Thursday, April 30, 2009

Kristof's Column on Rape

Nicholas Kristof has a thought-provoking article on rape kits and how often they go untested. He questions why, and wonders if it is because rape is not considered a serious crime.

Sexual violence is heart-breaking, and so very prevalent. At one time, I realized that every woman I talked to about the topic had either been raped or sexually abused. Maybe I just had a small circle of friends, but that fact startled and depressed me.

Kristof mentions that New York has been the one shining example in this, that in the last ten years they've been consistently testing rape kits and had great success in matching DNA. This is interesting, because for part of this time the Assistant District Attorney for Sex Crimes in New York was Linda Fairstein. She has also written a successful mystery series in which her main character, Alexandra Cooper, has the same job, and lots of the minor stories are drawn from Fairstein's experience as ADA.

I have had one personal experience with sexual violence... in 1989 a friend of mine, a 21 year old woman who was beautiful both inside and out, was murdered here in Atlanta. Years later they tested the DNA and matched it to a man who was already in prison for another crime. She has justice now, but it can never replace what the world lost in her.

No comments: