Idaho is at it again. On Monday, Sheriff Craig Rowland said that, because many rape accusations are false, there is no need for the state Legislature to pass a bill that would create a system for collecting and tracking rape kits.
The bill that Rowland is so adamantly against, according to The Associated Press, “would require medical clinics to use rape kits to collect forensic evidence after a suspected sexual assault.” The clinics would then be required to send the evidence, which includes samples of semen, saliva, or blood from the victim, for DNA testing, where they would be uploaded to a national database in order to check for a match.
In Rowland’s backwards world, it should be up to the law officers to decide which rape kits need testing. Basically, he wants to maintain the current system rather than try to improve it. According to him:
‘The majority of our rapes — not to say that we don’t have rapes, we do — but the majority of our rapes that are called in are actually consensual sex.’
While false rape accusations have certainly occurred, the problem is not victims falsely accusing rapists so much as it is law enforcement being unfairly skeptical of rape victims. Ilse Knecht, policy and advocacy director for the Joyful Heart Foundation says of the need to treat every claim with equal seriousness and consideration, “It’s hard to know if a claim is false if the kits don’t get tested. Each one of these kits represents a survivor … We need to take their claim seriously, treat them with respect and use the evidence.”
Knecht is not the only one to take offense with Rowland’s claims. Rep. Melissa Wintrow, the Boise Democrat who introduced the bill, said of his remarks,
‘Many times people are focused on a woman’s behavior, and the victim’s response when we should be thinking about what are we teaching men in this society. What are we teaching young boys and men about how we should not initiate or cross any physical boundary without consent.’
Wintrow also referenced FBI statistics that show only 33 percent of all rape victims report the crime. Rowland should keep that in mind. He should also remember that 1 in 4 women will be raped in their lifetime, as will 1 in 33 men. The chances of the average straight man — the demographic that seems to be the most concerned with false rape accusations — experiencing such an accusation are 2.7 million to 1.
The Lip covers the story below, and offers some interesting opinions and commentary into the matter. Watch it here, courtesy of TheLipTV2 via YouTube.
Featured image is a screenshot from the video.