Why Don’t We Believe Women? (Deborah Tuerkheimer)
“Outside the legal context, I'm urging readers and listeners in this case to think very deliberately about whether that high standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is really necessary before a person will believe so to speak, will feel confident enough to offer, let's say, support to a roommate or to a coworker. And I want to suggest that we should actually require much less by way of certainty and confidence in order to offer that kind of support to someone who is in an informal setting coming to us as a kind of first responder, because this is how most allegations surface. People rarely go to the police. First more often, they turn to a trusted confidant, someone within their inner circle. And it's the response of that individual that's likely to affect the trajectory to come” so says Deborah Tuerkheimer, a Harvard and Yale-educated lawyer, former New York District Attorney specializng in domestic violence and child abuse protection and current professor at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law where she teaches and writes about criminal law, evidence, and feminist legal theory. To say she is impressive is a massive understatement.Today she joins me to discuss her book, CREDIBLE: Why We Doubt Accusers and Protect Abusers. We dive into a conversation about credibility and sexual assault: What makes a credible victim? How do culture, law, and psychology shape our judgement? And how can our systems be more responsive to the needs of survivors? In the court of cultural opinion, Deb says, we disservice so many victims by dismissing and discounting their pain that sometimes, the aftermath is almost worse than the event itself. We talk about the myth of the false accuser, underreporting as a reflection of our cultural credibility context, and the dangerous archetypes of the perfect victim and the monster abuser. Finally, we discuss the push for restorative justice processes, which must begin with an acknowledgement of responsibility from the offender, and then go on to ask: “What will it take to repair the harm?”, ultimately turning to the victim and their community to answer that question. Please note that today’s episode contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors - I encourage you to care for your safety and well-being.MORE FROM DEB TUERKHEIMERCREDIBLE: Why We Doubt Accusers and Protect AbusersMore Books, Articles and Op-Eds by Deb TuerkheimerDeb's WebsiteDIG DEEPER:RAINN: the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organizationNational Sexual Assault Hotline: 800.656.HOPE
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45-minute conversations and investigations with today's leading thinkers, authors, experts, doctors, healers, scientists about life's biggest questions: Why do we do what we do? How can we come to know and love ourselves better? How can we come together to heal and build a better world?