CARBONDALE, Ill., March 6, 2013 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- The Sexual Assault Myths Organization of Carbondale, says The Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault 32 member board of lawmakers and professionals and 21 sexual assault organizations have hand delivered a letter to Jackson County, Ill. (home of S.I.U. University) District Attorney Mike Carr asking him to drop all charges made by his office against Melisa Vistain, who was arrested after reporting her sexual assault in March of 2012.
Dear State's Attorney Carr:
We are asking that you drop all charges against Melisa Vistain. Victims of sexual assault often do not report the crimes perpetrated against them for fear of not being believed and being mistreated by criminal justice personnel. When they do report, law enforcement and prosecutors may decide the evidence is insufficient to proceed with charges, which is very different than deciding to prosecute the victim.
The prosecution of a sexual assault victim is devastating to the victim and chilling for current and future sexual assault victims. The clear message of this prosecution is that survivors of sexual assault must be able to prove their own innocence or face prosecution when they report a sexual assault crime.
When sexual assault is already the most under reported crime, this message is the wrong one to send. We stand in support of Melisa Vistain, applaud her courage in reporting a heinous crime to law enforcement and urge you to drop the charges immediately.
- Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Springfield, IL
- Northwest Center Against Sexual Assault, Arlington Heights, IL
- Mutual Ground, Inc., Aurora, IL
- Call for Help - Sexual Assault Victims Care Unit, Belleville, IL
- YWCA McLean County - Stepping Stones, Bloomington, IL
- The Women's Center, Carbondale, IL
- Mujeres Latinas en Accion, Chicago, IL
- Rape Victim Advocates, Chicago, IL
- Vermillion County Rape Crisis Center, Danville, IL
- Growing Strong Sexual Assault Center, Decatur, IL
- Riverview Center - Sexual Assault Prevention and Intervention Services, Galena, IL
- Guardian Angel Home, Sexual Assault Service Center, Joliet, IL
- Kankakee County Center Against Sexual Assault, Kankakee, IL
- Western IL Regional Council - Community Action Agency - Victim Services, Macomb, IL
- The Center for Prevention of Abuse - Sexual Assault Services, Peoria, IL
- Family Resources, Inc. - Sexual Assault Counseling Program, Quad Cities, IL
- Quanada Sexual Assault Program, Quincy, IL
- Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling, Inc., Rockford, IL
- Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault, Springfield, IL
- YWCA of the Sauk Valley, Sterling, IL
- A Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Service, Streator, IL
- Rape, Advocacy, Counseling and Education Services, Urbana, IL
- Sexual Assault and Family Emergencies, Corp., Vandalia, IL.
More information, including PDF copy of the complete letter can be found at: http://www.sexualassaultmyths.com/ .
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