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To The General Prosecutor Office of the Republic of Latvia: Stop rape victim blaming in court

To The General Prosecutor Office of the Republic of Latvia: Stop rape victim blaming in court

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This petition has been created by Santa P. and may not represent the views of the Avaaz community.
Santa P.
started this petition to
The General Prosecutor Office of the Republic of Latvia
On the 9th April 2014 the prosecutor Elita Jurkjāne stated in a meeting of the Legal Affairs Committee of the Parliament of the Republic of Latvia that there is no need to increase the punishment for rape, because “in many cases, the women’s openness to alcoholic drinks and generally inviting behavior may lead to rape”.

On the 11th April 2014 the Resource Center for Women “Marta” expressed their absolute shock about the opinion and in an open letter addressed to the Prosecutor General Eriks Kalnmeiers the organisation requested to explain the position of the office and Elita Jurkjāne’s professional competence. The reply to the letter contained a no less surprising statement “there are cases in which rape victims are equally to blame for the crime committed against them”.

The position of the prosecutor’s office raises concerns regarding the objectivity of court processes in Latvia and the risk of victims experiencing repeated victimization upon reporting acts of rape. On top of that, such statements coming from state officials maintain the myth in society about blaming victims for what happened to them thereby making it seems as though it is the victims choice – to be raped or not.

The General Prosecutor Office of the Republic of Latvia needs to hear that the rest of the civilized world will not tolerate such victim blaming. Rape can never be justified.