Courage knows no victim |

Courage knows no victim

Vail Daily Editorial
Vail CO, Colorado

The impact of the Kobe Bryant case ” in which a local woman’s name was publicized by some media outlets, and her reputation subject to scrutiny and even lies ” understandably has had a chilling effect on a sexual assault victim’s willingness to report the crime.

Add that reality to the fact that few sexual assault are reported to police anyway, and you have a crime that rarely is punished.

That’s why it’s encouraging news to hear the Eagle County district attorney say that since 2004 more women have been willing to testify against their alleged attackers. In 2006, 17 cases of sex assault made their way into the court system ” a 70 percent increase since 2004, the year the Bryant case was dismissed.

Out of those 17 cases, four men have been convicted so far.

But justice is not a guarantee for all victims.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

In one case, the suspect fled the area before the trial began. The woman who accused him of the assault remains steadfast in her decision to report the alleged attack and to testify in court when and if the case does reach trial.

The women who have reported these crimes, and those who have seen their cases through the sometimes unsympathetic and grueling court system, are pillars of courage.

By reporting the crime, and helping with the prosecution, these victims help pave the way for others who may be afraid to report their assaults. Our hope is this trend will help end that undeserved stigma of shame associated with sex crimes that prevents some victims from seeking justice in the first place.

” Tamara Miller for the Editorial Board

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