At most convenience stores supervisors train new employees to cooperate with their robbers. An employee who tries to fight off a robber is likely to be fired. Losing cash or merchandise is considered more acceptable than the risk of losing a clerk’s life.
This isn’t a difficult concept for most people to understand unless the crime is kidnapping or rape. Then too many people seem to suffer from brain freeze and any cooperation becomes consent. Then fear of death or physical injury or pain suddenly becomes nothing more than excuses which allow that person to play the victim.
I believe this brain freeze comes in because it directly supports widely accepted strategies and rationalizations of those who are trying to have sex or sexual contact with someone who has not consented to that sex contact. Under this rationalization if they can get an unwilling person to cooperate then they will have gotten legal consent. Committing sex crimes in this way is in no way an accident or a misunderstanding as it gets called when the reality of rape from the victim’s perspective is undeniable.
Too often the criminal justice system seems to suffer from similar brain freeze. This can cause a real rape victim to be viewed as a false reporter when the same investigator would never think of applying this label to a convenience store clerk who was equally cooperative.
I have no doubt whatsoever that this is a big part of the reason why if you asked my ex-boyfriend (please don’t), he would say that he absolutely did not rape/sexually assault me. I don’t think that he’s the only one.
I also know that it’s a very big reason why, if I could go back in time — knowing what I know now, that what happened was in no way consent and in every way a serious crime — I would still not report. I don’t think that I’m the only one.
Thank you Marcella for yet again taking a concept that is both complex and infuriating, and explaining it so simply and rationally. Seriously folks, if you don’t read her blog, you should. Because she’s great. As Blog Overlord around these parts (I think I might keep that title), I command you to go check it out.