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Home » Education » THE TRIAL OF MR. SMITH : A RAPE VICTIM’S EXPERIENCE IN THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM

THE TRIAL OF MR. SMITH : A RAPE VICTIM’S EXPERIENCE IN THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM

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The following mock investigation of Mr. Smith illustrates the brutal and rigorous treatment that victims of rape sometimes endure in the judicial process. The dialogue underscores the point that rape victims are never at fault for the crime committed against them, and it highlights the importance of sensitizing members of law enforcement and the judicial system to better meet the needs of victims.

Investigator: Mr. Smith, you allege to have been help up at gunpoint on the corner of First and Main.

Mr. Smith: Yes.

Investigator: Did you see a gun?

Mr. Smith: No.

Investigator: So, you made a conscious decision to comply with his demands rather than resist?

Mr. Smith: Yes.

Investigator: Did you scream? Cry out?

Mr. Smith: No.

Investigator: In other words, you didn’t try to get help for yourself.

Mr. Smith: I was afraid to.

Investigator: I see. Have you ever been held up before?

Mr. Smith: No.

Investigator: Have you ever given money away?

Mr. Smith: Yes, of course.

Investigator: And you did so willingly?

Mr. Smith: What are you getting at?

Investigator: Well, let’s put it like this, Mr. Smith. You’ve given money away in the past. In fact, you have quite a reputation for your generosity. How can we be sure that you weren’t planning on having your money taken by force?

Mr. Smith: Listen, if I wanted…

Investigator: Never mind. What time did this hold up take place?

Mr. Smith: About 11:00 p.m.

Investigator: You were out on the street at 11:00 p.m.? Doing what?

Mr. Smith: Just walking.

Investigator: Just walking? You know that it’s dangerous being out on the street late at night. Weren’t you aware that you could have been held up?

Mr. Smith: I hadn’t thought about it.

Investigator: What were you wearing?

Mr. Smith: Let’s see – a suit. Yes, a suit.

Investigator: An expensive suit?

Mr. Smith: Well, yes. I’m a successful lawyer, you know.

Investigator: In other words Mr. Smith, you were walking around the streets late at night in a suit that practically advertised the fact that you might be a good target for some easy money, isn’t that so? I mean, if we didn’t know better, Mr. Smith, we might even think that you were asking for this to happen, mightn’t we?

Source: American Bar Association Journal

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2 Comments

  1. turneramy182 says:

    They are so hard on us, as though WE did something wrong. Interrogated like a common criminal. It’s no wonder rape and domestic violence are under reported. I posted the letter to my ex on here, to prove to him he did not win. This is a great post!

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