FIGHTING BACK: How to Cope With the Medical, Emotional, Legal and Judicial Consequences of Rape by Janet Bode

FIGHTING BACK: How to Cope With the Medical, Emotional, Legal and Judicial Consequences of Rape

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Although it lacks the historical and social depth of Susan Brownmiller's ground-breaking Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape (1975), this book's practical orientation may appeal to real or potential rape victims. Using a case-history approach, and beginning with an account of her own rape, Bode attacks many of the myths that Brownmiller exploded--that the majority of rapists are lone psychopaths, that rape is primarily sexual act (rather than an act of violence and domination), that rape is largely an interracial crime (statistics prove it's largely intraracial). Bode attempts to dispel the victim's sense of guilt even in the face of blamelessness (friends and relatives are urged to lend the victim ""supportive understanding with a nonjudgmental approach""). Discussing the pros and cons of reporting to the police, she details what procedures the victim is likely to encounter (stories of police insensitivity and indifference proliferate) and what rights she can insist upon (including the right to refuse a polygraph test). Medical mismanagement in the vast majority of hospitals throughout the country is contrasted effectively with the practices of a few experimental hospitals where the dehumanizing treatment of rape victims has been abolished. The trial procedures of a criminal court case--where the victim is ""tried"" more often than the defendant--are made real and terrifying. Alternatives are presented--including the possibility of bringing a civil suit against the rapist (easier to prove, more beneficial to the victim psychologically). Appendices summarize the rape laws of all 50 states, and focus on the progressive statutes of Michigan and Washington. Blunt, but accessible.

Pub Date: Sept. 29th, 1978
Publisher: Macmillan