hotel room. [More..]
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