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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.

 

Letter to
Chair, Republican National Committee Reince Priebus
Representative John Boehner
I'm writing to urge you to denounce those who seek to dismiss victims of rape. On the heels of efforts by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives to redefine "rape" to diminish victims of statutory rape, date rape, or rape by deception, last week it became public that Georgia 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.

Branding rape victims as "accusers" diminishes the experiences of victims and reduces their ordeals in the eyes of the law.

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.

I urge you to denounce all attempts to diminish the ordeals suffered by victims of rape, stalking and domestic violence on both the state and national levels.