Reality Check: Pennsylvania's Rape Laws Perpetuate the Myths

It’s easier to get away with sexual assault in Pennsylvania than anywhere else in U.S.

By Tara Murtha
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 5 | Posted Jun. 22, 2011

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“Because jury instructions come under the evidentiary rules and procedure, we did not want to create a dispute between the Legislature and the courts by possibly overstepping the line between the two branches of government,” says Briana Elzey, Parker’s chief legislative aide.

In other words: baby steps for the only state backward enough to actively perpetuate rape myths that create biases against victims of sexual assault.

“This is a bill whose time has come,” says Diane Moyer, attorney and legal director for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, who along with Harley assisted Parker in developing the legislation.

“We have rape laws on the books in Pennsylvania, but then it’s, ‘Why did you wear a dress, why did you shave your legs, why are you a woman essentially,’” says Moyer. “You just can’t believe it’s happening in 2011.”

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Comments 1 - 5 of 5
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1. Fran said... on Jun 22, 2011 at 08:03AM

“Thank God. This bill is long overdue.”

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2. Anonymous said... on Jul 25, 2011 at 11:20PM

“Pa is stupid! If there are so many women complaining that they where raped by the same man doesn't make sense to believe them? How dumb is that I was rapes 3x in a matter of hrs last yr. and the fool is still running the streets. How stupid and lazy can this justice system get. Rape is not a JOKE! Wake up PA! WAKE WORLD! This world is so focused war and finding excuses for war for greed that the neglect real life issuses.”

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3. anonymous said... on Oct 26, 2012 at 04:30PM

“Can you believe, in Pa. you have to prove rape was responsible for your pregnancy, but if you are raped forcibly, Republican legislators in Congress believe your body shuts down and you can't get pregnant. Then if you have baby and are single in Pa. you must prove that it was a product of rape (which we all know won't get a woman pregnant). Then again, if you are raped some in Congress feel that God will gift you with a baby, so how can Pennsylvania deny the poor baby (God''s gift) support. Then again, we all know that the Republicans and the Tea Party only give lip service to God.”

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4. Anonymous said... on Mar 8, 2013 at 06:17AM

“my daughter was sexually assaulted by 2 neighbors. they were 20 and 22, she was 12. They were arrested and later released on bail. One had made admissions and tried for a plea. My daughter said NO DEAL. we now are awaiting the next phase, in the meantime, she feels like she cannot do anything. Like she is a prisoner in her own home..she was recently at the mall and he seeked her out followed her into a store and stared at her. I believe in attempt to intimidate her. we are seeking bail revocation. However, he is still out, parading around. Laws need to change! They need to take less emphasis off of drug dealers and way more attention to violent offenders!!! THese laws are backwards and are teaching our youth, there is no reason to tell because the offenders walk.”

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5. paula said... on Oct 12, 2014 at 07:50PM

“I was raped so was so many others in the same way the same group at our job. the police know they video taped all of there crimes for each other.
p h r c 333 market street and there lawyer meyer help them get away with it .even with dozens of the same complaints the board of transportation will not fire any of them and yet no one fired any of them. i've been through a few attorneys they just keep threatening them there afraid. i"m still being stalked and terrorized at work every day I cant go any where new they will only follow. I need help with this rape cult in hbg pa.”


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