Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Sarah Palin and rape victims

I have avoided posting on Palin as there are lots of other good posts covering just how bloody awful her politics are . Check out here, here and here for starters.

I'll just add something I found via Feministing which illustrates , as if we didn't know from the Thatcher experience, that purely being female does not mean a politician will act in the interests of other women . Op-Edna explains :

Of all of the things I’ve learned about Sarah Palin in the last week and a half, this has got to be the most disturbing. While Sarah Palin was serving as the Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, the city charged victims of sexual assault between $300 and $1200 for their own rape kits. A rape kit is a sexual assault forensic evidence kit, used to collect DNA that can be used in criminal proceedings to assist in the conviction of those who commit sex crimes. The kit is performed as soon as possible after a sexual assault or attack has been committed. It is usually humiliating and uncomfortable for the victim–imagine enduring that and then paying $1200 just so that the criminal who assaulted you might be caught.

This was overturned by the Democratic Mayor in 2000 . I'll add what was said at the time as it shows a pretty callous attitude to the victims of rape from the police. From Fontiersman , via Op-Edna :

ANCHORAGE - Gov. Tony Knowles recently signed legislation protecting victims of sexual assault from being billed for tests to collect evidence of the crime, but one local police chief said the new law will further burden taxpayers.

The new law makes it illegal for any law enforcement agency to bill victims or victims insurance companies for the costs of examinations that take place to collect evidence of a sexual assault or determine if a sexual assault did occur.

We would never bill the victim of a burglary for fingerprinting and photographing the crime scene, or for the cost of gathering other evidence, Knowles said. Nor should we bill rape victims just because the crime scene happens to be their bodies.
While the Alaska State Troopers and most municipal police agencies have covered the cost of exams, which cost between $300 to $1,200 apiece, the Wasilla police department does charge the victims of sexual assault for the tests.
Wasilla Police Chief Charlie Fannon does not agree with the new legislation, saying the law will require the city and communities to come up with more funds to cover the costs of the forensic exams.

Rape victims as a 'burden' on taxpayers ?? Have very selfish of them to go get themselves attacked.

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