Pourquoi le viol est-il différent ?

NEW YORK – Alors que les allégations de crime sexuel prononcées par les procureurs suédois à l’encontre du fondateur de WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, font la une de la presse internationale, une norme dans cette couverture médiatique mérite une attention toute particulière. Nous connaissons le nom de Assange. Mais ses accusatrices – les deux femmes suédoises qui ont déposé plainte contre lui – sont systématiquement identifiées comme « Mademoiselle A » et « Mademoiselle B », et leurs visages sont floutés.

Les médias prétendent que cette politique est motivée par le respect dû aux victimes présumées. Mais ces mêmes médias ne se feraient jamais l’écho d’accusations, disons, de fraudes – ou même d’agressions non sexuelles – à l’encontre d’un suspect désigné sur la base d’accusations anonymes. En fait, et malgré de bonnes intentions, autoriser le principe de l’anonymat dans les cas de crimes sexuels est extrêmement dommageable.

Cette norme qui veut que les accusatrices de viol ne soient pas nommément désignées est un vestige de l’époque victorienne, lorsque le viol et d’autres crimes sexuels étaient codifiés et consignés d’une manière qui préfigurait notre propre ère. Le viol était considéré comme « un sort pire que la mort, » métamorphosant les femmes – supposées rester vierge jusqu’au mariage – en « des marchandises endommagées. »

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