Rape victims are not "accusers"
  • Petitioned Reince Priebus

This petition was delivered to:

Chair, Republican National Committee
Reince Priebus
Rep. John Boehner

Rape victims are not "accusers"

    1. Sponsored by

      Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have received a great deal of attention for trying to redefine the crime of rape by adding the term "forcible" as a qualifier. That distinction could create classes of rape victims, with "forcible rape" victims somehow being ordained as worse off than victims of statutory rape, date rape or rape by deception.

But what if rape victims couldn't be referred to as "victims" at all? What if people who endure this horrible crime could only be called "accusers"?

One Republican in the Georgia House of Representatives is trying to do just that.

Rep. Bobby Franklin has introduced a bill that would change Georgia’s criminal code so that victims of rape, stalking, or domestic violence could only be referred to as "accusers" until the defendant has been convicted.

Burglary victims are still victims. Assault victims are still victims. Fraud victims are still victims. But if you have the misfortune to suffer a rape, Rep. Franklin doesn’t think you’ve been victimized. He says you’re an accuser until the courts have determined otherwise.

These crimes -- rape, stalking, domestic violence -- disproportionately victimize women. Holding the rights of the accused above the rights of victims in cases of violence against women is just wrong.

Stand up for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence in Georgia and across the country.

Call on Speaker John Boehner and RNC Chair Reince Priebus to denounce all attempts to place the rights of the accused above the rights of the victims of these heinous crimes.


Recent signatures


    1. Reached 5 signatures
    2. Georgia Legislator Denies Existence of Rape Victims

      If Georgia State Representative Bobby Franklin has his way, victims of rape and sexual assault will no longer be, well, victims. They'll be accusers. If you were mugged, defrauded, or threatened, sure, he's still fine with you being labeled a victim....

    3. Reached 1 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Mary Lynne O'Brien BEDMINSTER, PA
      • over 3 years ago

      To Whom It May Concern, and to Speaker John Boehner:

      I have been the victim of domestic violence and have a final restraining order (protection from abuse) which has been registered in multiple states. In spite of such stipulations, this perpetrator s manages to walk a "fine line" by utilizing the banking and legal systems in addition to the USPS and the Internet to be harassing and obnoxious; He consistently makes outrageous and false representations to others about me employing email, feeling as long as he does not make me "bleed" or "touch" me by making physical contact, he is within the framework of the Order. Very specific language regarding the employment of harassment via third party means, which MUST include social media and the Internet, in these modern times; be articulated. My only recourse is to return to the Court to show evidence that he is in contempt of the Order. This gap in legislation permits a perpetrator to "control" via the financial harassment and hardship it imposes upon the victim to show cause to the Court, and to demand to be heard via the judicial system. He is a master of deception, abusive strategy and illicit behavior. Some might think him well suited to a life in Public Office or on Wall Street. This is both costly in time and monies and allows the criminal to continue his quest to stalk and wield his unseemly need to "control". I shall seek every opportunity to amend, refine so as to complete complete the Federal legislation as begun with the passing of and promulgation through the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act in the near future. The Georgia House of Representatives is apparently seeking to make inroads against the Federal Act, which is typical of the sort of tactic and enterprising lengths of misuse of the legislative process some elected officials attempt to employ to defeat or confound the judicial process. This is a travesty and I strenuously urge Speaker Boehner and the RNC Chair Priebus to denounce all attempts to place the rights of the accused above the rights of the victims of these heinous crimes.


      Mary Lynne O'Brien


      Bucks County,PA

      Please understand my actions are staunchly behind this communication. If need be, I shall organize a fund raising campaign with my local and State elected officials to thwart the progress of this sort of legislation. I have been an advocate and activist for most of my adult life, and I will work tirelessly to de-activate such nonsense, which is unworthy of one minute of the House of Representative's attention! Just get the Budget through Congress and please ignore such idiocy! I have copied this communication to all my state elected officials, included the municipal officials.

    • Mary Zagar DEATSVILLE, AL
      • over 3 years ago

      I was raped twice in my life. I am now 67 years old and these RAPES happened to me during my 20's. I want you to know I still feel terrorized by them. How dare you try to call US ACCUSERS! We know what happened to us! We were RAPED and INJURED and FEARED AND THREATENED. How dare you!

    • Cynthia Johnson INTERLOCHEN, MI
      • over 3 years ago

      Surely it is not your intent to send the message to women, that they are simply pieces of meat for men's abuse. This arcane attitude speaks to that directly. God forbid, that anyone you love or care for should ever have something like this happen. But it does! To women all over America (and the world, for that matter). Before you even consider such an assinine move, go and visit 3 rape victims after they've become "accusers." Look at their bodies, their bruises, then look in their eyes. Then decide which term you think is best. Honest to god, you should feel shame! When did you become so disconnected from reality? Don't go down this path, it is shameful and COMPLETELY unnecessary.

    • Julie Dominy SAN DIEGO, CA
      • over 3 years ago

      As a victim and survivor of felony rape, I'm extremely disheartened and disappointed see this to say the least. If there should be any change in how anyone is referenced in these horrific situations, it should be getting rid of the silver lining that surrounds the way perpetrators are referred to. Change the "accused" reference to sick "monsters." Priebus and Boehner should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Sean Jewett AURORA, CO
      • over 3 years ago

      Mr. Speaker and Representative Bobby Franklin of Georgia.

      I realize that making light of the issue of sexual assault may not seem to be a big issue, however, statements that trivialize any criminal conduct will most likely be construed as being extremely 'soft' on crime, especially from your constituency.

      The reason that a rape victim is referred to as a 'victim' and not an 'accuser' is quite simple. It is the same reason any person that is the victim of an assault is referred to as a 'victim' an 'accuser'. A victim of murder is not referred to as 'accuser' (although they may be referred to as 'deceased'), a mugging victim is not referred to 'accuser', they are a victim. A home invasion victim is not referred to as a 'victim'. All of these people are victims of crimes, nothing less, nothing more.

      There is no stigma attached to it, a crime occurred, whether the accused is found guilty or not, the victim still has the psychological, social, emotional and sometimes physical trauma to recover from. It will not matter what name any legislative body decides to legally adopt in regard to a person that has been violated in any fashion - they are still a victim, and they have to survive the experience, they frequently relive it many times over. A person who is a 'victim' may not be as weak as either of you gentlemen are presuming, however, I do not recall 'Rape Counselor' or 'Victim's Advocate' being a previous position listed on your resumes. It is on mine, and I gaurantee, if I had choice between a 'victim' or a 'politician' if I were in dire need, I would not bother calling for a politician.


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