A new report published by a criminal justice watchdog argues that the “believe the victim” mentality is compromising “the integrity of our entire legal system.”
Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE), a group that seeks to find “effective and fair solutions to sexual assault and domestic violence,” argues in a recent white paper that the “believe the victim” ideology turns the neutral role of an investigator “into that of an advocate” while also “systematically insert[ing] bias into the criminal justice system.”
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The “believe the victim” ideology is generally popular among millennial feminists and progressives who believe that presumed victims of sexual violence need more power and protection against the so-called “rape culture” on college campuses.
In response to the pressure, institutions of higher education have adapted a system of internal trials that frequently adjudicates cases by relying on panels of professors and administrators who have little if any experience in criminal justice.
The handling of sexual assault on college campuses has been widely criticized by conservative groups and organizations, which argue that the system fails to protect the due process rights of the accused and presumes guilt before innocence.
“[The ideology] focuses on corroboration of allegations and collecting evidence to oppose anticipated defenses,” SAVE writes. “As such, the ‘believe the victim’ movement not only threatens the reliability of sexual assault adjudications, it compromises the integrity of our entire legal system.”
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While the watchdog acknowledges that “sexual assault is an under-reported offense,” and that the “believe the victim” movement “seeks to improve reporting,” it also raises a number of concerns about the movement’s claims.
“From the beginning, the ‘believe the victim’ movement has been hampered by a questionable scientific foundation,” SAVE argues. “Proponents make sweeping pronouncements about neuroscience and its application to victim behavior with little or no supporting research.”
“With Orwellian precision, ‘believe the
Read more: https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=10404