date rape victimWith the recent headlines of sexual assault allegations, many are asking why these cases are so difficult to prosecute. Compared to other criminal cases, date rape charges are among the hardest to prosecute, and not for lack of caring by the legal industry. Instead, there are challenges inherent to such a claim that makes proving the cases in court all the more difficult, particularly when the victim had known the perpetrator prior to the incident.

Sadly, this type of sexual assault or rape is by far the most common. It is reported that 84% of women who were raped or assaulted knew their assailants and 5% of all college women are victimized each year. However, many assaults and rapes go unreported, meaning the figure could be much more staggering in reality. With a public outcry for better reporting and more of these cases seeing the light of publicity, there are practical reasons as to why these are so difficult to get the result victims need in a court of law.

Skepticism by Jurors

A jury of peers is imperative to a proper justice system, but it is an inherently flawed system due to personal bias and skepticism by jurors. When these cases are presented to jurors, it is not presented in a void. Jurors come into court with strong ideas about sexual interactions between the sexes and view even the most factual evidence with the bias of their own experience.

Despite statistical evidence that nearly a quarter of all college aged women being assaulted, man are skeptical of the validity of uncorroborated sexual assault claims due to a societal bias against the victims. While no one asks if a victim of burglary was asking to be robbed, many jurors have unsubstantiated beliefs that many women invite their assaults.

Reasonable Doubt

Even jurors that don’t have a bias against sexual assault victims have issue with the he said, she said nature of such claims. Most often, there are only two witnesses to the crime: the victim and the assailant. Rape victims are often seen as unconvincing witnesses with far too many myths surrounding what a rape victim looks like or how they react. When a rape victim doesn’t look broken down like the Hollywood representation of women who have been victimized, jurors often find their strength as proof of fabrication.

Delayed Reporting

It takes a lot of courage to come forward with such an allegation and these cases are most often delayed in reporting. While there are many reasons for a victim not to immediately report their assault, such as feeling ashamed or scared or as though it was their fault, jurors still view the delayed reporting critically. In fact, often victims don’t realize they were victim to a crime at all. Nonetheless, judges and jurors see the delay as refining a motive or an attempt to fabricate a story.

If you have been the victim of sexual assault or rape, you are not alone. Contact our team today for a sympathetic ear and solid legal advice to help get justice for the crime you have become victim to.

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