In today’s Province there was a report on the results of a survey of victims of sexual assault. The demographically–diverse survey interviewed 207 people. The results are very consistent with what activists have been saying for years.
Among the results:
- Two thirds of both male and female victims of sexual assault had no confidence in the justice system, ranging from actually filing a complaint on forward.
- A majority of people did not report either sexual assault or sexual abuse to authorities. Reasons given include fear of victim–blaming and a fear of not being taken seriously.
The results were released late last month. I searched for it on the Department of Justice’s website, but couldn’t find it.
Anyway, the implications of this survey are clear. We need to restore confidence in the justice system.
In contrast to its position earlier this year, the United States Department of Justice has issued a new brief in its defense of the Defense of Marriage Act. The brief defends the law while expressing opposition to it and at the same time countering common arguments against same-sex marriage. Dale Carpenter at the Volokh Conspiracy has a discussion, and I quote this gem from it (emphasis added):
[After a quote from the brief] …This new position is a gift to the gay-marriage movement, since it was not necessary to support the government’s position. It will be cited by litigants in state and federal litigation, and will no doubt make its way into judicial opinions. Indeed, some state court decisions have relied very heavily on procreation and child-rearing rationales to reject SSM claims. The DOJ is helping knock out a leg from under the opposition to gay marriage….
Personally, I think that the DOJ is trying to have it both ways; it is trying to appease LGBT rights activists by shooting holes through opponents’ arguments, while at the same time defending the act in order to appease social conservatives. In the end, I think that the likeliest result will be that the DOJ pisses off both sides. That’s what a “purple” action is likely to do.