The Weinstein verdict shows why rape convictions are so rare

Weinstein’s case is a “microcosm of what happens in rape cases more generally,” says Manning, who directs the Women’s Equal Justice Project. “Only a small number of reports result in an arrest. Only a small number of arrests result in a prosecution. Only a small number of prosecutions result in a conviction. The big picture of rape and society now is that only a tiny fraction of rapists will ever be brought to justice.”

After a woman is assaulted, she faces a series of ever taller hurdles before she might see her assailant arrested and prosecuted, much less punished. Sometimes the decision about whether to press charges is made for her: The statute of limitations has passed, or the misconduct did not rise to the level of a crime. Many of Weinstein’s accusers, such as the Sopranos actor Annabella Sciorra, were barred from going forward for reasons like these.

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