Collegian: News

All the news that's fit to blog

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Rape Victim Jailed

Sometimes you read news that makes you wonder about the society we live in. It angers you, or disgusts you, or embarrasses you to call yourself part of a certain group of people.

As I was reading CNN I was confronted by an article that made me feel all of these. The headline read, "Rape victim is jailed on old warrant," which of course piqued my interest. As I read it I only got more and more outraged. A college student who was allegedly raped went to police, only to be arrested on an old warrant for not paying restitution for a 2003 arrest.


It gets worse…

The girl spent two days in jail, and was denied emergency contraception for two days. In case you don’t know, the effectiveness of emergency birth control decreases significantly each hour that passes. Two days is a long time.

What’s more disturbing is the fact that so many women refuse to report rape because of embarrassment, and the hassle of having to relive the experience while filling out reports and recalling the event to police officers. This event is only going to dissuade more victims from reporting rape.

In 2003 the woman was arrested as a juvenile for grand theft and burglary, and owed $4,585. I’m wondering what the real cost of this arrest will be. If she becomes pregnant because she wasn’t given emergency contraception in time, she’ll either give birth or have to abort the child, a tough decision for anyone in her situation. This all could have been avoided if a little common sense had been implemented.

I understand the importance of upholding the law, and maybe she should have been held in jail. But there’s no legitimate reason, in such dire circumstances, that emergency birth control should have been withheld from this girl.