The Massachusetts senatorial candidate join the chorus of political leaders denouncing Akin’s rape comments. To obtain out in former on this issue, Elizabeth Warren need to talk around defective rape laws across the U.S. And also problems at Harvard.

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(–Many politicians have actually breathlessly denounced Missouri Rep. Todd Akin as ignorant because that talking around "legitimate" rape victims.

Elizabeth Warren, to run for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, bound Akin’s remarks to a "large Republican agenda" that seeks to specify rape in a means that undermines women’s manage over their own bodies.

But that partisan card doesn’t offer her a solid hand, yet. She GOP opponent, Sen. Scott Brown, after ~ all, was quick to call on Akin come drop his Senate bid ~ the scandal damaged earlier this month.

If Warren really desires to acquire ground ~ above this issue, she’ll have to do an ext to set herself apart.

I have actually two recommendations:

Ask all states to enact new laws that accordingly redefine rape as penetration there is no consent.

Talk around Harvard’s dangerous policies on campus rape.

In nearly every state in this country, including Massachusetts, rape is characterized as penetration without consent to add force. And also the force used have to be in addition to the which is offered to walk the sex act.

If Warren really desires to create herself as the candidate that cares about women’s manage over your bodies, she have the right to start calling for all claims to enact brand-new laws defining rape together penetration without consent. When pressure is used, the crime deserve to be called "rape v force."

Vital Clarification

Let’s it is in clear about why this type of legal revolutionary is so important.

If i steal her money without your consent, it’s larceny. If I likewise use force, it’s robbery. However if i take her body without your consent, it isn’t a crime in ~ all uneven I likewise use force. So much for women’s manage over their bodies.

Maybe we need to just have actually a crime dubbed "larceny of the vagina." When pressure is supplied we can speak to it "robbery of the vagina." At the very least then world will to compare theft crimes to sex-related violence and realize the the legislation in this nation should worth the women we love at least as much as the points we own.

Warren has said nothing on this an essential issue yet. She has no track document whatsoever the showing issue for the epidemic of rape in this country, wherein 1-in-4 women will be raped in your lifetime. Nor has she spoken out about our legit system’s failure to carry out anything about it.

Only 2 percent of rapists spend even one day behind bars; a statistic the hasn’t readjusted in 25 years regardless of the Violence versus Women Act.

These room the most crucial facts around rape the we must all expect a high-profile woman politician such as Warren could raise, particularly when someone prefer Akin creates together a perfect opportunity.

So far, however, a button on Warren’s project website labeled "women" bring away you come a page about her ideas about equal pay and also women’s health. No point out is make of the violence in women’s lives causing, at a national level, 3 women’s deaths and also thousands that rapes every solitary day in this country.

Warren’s site should talk around how residential violence homicides in Massachusetts have actually been ~ above the increase in recent years, and that professionals tie the tendency to a revolving courthouse door for batterers.

Harvard’s insulting Policies

She must also deal with her own university’s repetitive violations that rape victims’ polite rights.

Warren has actually been a permanent professor at Harvard regulation School since 1995, yet said nothing when Harvard College to be investigated through the federal federal government 10 years back for violating victims’ rights by requiring all campus attack victims to produce "sufficient, live independence corroboration" for their reports of sexual assault. The necessity of corroboration to be abolished from criminal rape law countless decades back and was decried at the moment as profoundly sexist. Harvard didn’t care. The turned ago the clock to a dark time in American legal background and express that words of a mrs wasn’t great enough for Harvard.

The feds quickly got involved and forced the embarrassed school to withdraw the insulting policy.

Warren stated nothing around that.

Nor did she speak out during the previous two year while Harvard regulation School has actually been under separate investigation for many violations of rape victims’ civil rights, consisting of that college officials refuse to apply an suitable standard the proof during disciplinary hearings for sexual misconduct.

Ninety percent of schools nationwide comply with the federal need that schools use a "preponderance of evidence" standard–more likely responsible than not.

But Harvard legislation School has arrogantly refused to obey commonwealth law and also insists on using a lot tougher "clear and convincing" proof standard.

Women’s civil liberties advocates around the nation have condemned the higher standard as dangerous due to the fact that the tougher typical facilitates sexual violence by do redress more an overwhelming and less fair.

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Elections room times for civilization to speak to politicians come account.

Warren has actually a chance now to go past the chorus of political leaders bad-mouthing Akin. She have the right to tell united state whether she supports or denounces she university’s bad record top top rape. If Warren can’t speak up because that victims in ~ her own university, how can she possibly be reliable to execute anything systematic for women when she gets to Congress?

Wendy Murphy is one adjunct professor at new England Law/Boston wherein she teaches a seminar on sex-related violence. She’s a former sex crimes prosecutor and also author that "And Justice for Some."

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