Not the Sabines (Updated)

Even in this jaded age in which we live, rape is a matter to be taken seriously. Well, it is for some of us. For others, it is apparently sufficient to give people a good talking to without involving any legal authorities:

Did you get raped at Occupy Baltimore? Well, call the police if you must, but do you really want to be the one putting a damper on our good ol’ fashioned protest?

So seems to be the sentiment behind Occupy Baltimore’s “Security Statement.” The document touts the protest’s plan for how to deal with sexual assault.


Granted, while the document doesn’t prohibit the involvement of police per se, it does present contacting the police as a negative or discouraged activity. Sure, we can understand why you’d want to get the cops involved, but we’d rather take care of this ourselves.

Nothing like treating an actual and heinous  crime as though it is something which can be handled by a committee of less-than-law-abiding citizens who believe everything besides personal responsibility.

I do not know that law in Baltimore, but I do know that a bishop was recently indicted for taking care of things by not reporting matters of abuse to the legal authorities. It may well be that failure to report a matter as serious as rape would be considered obstruction. Of course, that may not be of much import to people who have shown a disregard for the rule of law to begin with.

Speaking of a disregard for the rule of law, Joe Biden apparently does not understand the first law of holes:

[The Vice President] confirmed that he indeed did talk about rape in terms of the President’s spending measure. “Murder will continue to rise, rape will continue to rise, all crimes will continue to rise,” if the Democrats agenda isn’t passed, he added.

At least he is taking the matter of rape seriously, right? Well, no. Someone did a bit of checking and found that the numbers Biden cited were themselves incorrect:

Putting aside the crude, inflammatory nature of his rhetoric, it turns out that Biden’s numbers are incorrect. According to statistics compiled by the FBI, the figures cited by the vice president are slightly off, but not egregiously so, when it comes to the size of the police force and the murder rate in Flint. According to the FBI data, the city employed 201 police officers in 2008 and 132 officers in 2010. There were 32 reported murders in 2008, which rose to 53 in 2010. With respect to the rape figures, however, Biden is way off. FBI data show that the incidence of reported forcible rapes actually dropped, with 103 rapes reported in 2008, but just 92 in 2010. Hardly the 150 percent increase Biden cited.

According to the same figures, property crime, theft, and robbery also declined in Flint between 2008 and 2010. In fact, the city’s overall crime index has been steadily declining since 2006. This mirrors national trends. The FBI datareleased in September show that in 2010, violent and property crimes declined by 6 percent and 3 percent, respectively, compared with 2009 levels. Robbery was down 10 percent, rape was down 5 percent, and murder, manslaughter, and aggravated assault were each down 4 percent.

So, other than threatening women with the spectre of a 200 lb man over them holding a gun (his words), Mr. Biden was absolutely wrong. As the President has recently noted, however, his choices (and his administration’s choices) have been faultless to date. So, I guess I’m mistaken about Sheriff Joe.

Then again, perhaps the Vice President will go to Baltimore and have an occupier explain to him that rape isn’t nearly as horrible as he makes it out to be.

They both might learn something.


When rape used to mean something to politicians.