As if being raped wasn’t bad enough, a shameless aide in Barack Obama’s camp searched for a rape victim to appear in a political ad.
According to Politico.com, Kiersten Steward, director of public policy at the Family Violence Prevention Fund, was approached by the campaign staffer to serve as the go between for the campaign and rape victims.
“Obviously, this is a big ask and I haven’t seen a script but presumably it will be a brief ‘this is what happened to me, we need someone who will fight for women like me, these are the guys to do it,’” Steward wrote in a Sept. 15 e-mail. “Again, that’s just my assumption, given how these things usually go.”
Steward said the Obama campaign would have a crew in Washington and was hoping to film that week.
But one rape victim in Virginia declined to appear in the ad.
Mikele Shelton-Knight said in an interview that she was glad the Obama campaign was seeking to highlight the issue.
“The more discussion about this the better,” said Shelton-Knight, a full-time victims advocate in the Richmond area.
While she wasn’t told about the specifics of the ad, Shelton-Knight said she thought that the ad might be about an obscure law in Wasilla, Alaska, that charged rape victims for their own exams.
But as Shelton-Knight pointed out, the law was on the books before Sarah Palin became mayor of the small city and the law was voted off the books in 2000.
The ad was never filmed probably because Obama’s camp couldn’t find a “rape victim” who wanted to go on camera to speak about her harrowing experience to millions of people.
I’m still surprised that anyone in that camp was that insensitive to make such a request of a rape victim especially since many states right here in this country still charge victims for the cost of the rape kit exam.
It wasn’t until exhaustive lobbying by Shelton-Knight and others that Virginia localities finally agreed to absorbed the cost of the exams last year. (Source)