Process, Ethics, and Justice: An Inauspicious Note Regarding the Politics of Rape Culture

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tiassa, Dec 17, 2017.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    #humanrights | #justice

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    Maybe she doesn't smile enough. Lady Justice, that is.

    San Francisco sex workers who come forward to say they’ve been assaulted, raped, robbed or extorted—or that they’ve witnessed such crimes—cannot then be arrested for prostitution or petty drug crimes under policies adopted by city police and prosecutors.

    The new guidelines, finalized last month and announced Thursday, were described by advocates as the first of their kind in the nation. They seek to encourage sex workers and victims of human trafficking to cooperate with higher priority investigations without fear of ending up in jail.

    Police Chief Bill Scott said in a department bulletin that the new rules "institutionalize" existing practices.

    His bulletin states that officers "will not arrest persons for involvement in sex work or other forms of sex trade when they are victims or witnesses of sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, robbery, assault, kidnapping, threats, blackmail, extortion, burglary or other violent crime."

    In a statement, Scott said, "We understand that many times sex workers are themselves victims of predators and human traffickers. Our policy is written in the spirit of encouraging sex workers to feel safe coming forward to law enforcement, with the knowledge that they will be treated with respect and their concerns will be taken seriously and investigated."

    District Attorney George Gascón made a similar commitment, saying in a policy statement that his office will not prosecute people involved in sex work for prostitution-related crimes and minor drug offenses.

    "If we fail to prioritize this population’s health and safety they will not come forward and work with law enforcement as witnesses and victims of violence," Gascón said. "Ultimately, unreported crimes and criminals pose a threat to everyone’s public safety."


    Of course, I'm pretty sure smiling isn't her job.

    None, however, ought complain if she affords brief indulgence when we're not looking. There is much work to do, but removal of stumbling blocks from pathways to due process offers at least that small comfort. An opportunity to seek Justice is a little more than there was before.


    Sernoffsky, Evan. "New SF policies bar arrest of sex workers who come forward to report violence". San Francisco Chronicle. 11 January 2018. 29 January 2018.
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    #silence | #rapeculture

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    Just another reminder: The decision to report or not is not as simple as some↑ would pretend.

    Interns in the Kansas Statehouse are required to sign a sweeping confidentiality agreement that employment law attorneys warn could have a chilling effect on their willingness to report harassment or illegal activity.

    Anything that takes place or is said in a lawmaker's office stays there, the document says, under threat of immediate termination.


    The confidentiality agreement came to light through an open records request by The Kansas City Star as the Legislature tackles concerns about transparency, sexual harassment and the treatment of interns.

    Employment law experts who reviewed the document at The Star's request criticized it as a potential shield to discourage student interns from reporting sexual harassment. They also said it might violate the First Amendment.

    (Woodall and Wise↱)

    Although it does occur to me that in other questions of process some can be found wondering at institutional process↗ and appealing that the Department of Justice should deal with certain cases, and given that we're talking about state lawmakers, here, sure, it really does, at some point, start to sound like some manner of racket, and perhaps the solution would be to sic federal investigators on state legislatures↱.


    Koseff, Alexei. "California Legislature will overhaul sex harassment policies through joint committee". The Sacramento Bee. 3 January 2018. 29 January 2018.

    Woodall, Hunter and Lindsay Wise. "Kansas intern confidentiality rule: What happens in a lawmaker’s office stays there". The Kansas City Star. 28 January 2018. 29 January 2018.
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