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What If Muggings Were Treated Like Sexual Assault? 

What If Muggings Were Treated Like Sexual Assault? 

If Muggings Were Treated Like Sexual Assault

When victims of sexual assault come forward, they are often asked strange questions, but what would happen if the same questions were asked of mugging victims? 

When sexual assault victims report their attacks, they are often subjected to a barrage of questions. That was the case when one woman discovered she had been attacked by Stanford University student Brock Turner in January 2015.

In an open letter she read to the court this June, Turner's victim detailed the numerous questions she was asked on the stand, as if she had done something to provoke the attack. "The sexual assault had been so clear," she said, "but instead, here I was at the trial, answering questions like":

How old are you? How much do you weigh? What did you eat that day? Well what did you have for dinner? Who made dinner? Did you drink with dinner? No, not even water? When did you drink? How much did you drink? What container did you drink out of? Who gave you the drink? How much do you usually drink? Who dropped you off at this party? At what time? But where exactly? What were you wearing? Why were you going to this party? What' d you do when you got there? Are you sure you did that? But what time did you do that? What does this text mean? Who were you texting?

Brock Turner was found guilty of the crime (and given a very light sentence, six months), but his victim was re-victimized on the witness stand. Her experience is not uncommon. Another woman was arrested after police decided she was lying about being raped, though there was no evidence she was lying. She was later vindicated in court, but the process of proving herself innocent took its toll on her. It is no wonder then that sexual assault victims hesitate when coming forward.

Using humor as a teaching tool, BuzzFeed explores what might happen if mugging victims were treated like sexual assault victims. It would seem ridiculous to ask mugging victims if they were drunk, so why are sexual assault victims asked this question regularly?

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Elizabeth Daley