Dominique Strauss-Kahn's Release: "Victim-Blamey" Coverage?
Former head of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn was released from house arrest on his own recognizance today, after prosecutors told a judge that they had serious questions about the credibility of his alleged rape victim.
Prosecutors did not retract what the New York Times described as "unambiguous evidence of sexual contact between Kahn-Strauss and the woman, a housekeeper who cleaned Kahn's suite at the Sofitel hotel in Manhattan, on May 13, 2011, or evidence that suggests the contact may have been violent. However, they said the woman lied to a grand jury about what she did just after the attack; cheated on her taxes; and lied about being gang-raped in her home country of Guinea when seeking asylum in the United States.
In a post called "There Are No Perfect Accusers," Jill at Feministe calls the media's response to the developments "victim-blamey," adding:
None of this is good, but it also doesn’t mean that she wasn’t assaulted. We’re also talking about a woman who is an immigrant, who is of color, who is poor, who comes from a country where authority figures (including police officers) have slaughtered and tortured citizens and are widely distrusted, and who currently lives in an area with large immigrant and poor populations who are targeted by local police. I’d be pretty surprised if she felt totally comfortable around the NYPD and if she trusted the American justice system. Hell, she has friends and loved ones in jail — she’s not new to this circus, and I doubt she’s under the impression that law enforcement officers are routinely on the side of people like her.
© Shen Hong/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com