Saturday, November 4, 2006

Victim's Rights?

Here's an appalling local story of bureaucracy trampling the rights of a victim of rape.

All red type and emphasis mine:

What one local woman called "disgusting," the Hamilton County Department of Jobs and Family Services calls regrettable, but part of state law.

So, even when law is blatantly wrong, we incompetently follow it?

Friday, the family of a local rape victim is expected to file a lawsuit against the county, because it sent a photograph of a young rape victim to the man who attacked her.

Great move, morons.

"Hamilton County child support services was at the least incompetent, and the worst very very reckless," Robert Richardson, the family's attorney, says.

Dudley Drain was convicted and sent to prison in 2003, for raping a child relative. He impregnated the girl in the attack. This spring, she applied for government assistance for herself and the baby. A county spokesperson says, because the girl was raped, she had the option to get financial help without establishing the paternity of her child. But the county says, she declined.

She obviously knew the perp, but probably never in her wildest dreams thought that the county would give the rapist a frickin' TROPHY to look at while he sits in jail!

So county workers followed policy and went to work gathering evidence to determine the father of the child. A spokesperson says, that policy includes gathering DNA evidence and photos of both parents.

According to Ohio state law, any information gathered in the process is to be sent to both parents. In this case, the victim's picture and current address was sent to Drain's prison cell. A fact that sickened the girl's family.

Does the term "extenuating circumstances" mean anything to you idiots? Are you going to give the creep visitation rights next?!?

"I'm shocked," Janel Williams, a relative of the girl says. "I'm just terrified. I'm outraged, I'm just disgusted."

She says the girl had to move out of her home because of fear that with her address, Drain or somebody he knows, would find her.

"The DNA is the strongest evidence there is," Williams says. "You don't need a picture to go along with DNA. Especially when a rapist is involved."

The county responded to Williams' concerns by changing policy and will no longer send out photographs in its paternity reports. It also contacted Ross Prison and had the report removed from Drain's cell. But any other changes, a spokesperson says, will have to be made to state law.

Which is exactly what Williams plans on doing. She is already in talks with a state lawmaker to get something done.

I, for one, hope she roasts the county. To just blindly follow policy, consequences be damned... This is yet another example of the system victimizing the victim!

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