TN Lawyer’s Questions Blame Sexual Assault Victim

Reporting in May 2018 revealed that a Tennessee lawyer asked a 16-year-old sexual assault victim about both her and her mother’s sexual history. The questions included questions about her menstrual cycle and access to birth control. The lawyer also asked her mother if a previous pregnancy was terminated naturally - essentially asking if she had an abortion - and if her mother had provided an education about sex when her daughter started menstruating. These questions are invasive, and suggest that the teen may have consented based on her past. This is an example of victim blaming, as an individual who has had sex or knows about sex can still be a victim of assault. The idea that a rapist can get away with a crime by coercing someone with a sexual history is not in line with the values of justice.