Law Alone Not Enough

I came across a reflection on the implementation of law, once written. The following quote is by Linda E. Ledray, R.N., Ph.D., Recovering from Rape, Henry Holt and Company. New York, NY, 1986, pp 216-217:

Laws alone won’t stop rape. The laws are only as good as the people who enforce them….

When the government decided it was time to stop litter, an active campaign was launched across the country and littering was essentially stopped in many areas. When a West Coast city elected a woman mayor who took an interest in stopping rape, there was significantly less rape. Perhaps when more women are sitting in the House and Senate, preventing rape will become as important as curtailing litter.

Barring the little detail that American mayors have more authority to act than Canadian mayors do, we can see the principle that Dr. Ledray is proposing. One person’s vision does matter.

Dr. Ledray closes her manual with core reflections for women. Only self-reliance will relieve fear and conflict. Dependence relieves it only for a short time. It is false security. Women must become strong, independent, self-reliant and in control of their lives and bodies – in short – women must assume their place as equals to men. She backed up this position earlier in the book with a study of various tribal groupings. It was in the tribes in which the women were dependent that rape was occuring in the society.

Change within society starts with the one. It starts with ourselves.

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