>Georgia Republican wants to label rape victim as “accuser”

>If earlier news about House Republicans wanting to add “forcible rape” to a piece of legislation wasn’t insulting enough to feminists, womanists and anyone in the victim advocacy field, a Georgia House Republican has dropped a bill to amend the state’s criminal code to refer to victims of certain crimes as “accusers.”

Marietta Rep. Bob Franklin’s proposed bill would not only target rape victims, but victims of family violence and stalking. These victims would simply be referred to as accusers until a defendant has been convicted of a crime.

Ironically, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee pointed out the irony in this phony piece of legislation:

Burglary victims are still victims. Assault victims are still victims. Fraud victims are still victims. But if you have the misfortune to suffer a rape, or if you are beaten by a domestic partner, or if you are stalked, Rep. Franklin doesn’t think you’ve been victimized. He says you’re an accuser until the courts have determined otherwise.

Sigh…I don’t even know where to begin with this nonsense.

You would think Rep. Franklin would have taken a cue about the backlash House Republicans received last week when they attempted to redefine rape in terms of abortion. That backlash from advocacy groups, Democrats and people with common sense forced the Republicans to drop plans to insert “forcible rape” language from the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion bill. Whether or not these House Republicans understood that phrase’s retroactive nature–taking women back to the time in which they had to prove they provided the upmost resistance to rape that’s humanely possible–is a moot point as they realized their narrow definition of rape would prevent rape victim from receiving justice.

It’s not ironic that Rep. Franklin’s bill would primarily affect women and children as they are the most vulnerable to rape/sexual assault/child molestation, stalking and family violence. It’s not ironic that these types of crimes are disproportionately committed by men against women and children. Rep. Franklin’s legislation not only tells women and children the crimes committed against them are not worthy of a full investigation, but labeling these two groups of people as accusers brings back into the spotlight the idea that victims of sex and family violence crimes–namely women–routinely lie about their predisposition.

It’s clear that Rep. Franklin does not view the victims of rape, stalking and family violence as true victims; his narrow focus on those three crimes in his legislation demonstrate his belief that victims of these crimes don’t deserve the same protection as victims of other crimes.

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