Rape and Sexual Violence Cases. Judicial Response. Training

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This is a preview of a training slideshow for judges. It contains only Part 2 of the 4 modules. For more information on the curriculum please contact us directly at www.SudomaConsulting.com

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  • Water Dancers is another magnificent illusory painting by Rob Gonsalves, a Canadian painter of magic realism with a unique perspective and style. We have seen multiple examples of paintings in which detailed images are intricately woven together to create larger images – the optical illusions fading back and stepping forward as you study the pieces, notice the details, and finally recognize the large scale intention.But Rob’s paintings include one additional aspect - sometimes it’s not that easy to dissect and pinpoint where one motive ends and its transformation into another begins (see Camels in The Night, Cathedral of Commerce and Ships and Arches for better understanding).Although Gonsalves’ work is often categorized as surrealistic, it differs because the images are deliberately planned and result from conscious thought. I think it goes without saying that all of these paintings take their author notable amount of time before he finishes them (planning each piece in order to make the transitions flawless).
  • Here and then I like to feature artwork done Rob Gonsalves, specially those magical transformations he’s best know for. If you remember, there were these two optical illusions where you had to guess at which point do the ships transform into giant aqueduct, and vice versa. The other one included camels and palm trees. Rob, who is the author of all these great paintings, ones that often get associated with optical illusions in general (and are often used to represent the whole optical illusion vertical), has created another interesting painting titled “Cathedral of Commerce”. After a little digging, I’ve learned that this term was used for the Woolworth Building (NYC), one of the oldest, and among fifty-tallest buildings in the United States! Enough with the fun-facts, let’s see if you can pinpoint where exactly does the cathedral turns into a city, in this image below:
  • The old man and a couple of lovers.
  • Did you know that your eyes have blind spots (and not just at the back of your head)? Each of your eyes contains an area that has no photoreceptors because it is occupied by the optic nerve. You may not have noticed these areas because they are on opposite sides of your visual field. However, this exercise is designed to isolate your blind spot and you will be amazed at the results.  Instructions: Close your left eye and fixate your right eye on the cross in the first diagram. If your eye is about 12 inches (30 cm) away from the monitor, you should notice that the round dot disappears. This distance may vary according to the screen resolution you have set.
  • You may be surprised to see that the dot is replaced, not by a black region, but rather blank white space. The brain simply "fills in" the most probable stimulus (in this case, a uniform white area) where there is none.
  • The following examples demonstrate the "filling-in" phenomenon in greater detail. Apply the same instructions as given above and you should notice the red markings each time are replaced by the most probable pattern that your brain is able to perceive. 
  • A famous example of fading under steady fixation is Troxler's fading. When steadily fixating on the central dot for many seconds, the peripheral annulus will fade and will be replaced by the colour or texture of the background. Since the adapted region is actively filled-in with background colour or texture, the phenomenon cannot be fully explained by local processes such as adaptation.
  • Communication between the two hemispheres of the brain is made possible by the bundles of axons, or commissures, that connect them. The largest of these bundles, known as the corpus callosum, consists of about 200 million axons running from one hemisphere to the other.In the 1950s, American neuroscientist Roger Sperry and his team discovered that curiously enough, severing the corpus callosum in the brain of a cat or monkey had no notable effects on the animal’s behaviour. Only some special experimental protocols revealed that these animals were actually sometimes behaving as if they had two brains.This absence of major deficits in animals with a severed corpus callosum gave neurosurgeons the idea of performing this operation on certain patients whose frequent, severe epileptic attacks were ruining their lives. In some of these patients, the epileptic focus was located in only one hemisphere, so this operation could successfully prevent the attacks from propagating to the other hemisphere. Having had this operation, these “split-brain” individuals could go back to enjoying their lives; as with the animals in Sperry’s experiments, their day-to-day behaviour was practically unaffected by the separation of their brains into two halves. The renowned American neuropsychologist Michael Gazzaniga, who began his career working with Roger Sperry, has developed several devices for analyzing functional differences between the two hemispheres in split-brain patients. The idea behind these devices is to deliver stimuli in such a way that they reach only one hemisphere, and then to observe how this hemisphere manages to process these stimuli on its own.To study language, Gazzaniga asked his subjects to focus on a point at the centre of a screen. He then projected images, words, and phrases onto the screen, to the left or right of this point. By flashing these items quickly enough that the subjects’ eyes had no time to move, Gazzaniga was able to “talk” to just one of the hemispheres at a time. Information projected in the subjects’ left visual field was received by the right hemisphere, while information projected in the right visual field was received by the left.The subjects could easily repeat numbers or words or describe images projected in their right visual field, because the left hemisphere, which received and processed this information, is the dominant hemisphere for language. Similarly, when asked to close their eyes and feel an object with their right hand, they could describe the object readily.But when the visual stimuli were projected in the subjects’ left visual field or when they were asked to feel objects with their left hand, their performance was quite different: they could not describe the stimuli or objects concerned. In fact, for the visual stimuli, they even said that they hadn’t seen anything at all!Though the right hemisphere does have some serious gaps in its language-processing abilities, it is not completely devoid of them. It can read and understand numbers, letters, and short statements, so long as the individual does not have to demonstrate this understanding verbally. Certain experiments that Gazzaniga conducted with split-brain patients also led him to develop the concept of the “left-hemisphere interpreter”. In one of these classic experiments, the split-brain patient had to point with his two hands at pictures of two objects corresponding to two images that he had seen on the divided screen (one with each of his two separated hemispheres). In the test shown here, the patient’s left hand is pointing at the card with a picture of a snow shovel, because the right hemisphere, which controls this hand, has seen the projected image of a winter scene. Meanwhile, his right hand is pointing at the card with a picture of a chicken, because his left hemisphere has seen the image of a chicken’s foot.But when the patient is asked to explain why his left hand is pointing at the shovel, his talking hemisphere—the left one—has no access to the information seen by the right, and so instead interprets his behaviour by responding that the reason is that you use a shovel to clean out the chicken house! Experiments like this show just how ready the brain is to provide language-based explanations for behaviour.Gazzaniga’s experiments thus helped to demonstrate the lateralization of language as well as other functional differences between the left and right hemispheres. http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/capsules/experience_bleu06.html http://discovermagazine.com/2012/brain/22-interpreter-in-your-head-spins-stories#.UUhLAXBEBUQ
  • Rape and Sexual Violence Cases. Judicial Response. Training

    1. 1. Rape and Sexual Violence: Judicial Response A Training Program for Judges Trainer: Oksana Sudoma www.SudomaConsulting.com
    2. 2. • • • • PART 1. History of sexuality and crimes PART 2. Storytelling theory PART 3. Perpetrator‟s story PART 4. Victim‟s story OUTLINE
    3. 3. 2. STORYTELLING THEORY
    4. 4. • This is how we convert the rape case narrative into a familiar story filling the “gaps” to craft a “coherent” story. • … the big question is… Why? Story-based reasoning:
    5. 5. Answers are in the human brain: Story-based reasoning:
    6. 6. Brain is a calculator
    7. 7. Blind spots & filling-in
    8. 8. Blind spots & filling-in
    9. 9. Blind spots & filling in
    10. 10. • “HUMAN IS A STORYTELLING ANIMAL”, says Michael Gazzaniga, the discoverer of the Left Brain Interpreter and the Nobel Prize winner. Left Brain Interpreter
    11. 11. NARRATIVE COHERENCE: Concerns whether the story „hangs together‟; Structural coherence; Material coherence (comparing with familiar stories); Characterological coherence (evaluating the central actors‟ characters in the story to „bad‟ and „good‟ guys). NARRATIVE FIDELITY: “Good reasons” – the means by which jurors/judges decide if the story of a case is accurate, comforting to their sense of reality. May include observations whether relevant facts have been omitted or distorted, whether the connections of facts and conclusions are reasonable, and whether values implied by the facts of the case are confirmed by the jurors‟ own experience. Storytelling theory:
    12. 12.  PROSECUTOR’S REASONING: Ms. B. was charged with knowingly possessing nine stolen welfare checks. The prosecutor‟s undisputed evidence showed that six checks, made out to different payees, were given to Ms. B. by her boyfriend‟s good friend, Scott. Ms. B. deposited the checks, which supposedly had been endorsed to Scott, into her account. One check was returned unpaid and her account charged accordingly, but Scott made good for her loss. He subsequently deposited three more checks. The prosecutor‟s theory is that Ms. B. “must have known” that the checks were stolen, but Ms. B. testified that she did not in fact believe that the checks were stolen; she believed Scott‟s story that the checks had been given to him in payment for a debt, and he needed her assistance because he had no bank account of his own. Case study
    13. 13. In groups, read the case study and evaluate:  narrative coherence and  narrative fidelity Case study
    14. 14.  EXPERT WITNESS’ TESTIMONY An expert character witness – a psychiatrist – testified that Ms. B’s personality is characterized by an unusually high degree of passivity and dependency. These conclusions are supported by the psychiatrist‟s recounting relevant portions of Ms. B‟s life history, interviews, tests, and other data collected during her evaluation. Because Ms. B. is dependent on others to satisfy her emotional needs, the psychiatrist opined, she is compliant and generally avoids conflicts that threaten the stability of her emotional attachments. Consequently, in situations like this one, her dependence on her boyfriend and desire to please her boyfriend‟s good friend, Scott. Like others with her personality tests, Ms. B. would rely on denial and repression to keep out of her consciousness any anxiety-provoking thoughts that might threaten her emotional connection to her boyfriend. Thus, doubts about Scott‟s honesty and, by implication, about her boyfriend‟s character, would be repressed. Her unusual gullibility in situations of this kind would therefore explain her behavior Case study
    15. 15. In groups, discuss how the expert witness‟ testimony impacted:  narrative coherence and  narrative fidelity Case study
    16. 16.  Jurors assess the credibility of the story by comparing to the cultural standards:  In Ms. B.‟s story it‟s how the „honest people‟ behave;  In rape cases it‟s how „proper‟ men and women behave and to whom rape happens;  The preexisting narrative changes when it is replaced by another cultural standard:  In Ms. B‟s case, another plausible narrative is how fools are duped by love;  Incremental change in rape stories may be rooted in pointing weaknesses in cultural narratives and providing new information. Case study summary
    17. 17. Rape narratives are formed through views of: Rape itself; when & why it happens; to & by whom; Gender-role stories about similarities & differences of genders; their strengths & weaknesses; + Race & class narratives. Rape narratives
    18. 18. Labeling in the courtroom:  If Ms. B. is labeled as „dishonest‟, jury will apply to her all the attributes of a dishonest person;  If a rape victim is labeled a „slut‟, with that comes certain attitude that forms the characterological part of the narrative. Rape narratives:
    19. 19. „Cultural rape narratives‟ are the culturally pervasive tales of proper intergender sexual behavior that affect the crafting of courtroom and rape narratives at trials. Common cultural rape narrative themes are:  Silenced Voices;  Bullying;  Race Myths;  Rape as a Seduction. Rape narratives:
    20. 20. Women Silencing Race myths Bullying Rape as seduction Cultural Rape Myths
    21. 21. • Sociologists recognize silencing as the hallmark of an oppressed group; • There is a correlation between the degree to which a society silences its women and the prevalence of rape. Silenced Voices
    22. 22. 55% M JCNEJ%A@ RCAST% AJPUH% @ O PLQ% RCU@ V@CLIETQ@ % 5r % M JCNEJ%A@ RCAST% AJPUH% @ O PLQ% RCU@ V@CLIETQ@ % 5x% : 5u%
    23. 23. & & & ` "j { 9? ` =l Y=p" a 9/ a' * 6<8* | 9)0 M JCNEJ%A@ RCAST% O PLQ% RCU@ AJPUH% @ V@CLIETQ@ % 5. %
    24. 24. Socially acceptable gender roles: Women, like children, should be seen and not heard. Like children, women who do speak up and make noise are „bad‟, annoying, unworthy, and if they make excuses for their noise, lying. A woman need not to be literally silent. She may speak if her voice soothes, entertains, informs, or otherwise serves male needs. What she may not do is express her own needs or views, whether for sex (even if far short of intercourse), power, political gain, or economic achievement. Silenced Voices
    25. 25. Women who speak up are seen as violent, aggressing against men. Women who express a need for sexual attention and physical freedom while refusing to „go all the way‟ with a man is a „tease‟. Silenced Voices
    26. 26. On one hand, she is consenting to intercourse because she surely knows that her behavior can lead only to that inevitable result, and she is responsible for the consequences. On the other hand, she ‘calls rape on herself’ by using her enormous sexual power to torture the male, whom she knows has an uncontrollable need to possess her once she expresses her sexuality.  She is thus both consenting to intercourse & deserving of punishment for her vicious behavior;  Therefore, she is not really raped. Silenced Voices
    27. 27.  A woman who instead of first voicing sexual needs, responds to an expression of male need with a firm ‘no’, or refuses to acknowledge or respond to the male‟s efforts – in short, a woman, who clearly communicates her own desire not to have sex – is viewed as „aloof‟ and hence equally aggressive, assaulting male prerogatives and feelings.  A clear expression of her own wishes is unacceptable, angry, and deserving of punishment. Silenced Voices
    28. 28.  After the sexual act, a woman who cries rape, who speaks of her violation, her assailed dignity, and her physical and emotional pain, is to be distrusted, for she breaks the rule of silence.  While it is believed that the „real rapes‟ occasionally happen, but such an assertive speech from a woman is so unusual that it is to be greeted with suspicion and with presumptions of lies based on criminal motives rather than acceptance. Silenced Voices
    29. 29. Rape in the military • Watch the movie: The Invisible War (2012) Silenced Voices
    30. 30. Common defense strategies in rape cases in which consent is raised as a defense: Continual questioning about the details of a rape to locate inconsistencies or revisions; Stressing delay in reporting the crime; Revealing a preexisting sexual relationship; Seeking to undermine the general character of the victim by, for example, emphasizing hitchhiking, excessive drinking or smoking, wearing seductive clothing, and bad language. Silenced Voices
    31. 31. Delay in reporting as a byproduct of silencing: Women are taught that rape is avoidable and so, when it happens, it is partly their fault. Women know (at least implicitly) of the suspicion with which female voice is treated and thus fear being both blamed and disbelieved. Thus initial silence is consistent with cultural expectations. If the woman later reports the rape, her initial silence is offered as evidence that she lies. She is expected to be quiet, yet she must speak loudly if there is a „real‟ rape. Catch-22: if she speaks, she will face skepticism; if she is silent, her later complaints may not appear credible. Silenced Voices
    32. 32. The reasons for the inconsistencies in the initial and later testimony of rape: Initially a rape victim may want to smooth things out just hoping that it all will go away, to make things normal again; A victim may be reluctant to face all the details of recently survived trauma because memories are too painful; The notion that the rape could be prevented leads to selfblame and feeling „dirty‟, that leads to minimizing the most horrific details; As she heals, she may be able to tell a more coherent story. Silenced Voices
    33. 33. For most men, aggression, whether physical or verbal, is instrumental, a way of controlling others, attaining social or material benefits, dominance and self-esteem. First, because aggression is seen as a necessary and desirable male behavior, a great deal of aggression, including physical, will be tolerated before the aggressor is deemed a „bully‟. Second, because aggression is about attainment, men tend to talk of aggression in terms of winning and losing, the language of games. The great male fear is of losing. Third, men may see women‟s crying as a strategy to ‘win’ over the sincere deep emotions. Bullies
    34. 34. Notions of masculinity involve: Aggression; Explosive sexuality; Sexual success; Independence from relationships; Physical toughness; Loss of empathy. Bullies
    35. 35. Many men see aggression as the fair rules of the „game‟; Many women accept these rules of the game because of cultural conditioning; this includes putting up with unwanted force. Thus the men may think that the women understand the ‘rules’ of the game and assume consent, whereas women may simply be delaying the possibility of an open confrontation, hoping that there won’t be need for that. Bullies
    36. 36. Although many adult males might publicly frown on such behavior, especially once they are past young adulthood, they might secretly be proud of their sons for „scoring‟ with instrumental aggression. Many women accept the logic that instrumental aggression is part of male sexuality, that we all know the rules of the game, and that women who choose to play the game have not been raped, even where significant male aggression was necessary to overcome the woman’s ‘reluctance’. Bullies
    37. 37. Video: A Call To Men Tony Porter
    38. 38. There is an assumption that only bullies bully: there is a connection between character and behavior. Therefore there is another assumption that men who revert only to limited aggression in many life spheres are neither bullies nor rapists. True rapists are seen as ‘psychopaths in dark alleys’. Society carries on this myth. Media focuses on stranger rapes than on acquaintance rapes. In actuality, the majority of rapists are acquainted with the victim. (more on this – later in the presentation). Bullies
    39. 39. For more information contact us at: sudomaov@gmail.com www.SudomaConsulting.com To be continued…

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