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The DSK case or a rotten deal for the victims of sexual assault

Isabella Lenarduzzi
September 1, 2011

The conclusion of Cyrus Vance Jr, Manhattan District Attorney and the prosecutor in the DSK case, is an injustice to all those women, who have ever been a victim of sexual assault. If both parties really consented to oral sex, then the way DSK has been treated is shameful. But even the prosecutor doubts about it “The sexual act was not likely consensual”.

Henri Glodman writes : “So it was consensual then? Nothing to do with money, no threats, nothing but a shared desire? So was it the chambermaid who seduced the 60-year-old man or the other way around? At least an irresistible urge brought them together, as in West Side Story, with sex? Sorry, but justimagining the cast line up, cracks me up laughing. Consensual relations between a rich and powerful man and a chambermaid, just doesn’t exist, except in fairy stories.”

If Strauss Kahn is the victim, why did the prosecutor who charged him with wrongdoing, not then charge Ms Diallo with “false accusations”?
Who, or what, made the prosecutor drop the charges?
Why did the prosecution leak damning evidence that undermined their own case and helped the defense?
Was it normal that the wife of one of the partners of the law firm defending DSK is the chief of the trial division in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office? Even if she disqualified herself from the case, it raises a few questions no?
Why did the Director of Sofitel in New York resign from his job?

As Michèle Dayras, co-founder of SOS Sexisme, points out in her article: “The disastrous management of the complaint of a proud and courageous immigrant woman just goes to show the lack of consideration that male-dominated, (…) society affords to the victims. It’s a backwards step and one that negates some of the progress made after decades of struggling to criminalise rape.”

“As to the disturbed victim,” Michèle Dayras points out, “we prefer to deny she exists, forget her and erase her from our memories, except insofar as we hold her totally responsible for everything that has happened.” Is the victim really any less credible than DSK?

So, it’s better to know that we need to be a saint to be recognised as a victim then. That’s definitely why less than only 10% of women in France (and most probably in the EU) report being sexually assaulted and less than 2% of attackers are declared guilty!

Some people seem to confuse adultery with sexual assault, which is absurd. I agree with Ms Dayras that women, and men for that matter, who support anyone who carries out a sexual attack, even if they are their partners, are accomplices in crime.



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One comment

  1. Saz Dosanjh says:

    It is disappointing that this particular website will defend the woman without question and vilify the man relentlessly, how predictable. Is this any more balanced than those who point to drug-running charges against Ms Diallo? No. There simply isn’t enough information in the public domain to reach a verdict.

    The prosecutor won’t charge Ms Diallo with false accusations until DSK makes a complaint, which he won’t do to minimise publicity. The woman who disqualified herself from the case did exactly the right thing, is it surprising that DSK is well connected? No and I don’t see what questions this action raises, perhaps you could enlighten me. Similarly you imply the director of Sofitel has resigned because DSK is guilty, can you clarify the logic behind that?

    Most of this is conjecture and supposition; “Some people seem to confuse adultery with sexual assault…” is this statement based on real crime statistics? A survey?

    I don’t see this particular case as a set back in the decades long struggle to criminalise rape, this is an exceptionally high profile case and would be of little use a template for the majority of victims. The case does serve to highlight the difficulties victims face in these circumstances and this will not be news to readers of this particular blog.

    There will be more DSK’s and Ms Diallo’s in the future, no doubt. The hysteria around these cases is more than ably whipped up by the popular press, however, in a forum such as this we need to propose ways forward, solutions, ideas. Is there a general issue with the behaviour of travelling businessmen? Perhaps an awareness campaign at that level could help. It should certainly be more constructive than simply jumping on the hate DSK bandwagon.