Check out Ann’s newest column at Tapped, titled The Polanksi Paradox, on some of the drawbacks to taking legal action with respect to violence against women.
It’s understandable, given the prevalence of violence against women in this country, to want to push for big, systemic solutions to the problem. That is the premise on which VAWA was based. But the deeply personal nature of this crime is what makes such a broad response inherently problematic. Many observers were shocked when Rihanna chose not to press charges against Brown. The woman who, as a child, was raped by Polanski later said that she wished prosecutors would drop the case. This may be hard to accept for those of us who saw the photos of Rihanna’s bruised face or read the damning testimony from Polanski’s trial, but these women have a right to decline to get involved with the justice system. Violence against women is a public scourge, but respecting survivors’ wishes must be paramount.
Go read the whole thing.