Ladies, Be Afraid

I'm loathe to link to student papers, especially the student paper that started this "gray rape" nonsense, but this article in the GW Hatchet is absolutely terrifying. (h/t Feministing)

This is basically a sequel to the unspeakably horrible case of David Rosenbaum. Remember him? He was co-murdered by two muggers and by DC's Emergency Services. The guy who, while dying, was forced to wait for medical care because medical personnel incorrectly assumed he was drunk? Now imagine going to a series if hospitals alleging you've been roofied and asking for a rape kit. And being refused. Why? Because you appear intoxicated.

Never mind that the typical date rape drugs can wreak absolute havoc with your body and mind. That much is, or should be, obvious. Even if this woman was drunk out of her goddamned mind, how dare medical personnel and police officers take her rape allegation less seriously?

Now, this woman could have been hammered. I don't care. Her rape is nothing more than an alleged crime. I don't care. It's the dismissal of such a serious allegation that is so undeniably shocking. It doesn't matter if you're drunk, high, or roofied. The city and the hospitals within the city should be urging sexual assault victims to come forward. This case makes that less likely. Which is shameful.

The complaint stated that during an off-campus house party in December 2006 the plaintiff was given a date-rape drug that rendered her semiconscious. One of the hosts then took her to a room where he allegedly anally penetrated her at around 3 a.m.

Immediately after the alleged assault, she sought medical assistance at Howard University Hospital, accompanied by two witnesses, according to the complaint.

Court documents also add that she appeared intoxicated and was therefore denied a rape kit and sent home. It also states she was drifting in and out of consciousness and vomiting.

The plaintiff returned to Howard University Hospital the next morning and was again denied a rape kit - at which point the Metropolitan Police Department was notified, according to the complaint. They also said they felt a rape kit was unnecessary, according to court documents.

"A sexual assault kit is for police to recover evidence," said Sergeant Ronald Reid of the MPD Sex Assault Unit. "So if we don't have reason to believe a crime happened we wouldn't administer a rape kit."

Doesn't it make more sense to administer the rape kit and then check to see if a crime happened? You know, just in case her allegations were truthful?

Again, this isn't about whether this woman was raped or not. It's that hospitals and the Metro Police Department decided it wasn't important enough to find out. It's that such a serious allegation, an allegation that is so hard for so many women to make, can be treated so lightly. How depressing.


  1. Not to mention, rape kits also involve treatment for possible STDs and pregnancy. As a woman, I instantly feel 50% less safe living in this city.

  2. Washington DC owes my entire gender an apology. I'm glad I moved to New York.

    -Ri L.

  3. "So if we don't have reason to believe a crime happened..."

    But if she is blotto, isn't it still rape because she's incapable of consent? Or is actually OK to get a woman liquored up and then have your way in DC?

  4. that is so fucked up. if i were her i would fucking sue.

  5. F your I - Did you see ABC news is doing a special on tomorrow's (11/02) five o'clock news about rape victims in DC being denied medical attention? I like to think you had something to do with that.