Lydia Lydia Cuomo was brutally vaginally, anally, and orally raped at gunpoint by an off duty police officer who was subsequently not found guilty of rape. This tells us New York’s rape laws were written before #METOO.
“I had been raped and now it felt like I was being traumatized all over again This time it was in a courtroom, my family and friends were there, my rapist and his attorney, and the public.” Lydia Cuomo said after the verdict
In 2013 more than 26,000 people supported our petition to pass the Rape is Rape Bill introduced by New York State Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, but the bill was blocked by the New York State Senate. With new leadership in the Senate, the bill is expected to pass this year.
Responding to the Senate blocking the bill at the time Assemblywoman Simotas said, “I will continue to work to ensure the Rape is Rape bill becomes law.” Her tenacity is hopefully about to pay off when the bill comes up for a vote on May 30th, 2019.
Today we need to call and email New York’s Senators and encourage them to support the bill. You can find your elected officials here. And you’ll find a draft telephone script and a draft email by clicking this link. Use them as they are or edit them and make them your own.
“I had been raped and now it felt like I was being traumatized all over again This time it was in a courtroom, my family and friends were there, my rapist and his attorney, and the public.”
Lydia Cuomo speaking after the verdict
Assemblywoman Simotas’ Rape is Rape bill, passed by the Assembly, brings New York’s rape laws in line with the FBI’s definition of rape, further improving the standard to contact from penetration. Since 50 million people a year visit New York State keeping our rape laws in line with national standards is important.
It’s also important that the law calls a rape what we call a rape outside the courtroom. Making the legal definition of rape consistent with the everyday meaning of rape will make prosecutors’ jobs easier. It will also clarify in a post #METOO world that rape is rape. There should be no excuse for abuse. The law should set clear, easily communicated standards that we, the public, can easily understand. The NY State Assembly’s Rape is Rape Bill does that.
We looked at Google’s search data to see what we the people search for when we enter the word rape, the most searched for term is “was I raped.” Other top search terms include man raped, boy raped and guy raped.
“I don’t have a vagina, but I was raped as a child”
Andrew Willis, New York
Sadly both straight and gay men get raped, almost 1 in 6 of them as children, and in a state that recognizes marriage equality we should also recognize rape equality.
Anal rape and oral rape are forcible sex and are every bit as much a rape as vaginal rape. One in every five women experience rape in their lifetime, and many men too.
“To come to terms with being raped is hard enough, for the justice system not to recognize rape as rape is to re-victimize victims.”
Lydia Cuomo speaking after the verdict
New York’s rape laws were written to protect a woman’s virtue for her husband or father. Nine out of ten rapists never pay for their crimes because current laws the current laws confuse and deter victims from speaking out.
New York should pass the Rape is Rape Bill. The revised definition of rape sends an important message to the broad range of rape victims that they are supported and to perpetrators that they will be held accountable.
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Andrew was a Captain in the British Army before practicing integrated marketing communications and marketing, mostly for global brands. A survivor of child sexual abuse, domestic violence, and suicide, Andrew dedicated the second half of his life to protecting children from trauma.