Just 2 days ago, an unnamed serial rapist in Australia was sentenced to 9 years in jail for “having sex with his intellectually disadvantaged [now 27 year old] daughter” last year in March when his daughter was 26. On March 29, 2008 the rapist “followed his daughter home and had sex with her” and believed it to be consensual because she didn’t say anything. And then, “the next day he had sex with his daughter again.” (By the way Sunshine Coast Daily and all other rape apologists media sources, we do not call this “having sex”. This is called RAPE. Sex and rape are two very different things.)
As a woman with a disability, she already exists as a vulnerable, stigmatized and ostracized body in society. Women with disabilities are raped more often than women without disabilities. There are several reasons for this that Cara highlights in her post, like the fact that people with disabilities have fewer resources at their disposal and they may be afraid to come forward about sexual assault/rape especially if/when they are dependent on their attackers, who are often family members or caretakers. Not to mention rape myths like the fact that disabled women are sexually undesirable and therefore “un-rapable”. And given the stigma that disabled women already face, if they do speak out they may be even less likely to be believed.
Feminists have repeated this over and over, but people like this serial rapist still don’t seem to get it: The absence of “no” does not mean “yes”. Silence does not mean “yes”. I hate the sense of male entitlement to female bodies that makes people buy into the bullshit that unless a woman objects to any level of sexual activity, men have a green light for them to just go ahead. Most male rapists know that women are not consenting and that they aren’t having sex with her but that they’re raping her. Because of this male sense of entitlement, male rapists feel that sex is a given unless a woman explicitly says “no”.
From the Sunshine Coast Daily:
At the time of the offences, the man had been out of jail for a year after serving 10 years for repeatedly raping his step daughter from the time she was 10 years old.
The court heard the man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims, was in a relationship with a woman from 1979 to 1983 and they had a daughter in 1982.
He left that woman to begin a relationship with the woman’s 17-year old daughter from a previous relationship.
The 17-year old already had a three-year old daughter of her own, and when the little girl was nine, years old the man began a sexual relationship with her while living at a Sunshine Coast caravan park. (Again, FYI Sunshine Coast Daily, this is not a “sexual relationship”. As a minor, a 9-year old child cannot consent to a sexual relationship. This is sexual abuse.)
He raped the girl for the first time around her tenth birthday.
The abuse continued until 1997 when the girl was about 16 years old.
He also raped another 16-year old family member in 1996.
In 1997, the man was sent to jail for a total of 35 offences and was eventually released in 2007.
Clearly this rapist is a sick, sick man with a laundry list of sexual abuse and sexual assault towards female family members. Why was this rapist, convicted with 35 charges and possessing such a clear and consistent history of sexual abuse and sexual assault, released from jail after only 10 years? And now, why is he sentenced only to 9 years of prison and eligible for parole in as early as 2012?
This is seriously fucked up.