Rape Culture? What Rape Culture?

by Glen Canning
Rape culture is a judge asking a victim why she didn't keep her knees together while repeatedly referring to her as the "accused" during a sexual assault trial. It's a judge saying "clearly a drunk can consent" despite a mountain of evidence that the women in that case wasn't even conscious.

It happens when police officers laugh at a victim for reporting their assault or when they send a message to the public that 98 per cent of sexual assaults reported are of little consequence.

Rape Culture destroys faith in our judicial system and is the number one reason victims don't report.


Emilie Buchwald, author of Transforming a Rape Culture, describes that when society normalizes sexualized violence, it accepts and creates rape culture.

Rape culture, Buchwald writes, is...

"... a complex set of beliefs that encourage male sexual aggression and supports violence against women. It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent. In a rape culture, women perceive a continuum of threatened violence that ranges from sexual remarks to sexual touching to rape itself. A rape culture condones physical and emotional terrorism against women as the norm."

Judge Gregory Lenehan - Provincial Court of Nova Scotia

In the early hours of May 23, 2015, police in Halifax found a woman, in her 20s, passed out and naked from the breasts down in a taxicab. Court heard that when a police officer spotted the woman in the back seat of the cab at 1:20 a.m., she was lying unconscious with her legs propped up on the two front seats.

The constable testified that the driver was seen shoving the woman's pants and underwear between the front seats. As well, his pants were undone around his waist and his zipper was down.

The judge said the evidence indicated that the cab driver, Bassam Al-Rawi, had removed the woman's pants and stated, "I don't not know if Mr. Al-Rawi removed her pants at her consent, at her request, with her consent, without her consent. I don't know."

The woman testified she had no memory of what happened in the cab, and the provincial court judge concluded his decision Wednesday by saying, a "lack of memory does not equate to a lack of consent," before bluntly adding, "clearly, a drunk can consent."

Al-Rawi was also investigated following a complaint received by Halifax Police on Dec.27, 2012. A Woman said she was picked up by a cab in downtown Halifax and taken to a residence where she says she was sexually assaulted by the cab driver. Halifax Regional Police's sexual assault investigation team looked into the complaint but concluded in March 2013 that there wasn't enough evidence to proceed.

Justice Robin Camp - Criminal Division of the Provincial Court of Alberta

In March 2012, Justice Robin Camp was appointed to the Alberta Provincial Court, Criminal Division, in Calgary. During his time as a Provincial Court judge, he was allowed to preside over a sexual assault trial despite receiving no training or judicial education on the law of sexual assault or on how to conduct sexual assault trials. His law background consisted mostly of contractual, trust, oil and gas, and bankruptcy litigation.

In 2014, Justice Robin Camp presided over a sexual assault trial in the Alberta Provincial Court. When the victim was testifying, Camp asked her why she "couldn't just keep (her) knees together" or "sink your bottom" into the bathroom sink to avoid being raped. Camp also described her as "the accused" throughout the trial, criticized her for not screaming while the alleged assault took place, and suggested she wanted to have sex. He asked her why she didn't "skew her pelvis" to avoid penetration. He also said that "sex and pain sometimes go together, that — that's not necessarily a bad thing."

Camp later acquitted the defendant, Alexander Wagar.

Rape culture is a photograph of a passed out fifteen year-old girl being sexually assaulted by four males who later bragged to an entire community about it and the case being closed by police for a lack of evidence after a year long investigation that not once included an interview with any of the four assailants but plenty of interviews with the girls friends to check if she's credible.

Rape culture is women outing rapists on Twitter as a better option to being in a courtroom.

Rape and rape culture is why my daughter is dead. Rape culture is something most men never have to think about but it is everywhere.

Rape culture is everywhere

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