Apparently, Judge María del Carmen Molina Mansilla skipped her What Never, Ever To Ask A Rape Victim 101 class in law school (what’s that, you say? there’s no such thing? maybe there should be), because the Spanish judge is now under fire for interrogating a pregnant survivor of rape on whether or not she “closed her legs.”
According to Spanish gender-rights group the Clara Campoamor Association, the judge asked the woman — a survivor of physical and sexual assault — “Did you close your legs firmly? Did you close off your female organs?” The Clara Campoamor Association is now calling for a full investigation of the judge.
“Justice professionals should get specific training needed to treat these cases with due sensitivity, empathy, and legal criteria,” the organization’s president Blanca Estrella Ruiz wrote in an op-ed for Spanish-language newspaper El Diario. “A court that demeans victims is failing miserably in its function.”
This judge’s conduct is, of course, sadly no outlier. Criminal justice systems around the world default to disbelief of those who report rape and suspicion that they are responsible for whatever happened to them, re-traumatizing victims in the process. An actual, real live lawyer argued that a woman’s skinny jeans were too tight to have been removed without her collaboration; another told sportscaster Erin Andrews that her career improved after a creep secretly filmed a nude video of her without her consent and uploaded it to the internet.
It’s little wonder that 68% of sexual assaults in the U.S. aren’t reported to police, while 98% of rapists will never spend a single day in jail or prison.