On an August night in 1986, Jane Doe became the fifth reported woman raped by a sexual serial predator dubbed the Balcony Rapist. Even though the police had full knowledge of the rapist's modus operandi, they made a conscious decision not to issue a warning to women in her neighbourhood. Jane Doe quickly realized that women were being used by the police as bait. The rapist was captured as a result of a tip received after she and a group of women distributed 2,000 posters alerting the community. During the criminal proceedings, Jane Doe became the first raped woman in Ontario to secure her own legal representation -- allowing her to sit in on the hearings instead of out in the hall where victim-witnesses are usually cloistered. As a result, Jane heard details of the police investigation normally withheld from women in her position, which revealed a shocking degree of police negligence and gender discrimination. When the rapist was convicted, the comfort was cold. In 1987, Jane Doe sued the Metropolitan Police Force for negligence and charter violation. It took eleven long years before her civil case finally came to trial -- the rest is history. This extraordinary book asks the difficult question: Who benefits from rape? Popular ideas about rape still inform the way police and society behave around raped women. Despite decades of trying to rewrite the myths, the myths still exist, and they tell us that women lie about rape, that women enjoy it, that women file false rape reports to seek revenge and money. They tell us rape can be non-violent. They tell us that women can make good or bad rape victims or that women cannot be raped at all. They tell us nonsense -- and Jane Doe gives us a unique view on why. This is a book about rape that is not about being a "victim." It's about a woman who wanted to ensure that she, the person most involved, directed her case and the course of her life.
Random House Canada, 2003.
ISBN: 9780679311539. 360 pp.