Rape Myths on Trial: Naming the Unnamed Conspirator

In this provocative presentation, Anne Munch, a career prosecutor and advocate for victims of gender violence, examines how cultural attitudes shape the outcomes of rape and sexual assault cases. Drawing on years of experience prosecuting sex crimes, Munch shows how rape cases often turn on the involvement of an "unnamed conspirator" -- the complex of myths and stories we tell ourselves as a culture about sex, gender, power, and responsibility. Using examples from real cases, and harrowing evidence from actual 911 calls, Munch reveals how the assumptions that juries bring into the courtroom often stack the odds against victims, and at the same time challenges us to think critically about how our own assumptions might unintentionally reinforce victim-blaming. The result is a stunning look inside our criminal justice system and an incisive analysis of American culture's warped views of women's sexuality.