Treatment of Rape Victims

Via Pandagon, I just discovered the fascinating blog PC Bloggs, written by “one very hacked off [UK] policewoman”. She gives helpful tips for rape victims here and she compares instructions given to officers responding to rapes of men and women here

Incident 1: Caller reporting her 17-year-old daughter was raped last night by two named offenders after going out drinking at her local pub. Daughter is very distressed and sore. Update from supervisor: Officers to attend and establish the following:

  • 1. Is the daughter making an allegation?
  • 2. Names and descriptions of alleged offenders.
  • 3. How much alcohol was consumed?
  • 4. If allegation is being made, locate scene.
  • 5. Will the victim attend court?
  • 6. If allegation could be true, will she consent to a medical?
  • Incident 2:Caller reporting her 18-year-old son was raped last night by a male known to him, following a party at his house. Son is in pain and upset. Update from supervisor: Officers to attend and establish the following:

  • 1. Locate the crime scene.
  • 2. Arrange medical examination and take victim to rape suite.
  • 3. Name/description of offender.
  • 4. Preserve forensic evidence, seize clothing.
  • Obvious inequities here, and it’s outrageous, as well as important to see.  But it’s worth noting that the instructions for Incident 2 probably would have been very different if the victim was returning from a gay club, or if the victim was in prison.

    If you are or plan to be an aging female feminist philosopher…

    Linked from Huffington Post, but to be found at Science News:

      A new study finds that drinking several cups of coffee can limit an age-related drop in mental acuity—but only in women.

    The details at Science News are worth reading. 

    It is hard to judge just how good the news is for female philosophers, since not all mental performance measures were helped by caffeine.  Still, given how much professional life is shaped by customs and rules geared towards men and men’s biological clocks, it is cheering – though oddly – to think that those women who survive may at least have some extra time to make up for losses. 

    I couldn’t access the original article through my library, but I found the abstract from Neurology on the web.  I’m including that below.


    The neuroprotective effects of caffeine.

    A prospective population study (the Three City Study)
    K. Ritchie, PhD, I. Carrière, PhD, A. de Mendonça, MD, PhD, F. Portet, MD, PhD, J. F. Dartigues, MD, PhD, O. Rouaud, MD, P. Barberger-Gateau, MD, PhD and M. L. Ancelin, PhD

    Objective: To examine the association between caffeine intake, cognitive decline, and incident dementia in a community-based sample of subjects aged 65 years and over. Methods: Participants were 4,197 women and 2,820 men from a population-based cohort recruited from three French cities. Cognitive performance, clinical diagnosis of dementia, and caffeine consumption were evaluated at baseline and at 2 and 4 year follow-up. Results: Caffeine consumption is associated with a wide range of sociodemographic, lifestyle, and clinical variables which may also affect cognitive decline. Multivariate mixed models and multivariate adjusted logistic regression indicated that women with high rates of caffeine consumption (over three cups per day) showed less decline in verbal retrieval (OR = 0.67, CI = 0.53, 0.85), and to a lesser extent in visuospatial memory (OR = 0.82, CI = 0.65, 1.03) over 4 years than women consuming one cup or less. The protective effect of caffeine was observed to increase with age (OR = 0.73, CI = 0.53, 1.02 in the age range 65 to 74; OR = 0.3, CI = 0.14, 0.63 in the range 80+). No relation was found between caffeine intake and cognitive decline in men. Caffeine consumption did not reduce dementia risk over 4 years.Conclusions: The psychostimulant properties of caffeine appear to reduce cognitive decline in women without dementia, especially at higher ages. Although no impact is observed on dementia incidence, further studies are required to ascertain whether caffeine may nonetheless be of potential use in prolonging the period of mild cognitive impairment in women prior to a diagnosis of dementia.