Friday, 29 July 2011

Rape costs money

Rape costs money. It costs money for (depending on your location and your entitlement) medical care for physical injuries, counselling, including multiple wasted sessions with those who fail to help you, other forms of psychological help, medication you may need to help you sleep or help you get up in the morning.

It costs money to care for children or other dependents whilst you attend medical appointments or give statements to the police or are simply not in a fit emotional or physical state to care for them. It costs money to replace clothes which were ripped or taken for evidence or that your burned or kept in the back of a wardrobe because you can't stand to go near them any more. It costs money to leave a partner who raped you and be down one income and probably end up with most of the expenses of raising a child as well.

It costs money for transport to a multitude of appointments. It costs money if the cheapest method of transport now requires walking through an area that gives you panic attacks or if you used to walk everywhere and are now too exhausted. It costs money for taxis if you don't feel safe driving at the moment and your house isn't served by public transport, or you struggle with public transport and can't drive.

It costs money if you were raped by a boss or a co-worker and lose your job or have to leave because everyone sides with the rapist. It costs money, dependent on your contract and how sympathetic your employer is, for time off work. It costs money to miss out on promotions because you don't have the confidence or focus you once did. It costs money if you have to leave your job because of the transport issues above and there's no way you can afford taxis, which on a regular basis is true of most people.

It costs money, in all kinds of ways, to move town. It costs money to leave just temporarily. It costs money to move house within the same town. It costs money to find new places to socialise. It costs money to have to retake university courses. It costs money for phonecalls and photocopying and transport to make claims for any kind of financial help. Pretty much anything you can do to make yourself feel better costs money.

So whilst money is not a primary motivation for most people who've been raped, and of course when statements are made that are completely untrue, they need to be challenged on that basis, I'm wary of that being done in a way that implies seeking money is wrong, or worse that those who do so are fabricating the incident. We have no objection to people seeking compensation for a damaged car, even when it occured simply as a result of carelessness, but at the same time people who have been raped are expected to be pure and noble or something and wanting any kind of rectification for the financial damage done is viewed as casting doubt on character and veracity.


Anonymous said...

For me the solution seems obvious.

Place the ammount decided to be compensated to the Victim to the judge. This will solve the perceived 'problem' of the victim asking for money, even though it is more than justified.

- MR. F

Bianca said...

This post is amazing. That is all.