Sarah Deer’s powerful new book, The Beginning and End of Rape focuses on sexual violence in Native America. The beginning goes back to the European invasion, with rape used as a tool of genocide and conquest. Now, as then, when European American men rape Native women, U.S. legal systems help them escape punishment. In an eminently readable book, law professor and MacArthur genius grant winner Sarah Deer describes the historical trajectory of rape and rape laws, beginning with the historical connection between rape and conquest / genocide / white patriarchy and legal systems. Continue reading
Dr. Edwige Mubonzi. Photograph courtesy of Dr. Mubonzi.
Death threats drove Dr. Edwige Mubonzi from her home and work in the Democratic Republic of Congo about two and a half years ago. Her work – surgically repairing the physical damage of rapes – brought the death threats. Rape as a weapon of war, in the ongoing struggle for control of the country’s rich mineral resources, has made DR Congo the rape capital of the world. Continue reading
The Star Tribune reported last week that more than 3400 Minnesota rape kits have never been processed, characterizing the number as “part of a continuing national scandal.” Nationwide, the number of unprocessed rape kits may reach the hundreds of thousands.
A similar Cleveland Plain Dealer investigation, ongoing for the past five years, revealed serial rapists who were never prosecuted because rape kits were never processed. That, says Columbia Journalism Review, “means that every unsolved case is even more likely to be another rape waiting to happen, and that removing even a single rapist from the street eliminates an ongoing threat.” Continue reading