Target: Judge Jacqueline Hatch
Goal: Apologize for blaming a victim of sexual assault for inviting her aggressor’s crime simply by standing in a bar while wearing a skirt
Every year, countless rapes and sexual assaults go under-reported and under-prosecuted due to America’s patriarchal tendency to blame victims. Even those who are employed to fairly enforce the law often participate in blaming women for inviting assault, but such behavior is especially shocking when it comes from a fellow woman. Recently, an Arizona judge ruled that an off-duty police officer who drunkenly molested a woman at a bar did not deserve jail time, sentencing him only to community service. Officer Robb Gary Evans will not even need to register as a sex offender following his heinous crime, in which he walked up behind a bar patron, put his hands up her skirt, and groped her genitals.
Even more shocking were Judge Jacqueline Hatch’s comments following the sentencing. Instead of condemning the perpetrator, she bluntly told the victim, “if you wouldn’t have been there that night, none of this would have happened to you. When you blame others, you give up your power to change.”
Such an attitude is an egregious manifestation of the culture of victim-blaming and internalized misogyny that pervades American culture. Women have every right to visit bars in whatever attire they choose without being groped, fondled, or otherwise harassed. Men who assault women are the only ones who bear the blame for their crimes. No judge should side with the perpetrator of a clear-cut sexual assault case. Tell Judge Hatch to apologize for her offensive and inflammatory comments, and to avoid sympathizing with criminals in the future.
Dear Judge Jacqueline Hatch,
Our culture of victim-blaming allows thousands of men to get away with rape and sexual assault every year. Women who fear they will be blamed for inviting unwanted sexual behavior often do not press charges against their rapists, even if they have been severely harmed from the crime. I was appalled to see you recently take part in this heinous facet of rape culture when you blamed a sexual assault victim for inviting harassment in a bar.
Your recent comments following the sentencing of Officer Robb Gary Evans display an alarming level of internalized misogyny. Women need to stand up against a culture that seeks to blame us for men’s unwanted sexual advances and violence. By siding with Officer Evans, you have sent a clear message to all women that you don’t believe men are to blame for their own crimes. I demand that you apologize for this egregious position and take care not to side with rapists and other criminals in the future.
[Your Name Here]