您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 国际 >> 正文


更新时间:2017-12-5 18:46:34 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

She Didn’t Fight Back: 5 (Misguided) Reasons People Doubt Sexual Misconduct Victims

She took decades to come forward. She can’t remember exactly what happened. She sent friendly text messages to the same man she says assaulted her. She didn’t fight back.


There are all sorts of reasons women who report sexual misconduct, from unwanted advances by their bosses to groping or forced sex acts, are not believed, and with a steady drumbeat of news reports making headlines, the country is hearing a lot of them.


But some of the most commonly raised causes for doubt, like a long delay in reporting or a foggy recall of events, are the very hallmarks experts say they would expect to see after a sexual assault.


“There’s something really unique about sexual assault in the way we think about it, which is pretty upside down from the way it actually operates,” said Kimberly A. Lonsway, a psychologist who conducts law enforcement training on sexual assault as the research director of End Violence Against Women International. “In so many instances when there’s something that is characteristic of assault, it causes us to doubt it.”

“我们对性侵犯的思考方式中有非常独特的东西,它与性侵犯的实际行为方式是完全颠倒的,”在国际制止对女性暴力行为(End Violence Against Women International)项目进行性侵犯执法培训的心理学家金伯莉·A·朗斯威(Kimberly A. Lonsway)说:“在很多情况下,如果有什么性侵犯的特点出现,反而会令我们产生怀疑。”

Partly this is because of widespread misconceptions. The public and the police vastly overestimate the incidence of false reports, while the most solid, case-by-case examinations say that only 5 to 7 percent of sexual assault reports are false.


Responses to trauma that are often viewed as evidence of unreliability, such as paralysis or an inability to recall timelines, have been shown by neurobiological research to be not only legitimate, but common. And when it comes to the most serious assaults, like rape, people imagine that they are committed by strangers who attack in a dark alley, and base their view of how victims should react on that idea — even though the vast majority of assaults occur between people who know one another.


Here is a look at some of the misconceptions that come up again and again when assessing whether a victim’s account is true:


The victim doesn’t act like one.


A young woman said she was raped in a police van by two New York City officers, Eddie Martins and Richard Hall, in September. Their lawyers have accused the woman, who is 18, of posting “provocative” selfies and bragging about news media attention and the millions of dollars she stands to win in a civil case.

一个年轻女人说,纽约市警员埃迪·马丁斯(Eddie Martins)和理查德·霍尔(Richard Hall)今年9月在一辆警车上强奸了她。他们的律师指责这位18岁的女子发布了“挑逗的”自拍,炫耀新闻媒体对她的关注,以及她在民事案件中赢得的数百万美元。

“This behavior is unprecedented for a depressed victim of a vicious rape,” the lawyers wrote, according to The New York Post.


But victims behave in a wide variety of ways.


There is no one response to sexual assault. A trauma victim can as easily appear calm or flat as distraught or overtly angry.


Later, they may react by self-medicating, engaging in high-risk sexual behavior, withdrawing from those around them or attempting to regain control. Some child victims initiate sexual abuse, experts say, just so they can predict when it is coming.


It is no surprise that a teenager conditioned to use “likes” as a measure of self-esteem would turn to social media to deal with post-traumatic stress, said Veronique Valliere, a psychologist who counsels sexual assault perpetrators and victims and consults with the military and law enforcement.

一个十几岁的年轻人把“点赞”数量当做衡量自尊的标准,诉诸社交媒体应对创伤后的压力,这没什么可奇怪的,心理学家维罗妮卡·瓦里耶(Veronique Valliere)说,她为性侵犯的施害者和受害者提供咨询,并且是军方与执法部门顾问。

“That’s a pretty normal reaction to helplessness and terror,” she added. “It doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have PTSD, it means she thinks this is the way she’s going to be protected. This is the way she’s going to regain control.”


She stayed friendly with her abuser.


Some of the women who say Harvey Weinstein groped or assaulted them kept in contact with him afterward, saying that good relations with such a powerful player in the entertainment industry were a must for their careers. After the allegations against Weinstein were published in The New York Times, one of his advisers at the time, Lisa Bloom, sent an email to the directors of the Weinstein Co., outlining a plan that included the release of “photos of several of the accusers in very friendly poses with Harvey after his alleged misconduct.”

一些说哈维·韦恩斯坦(Harvey Weinstein)抚摸或侵犯自己的女人后来仍与他保持联系,还说同这样一个有权有势的娱乐界要人保持良好关系,对于她们的职业生涯来说是必不可少的。在《纽约时报》发表针对韦恩斯坦的指控后,他当时的顾问丽莎·布鲁姆(Lisa Bloom)给韦恩斯坦公司的董事们发送电子邮件描述了一个回应方案,其中包括发布“在哈维进行被指的那些不当行为后,一些指控者还摆出友好的姿态同他拍下的照片。”

Offenders work assiduously to gain trust and appear benevolent, and that relationship does not disappear overnight, even after an abusive episode. Women in particular, experts point out, are conditioned to smooth things over.


“Victims think that it was their fault, so in many cases they want continued contact,” said Roderick MacLeish, a Boston lawyer who has represented hundreds of victims of abuse by Catholic priests and schoolteachers. “And then later they realize that it was for the perpetrator’s sexual gratification, and that’s devastating.”

“受害者认为一切都是自己的的错,所以在很多情况下,她们希望继续保持接触,”波士顿律师罗德里克·麦克利什(Roderick MacLeish)说,他曾为数百名遭受天主教神父与教师性侵犯的受害者担任律师。“后来她们意识到,这种事是为了侵害者的性满足,这对她们来说是毁灭性的。”

The victim may have little choice but to stay in contact if the offender is a boss, teacher, coach or relative.


Victims also distinguish between what is safe — taking a photo with Weinstein in public at an awards ceremony, for example — and what they must avoid, such as going to his hotel room alone.


She did not come forward right away.


Leigh Corfman recently said that the Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama, Roy S. Moore, sexually assaulted her when she was 14, nearly four decades ago. She said she long worried that going public would affect her children, and that her history of divorce and financial mistakes would undermine her account. After being approached by a Washington Post reporter, she agreed to tell her story, later saying, “If anything, this has cost me.”

丽·栝夫曼(Leigh Corfman)近期说共和党亚拉巴马州的参议员候选人罗伊·S·摩尔(Roy S. Moore)在她14岁时性侵过她,那是近40年前的事情。她说多年来一直担心,将这件事公之于众会影响到她的孩子,而且还担心她离过婚、在理财方面的失误会有损于自己说法的可信度。在一名《华盛顿邮报》(Washington Post)的记者联系她后,她同意讲出自己的故事,后来她说,“要说有什么的话,这么做让我付出了代价。”

But negative consequences are not the only thing to keep victims from coming forward. Experts point to a more fundamental issue: When the perpetrator is someone they trusted, it can take years for victims to even identify what happened to them as a violation.


Reah Bravo, one of several women who say that the broadcast journalist Charlie Rose made unwanted sexual advances while they were working for him, told The Washington Post, “It has taken 10 years and a fierce moment of cultural reckoning for me to understand these moments for what they were.”

有几名女性说她们为电视记者查理·罗斯(Charlie Rose)工作时,罗斯对她们做出了性冒犯的举动。瑞亚·布拉沃(Reah Bravo)就是这些女性中的一员,她告诉《华盛顿邮报》说,“过了10年和经过猛烈的文化清算运动,我才能理解那些时刻的本质。”

Her story does not add up.


Andrea Constand, whose complaint that Bill Cosby drugged and raped her resulted in a criminal trial over a decade later, was questioned on many fronts. One was discrepancies in her statements about when the assaults occurred. Cosby said the sex was consensual, and the trial ended in a hung jury.

安德烈娅·康斯坦德(Andrea Constand)对比尔·考斯比(Bill Cosby)下药并强奸她的指控,最终在十多年后导致了一起刑事审判。她在多个方面都受到过质疑。其中一个,就是她的声明中在性侵发生时间方面的出入。考斯比说两人发生性关系是经过双方同意的,最后那场审判以陪审团僵持不决而告终。

Similarly, Moore’s Senate campaign has questioned details in the story of Beverly Nelson, who said Moore forcibly groped her in a car in the late 1970s. They said she was wrong about details like what time the restaurant where they met closed and whether the Dumpsters were behind the restaurant or on the side.

与之类似,摩尔的参议院竞选团队已经对贝弗利·纳尔逊(Beverly Nelson)故事中的细节提出了质疑,纳尔逊说摩尔在70年代末曾在车里强行摸了她。他们说她在一些细节方面的说法不对,比如两人碰面的餐馆打烊的时间,还有大垃圾箱是在餐馆后面还是旁边。

Not only does memory fade with time, but when the brain’s fear circuitry is activated, the prefrontal cortex where details like sequence and locations are recorded recedes, and the part of the brain that records sensory memories kicks in. Victims may vividly remember a wallpaper pattern or a scent, but not the order of events.


Rebecca Campbell, a psychologist at Michigan State University who has studied the institutional response to sexual assault victims, compares the memory of a survivor to hundreds of tiny notes that are scattered across a desk. The bits of information are accurate, but disordered and incomplete. Yet the first questions asked of victims are often who, what, when and where.

密歇根州立大学心理学家丽贝卡·坎贝尔(Rebecca Campbell)曾从事过性侵受害者制度性回应的研究,她将一名遭受过性侵者的记忆比作散乱在桌上的数百张小纸条。那些零零碎碎的信息是正确无误的,但却被打乱了次序,而且也是不完整的。但受害者们通常一开始被问到的问题就是谁、发生了什么、何时发生的还有在哪里发生的。

She didn’t fight back.


When someone is mugged or robbed, they are not asked why they did not resist.


But in sexual assault cases, failure to resist can be one of the biggest sticking points for jurors. Often both sides acknowledge that a sex act occurred, but the question is whether it was consensual. Fighting back is viewed as an easy litmus test. But women are conditioned not to use violence.


Even so, the victim faces scrutiny of her failure to resist, and of every decision she made before, during and after the ordeal. To contrast sexual assault with other types of crime, Valliere said, she often shows a photograph of the Boston Marathon bombing. “We never said to the victims, ‘Why were you in that marathon, why did you put yourself in that position, why didn’t you run faster, why didn’t you run slower?’


“But when it comes to a victim of interpersonal violence,” she added, “we think there’s a way they should act.”