Article from the News and Observer:

19 04 2007

Case’s end worries crisis counselors: Some say fewer assaults will be reported

by: Anne Blythe, News and Observer Staff Writer

Some Triangle rape crisis counselors said the Duke lacrosse case’s end could inhibit sexual assault reports, but the organization that runs the National Sexual Assault Hotline supports N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper’s decision to dismiss the charges…

…Locally, some experts predicted a chilling effect.”Any time you have a case that is heavily publicized and includes a lot of survivor stigmatization, it has an effect on reporting,” said Donna Bickford, director of the Carolina Women’s Center at UNC-Chapel Hill…

…That many news outlets, including The News & Observer, named the accuser could dissuade victims from coming forward, some said…

…Manju Rajendran, an organizer of a protest last spring at which people angered by the rape charge banged pots and pans at the house where the party occurred, said Friday that she still believes the accuser.

“I’m one of just a huge number of people, especially assault survivors, especially women, especially people of color, who have seen different versions of this story play out so many times,” Rajendran said.

“The way she has been personally attacked because of the fact that she spoke up sends a message to survivors that they need to stay silent if they want to stay safe. If you’ve already been violated, to get a message like that is scary.”

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