...it's a worldwide rape culture, and this is one small example of a huge problem that we men have allowed to go on for far too long. Our religulous institutions allow it to go on, our cultures allow it to go on, and we just aren't stopping it.

Read on for my little rock tossed into the pond...

...I sat on a jury about 4 years ago, in a case of simple witness tampering, assault, and intimidating a witness. The accused was the stepmother of a 21-yo Hispanic woman, who was actually in the country illegally, thanks to her father. Her stepmother accosted her in a Target parking lot, slapped her in the face, and said "if you don't [drop the charges], something bad will happen to you!" The girl went to her apartment, and tried to commit suicide.

And this is where the backstory begins, one that is absolutely critical to the case at hand.

When the girl was 10, her father went to Mexico to bring her back to the US, using his wife's (her stepmother's) visa. As soon as he got her into the household, the classic "Cinderella" scenario started playing out: the stepdaughter being treated like dirt, the other children (with the stepmother, and half her age) getting all the advantages. Not a happy situation.

But it got worse, because Daddy began raping his 10-yo daughter.

You read that right.

Daily, sometimes twice or three times a day. When she got older, and the other kids got older, he would take her to motels. When she resisted, he would threaten to rape her stepsisters, which forced her to capitulate.

When the girl asked her stepmother for help, she refused because she was afraid of losing his income that kept them in a home and in nice cars. Both father and stepmother had green cards, and we're here legally; and the children had between them were American citizens by birth.

Well, the second the girl graduated high school, she moved out; but the abuse continued. She tried to move further away, but it didn't determine her father, and his threats against her stepsisters always forced her to give in.

When her boyfriend (manager of the Jack in the Box where she worked) learned of the abuse, he encouraged her to seek out the local police, which have a special unit set up for these types of cases. Their laws also have no statute of limitations for child rape cases, so they could go back as far as they wanted, but they couldn't convince her to file.

Then her father did it again: he texted her, told her to meet him at such-and-such motel; and if she refused, he was going to get one of the stepsisters (the younger one) and rape her. So the girl texted back saying she would be there.

Problem was, the text accidentally went to another phone: her boyfriend's. He called the police and met them at the motel, where they were caught in flagrante delicto. The police promptly arrested her father, sent her to the hospital for a rape kit, and charged him with rape and sexual assault of a minor (multiple counts).

Well, stepmother immediately sold the cars and got a mortgage on the house to post bail; and the father immediately skipped town for Mexico, with the help of relatives and neighbors (this happened before the law was changed to prevent immediate deportation before trial).

And we know the rest of the story: stepmother assaulted and threatened the girl, she tried to commit suicide, father nowhere to be found.

We the jury found the stepmother guilty, and gave her 2 years--I and others wanted 8-10, but some wouldn't go that high because her kids would be without their (rapist-enabling) mother; so we compromised. It was a moot point though: she would get deported immediately anyway.

We got to speak with the prosecutor and defense lawyer (who was pretty cool, he looked like "The Most Interesting Man in the World", tho he promised he wasn't) afterwards. The prosecutor said they were still looking for the father, and at last report he had been arrested for rape in Mexico, and his parents bribed him out of prison. They both figured he was back in the states with another name and fake papers, but he hadn't gone near the family, as far as they could tell.

As for the poor girl: she was living with her boyfriend, and in therapy for her psychological wounds.

And my point: misogyny/rape culture isn't a purely 'Murkin problem: it's worldwide. And as long as men think they are entitled to women and their goodies, it won't stop. The only way to stop it is through education of children, and through enacting and enforcing laws that have enough teeth in them to help dissuade rape as a response to a woman saying "no". Personally, I think legalizing and devillifying prostitution would go a VERY long way towards eliminating rape, because if you make access to sexual intercourse (almost) freely available, without the negatives associated with it (usually from the religulous crowd), then some of the pressures that drive men to rape will be removed.

And we all will be the better for it.

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