What is the opposite of a “victimless crime”? Perhaps a crime in which the victim is victimized first by the criminal and then by the System.
That is what happens 50% of the time in cases of sexual assault of children at least the way the law is currently written in Israel.
Apparently, the current law does not allow the testimony of children, brought to the court by investigators specially-trained to work with child victims, to be the sole evidence on the basis of which a criminal case can proceed.
Let me translate that into reality for you. A child with the courage to report having suffered a terrible violation goes to the police. The police investigate. In the pursuit of protection and, perhaps, justice, the child tells his/her horrendous story. No other witnesses? The case gets thrown out for lack of evidence. A pedophile walks free.
I know that the wheels of justice turn slowly. I know that our country is scrambling to come to terms with the dark side of being a truly modern Western Democracy. I know that lawmakers are working to patch this hole in the fabric of our justice system.
Now explain that to a child…
50% Of Rape Cases Are Closed For Lack Of Evidence
Oct. 12, 2010
260 sex crime cases were closed with no criminal record
Knesset Member and Chairman of the Child Rights Committee Danny Danon: “Every day dozens of sex offenders who harm children are freed. We must change the law to enable criminals to be convicted”
38% of sex offenses closed between 2002 and 2009 were closed due to insufficient evidence. 50% of rape cases closed were closed for the same reason.
This data is part of a Knesset Research and Information Center document prepared for the Committee on the Rights of the Child for a discussion to be held today (Tuesday, 12:10:10) regarding the authorities’ handling of reports of sexual offenses against children and youth.
Committee Chairman MK Danny Danon responded: “Every day dozens of sex offenders who harm children are freed. The system is unable to convict these pedophiles, so we must change the law to enable the conviction of these criminals without causing additional harm to the children.”
Danon explained that the most problematic point is that the testimony of child investigators and the documentation of the investigation can not be accepted as the sole evidence for convicting the accused.
A survey conducted by the Carob Institute a year ago, showed that only 55% of those who observed parents violating children reported it to the authorities. Those who did not report, noted that they did not do so due to embarrassment and fear, or not knowing to whom to turn. About a quarter of respondents claimed that they would not know to whom to turn in the case of a violation against a child.
A survey conducted by the Institute in April 2010 also found confusion among respondents regarding in which cases there is a duty to report, regarding the possibility of a false accusation lawsuit being filed against the person who reported and as to whether one can file a report anonymously.
According to Dr. Hanita Cimeren, President of the Association for the Protection of Children, “When an investigation file is closed or the attacker is exonerated, the victim is forced to experience another wave of injury that now includes frustration against the system and a blow to his or her basic confidence in its ability to protect the victim. Therefore, the findings of this study are very serious, that 260 cases opened in 2009 for sex offenses by youth were closed on the condition of psychological treatment. Since these procedures are closed without producing a criminal record for the suspects, they are referred to the youth probation service. “