Drunkards get less cash
As far as I am aware, this applies equally to all victims, but it is a rape victim which has sparked the argument. This victim thinks that the reduction is harping back to the 1970s when people said drunk rape victims were "asking for it".
The first point is that most rape victims are drunk. This is because, frankly, drunk girls are easier to rape. It takes less force, they act less rationally, and they are not believed. However, drunk people of any gender are easier to commit crime on full-stop. Most mugging victims I deal with are drunk, as are assaults. This is a fact of life.
I have never seen an advertisement informing people that if they are drunk when they become a victim of crime their compensation will be reduced. This was clearly introduced because the powers-that-be feel that being drunk is irresponsible and they want to discourage it. In fact, it is the sort of financial incentive to sobriety that even local Blandmoreans might heed. But if it is intended as a legitimate social concern, WHY ON EARTH is this not publicised? How can it possibly act as a deterrent to drinking if no one knows this might happen?
There is no point pretending that this scheme does not seek to lay blame on victims for being drunk. I don't necessarily disagree with the idea of deterring drinking. It is worth bearing in mind that the money handed out by CICA does not come out of the offender's pocket - it is public money. So it does not represent any benefit to the offender.
But it is dangerous to assume that a crime occurred due to drunkenness, because in most cases alcohol only contributed to the situation and did not cause it. "Normal" guys do not become rapists just because they are drunk, even if they drink to assist them with the "courage" to do it. On the flip side, "normal" girls (or boys) can fall victim to rapists whether drunk or not, although most rapists will pick on a drunk one because that is their modus operandi and is much easier.
Yet the courts place great emphasis on drunkenness. Sometimes it is held against the offender if they were drunk. But in some cases, it can be a criminal defence. In others, evidence of their own drunkenness provides mitigation if convicted. If being drunk is a defence to acting stupidly, why are victims of crime penalised for it? If we agree that being drunk and wandering the streets is irresponsible, why do we not punish OFFENDERS more harshly who do it, as well as penalising the victims?
The comments of this judge, in a case where both parties were drunk, sum it up qutie nicely:
"No doubt it would not have happened were you not so drunk that night, but the fact you were drunk does not afford any real mitigation. The fact you would not have done it had you been sober makes no difference to her."
The same does not appear to hold true the other way around.
'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.