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我钦佩作证性侵受害者的勇气
I admire women who testify against alleged crime

性侵犯案的投诉者能够站出来指控嫌犯并在法庭上作证,需要极大的内心勇气。对性侵犯受害者来说,辩护律师的质问和攻击不但会令自己的性生活隐私不保,也会让其信誉和声望严重受损。

It takes tremendous inner strength for sexual assault complainants to come forward and testify against their alleged assailant in court. They face the risks of having their sexual intimacy being disclosed, their credibility and reputation damaged as they go through defence lawyers’ grills and attacks in court. 


根据加拿大统计局的最新数据,在加拿大,性侵犯案的成功定罪率只有45%。在各类暴力案件中,其定罪率之低仅次于企图谋杀罪。性侵犯案的受害人往往不即愿意报警也不愿意上法庭作证,而阻止她们的最主要因素就是恐惧和对司法缺乏信任。这也就是为什么性侵犯受害人胆小怕事,忍气吞声,从而使得性侵犯成为加拿大报案率最低的犯罪。

Sexual assault cases in Canada have a conviction rate of about 45 per cent, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada. It's the lowest conviction rate for violent crime aside from attempted murder. Sexual assault victims cite fear and mistrust as one of the biggest deterrents from reporting it and testifying in court. And that is why victims are reluctant to come forward, leaving sexual assault the most under-reported crime in Canada.


但那些面临困境而依然不退缩的人士,可谓极为勇敢和可敬。

But those who speak out in the face of great adversity are remarkably courageous and admirable. 


前加拿大广播公司节目主持戈迈斯(Ghomeshi)面临性侵犯指控和令他人窒息指控。在这起引人注目的案件进入审理之际,第一位投诉人出庭作证,并遭遇戈迈斯律师的连续两天的交叉询问,其攻势之猛,旨在完全摧毁其证词之可信度。在交叉问询的第一天,律师指出她对事件的叙述不清,出现包括对汽车型号, 接吻方式及有没有佩戴假发套等事件说法出现前后差异。她的作证最终被律师指控为在“誓言下之谎言”。

Former CBC radio star John Ghomeshi faces charges of sexual assaults and choking. As his high profile trial gets underway, the first complainant testified in court, and faced Ghomeshi lawyer’s two days’ vigorous cross-examinations that intended to erode her credibility. On the first day of cross-examination, she was challenged on the inconsistencies in her account of events, from a misremembered car to uncertainty over a kiss to the mystery of a set of hair extensions.  Her testimony ended with the lawyer’s suggestion that she outright lied under oath. 


据法律专家表示,在性侵犯案中,投诉人的证词和言行决定了她的法庭信任度。辩护人有权以最大能力和限度在法庭上为自己进行全面辩护,而律师往往会指责证人撒谎以威吓出庭作证者。

In sexual assault cases, the complaint’s credibility stands and falls on her testimony and her demeanour, according to legal expert. As the defendant is entitled to his strong rights to present a full defence, the defence lawyer would often browbeat the witnesses by suggesting they are lying.


戈迈斯案的投诉人第二天继续出庭作证,随即面临辩护律师的又一轮猛烈炮轰。投诉人曾一再表示,她在发生过据称的性侵犯后已经与戈迈斯断绝了联系。而律师戏剧性地抛出了投诉人在其所指控的性侵犯发生后发出的一系列“勾引对方”的电子邮件,以证明投诉人的说法自相矛盾。

As the complainant in Ghomeshi trial returned to the witness stand the second day, she faced another round of intense scrutiny by the defence lawyer, who dramatically revealing “flirtatious” emails contradicting the complainant’s repeated claims that she had no contact with Ghomeshi after the alleged sexual assaults.


投诉人表示,她所发出的包括了一张她身穿比基尼泳装的照片的邮件是为做“诱饵”,以便让戈迈斯给她打电话,这样她才有机会问他为什么要暴力地击打她的头部。

The complainant said she’d sent the emails – one including the photo of her in a bikini - as “bait” for Ghomeshi to call her so she could ask him why he violently punched her in the head.


我对这些不得不在法庭上经历这种心理折磨的女性深表同情。有时她们的证词会令其身处不利及无奈之境,无法躲过锐利而凶猛的辩护律师的盘问和攻击。其实,在回忆某个事件的过程中,前后说法出现不一致是常见现象。有些法律专家表示,对性侵犯事件的叙述过程出现前后差异并非怪事。

I really feel for the women who endured such hardship in court. Sometimes they are just in a very vulnerable or even impossible situation where their narrative cannot survive a cross examination from a pit bull lawyer. Inconsistencies in the narrative account resulting from memory fragments are common among us all. Therefore, some slight differences every time a narrative is given in connection to a sexual assault are not surprising at all, say the legal experts. 


施暴案中的受害者会感到法庭程序极其复杂而难以应对。即便有充分的证词,因为缺乏案发的确凿的证据,性侵犯案也往往会不了了之。在审判终结之际,受害人很可能会发现在经历了一系列艰难的司法程序之后,她们根本未能找回正义。

To navigate the court process can prove very difficult for victims of abuse.  Even with plenty of testimony, sexual assault cases can often fall short of convictions due to a lack of definitive evidence to show a crime occurred. At the end of the day, victims may find they did not get what they were looking for by going through the criminal justice system. 


尽管很多受害人未能看到她们的施暴者被法庭定罪,但是由于她们的勇气和气魄司法系统得以运转。她们是其他性侵犯受害者的榜样,鼓舞着她们不妥协不畏缩,在真理面前寻求正义,找寻慰籍。

While many victims are unable to see that their alleged assailant is proven guilty by court, it is truly the courage and the stunning bravery that has made the measure of justice possible. They serve as the role models for victims of sexual abuse and inspire them to speak out. Because of them, there are others who have found solace in seeking their own justice.


 

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