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May it please the Court, my name is Chynah Monzon, counsel for the

appellant, Nidora Zobel.


In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does
everything in his power to promote forgetting. If secrecy fails, the
perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her
absolutely, he tries to make sure no one listens.
Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery
Your Honors, the trial court and the opposing counsels were quick to
dismiss what the victim had to go through in the hands of the accused, just
for three reasons:
1) That the victim was her usual self after the rape happened, 2) that there
was an illicit relationship between the victim and the accused and 3) that
there was no evidence of physical force and violence as gleaned from the
medico-legal examination.
Your Honors, the foregoing may be true but it does not change the fact that
rape happens and has happened even for the most calm and collected
women, and even for women who cheat on their husbands. But they do not
speak out, at least immediately. And you know why is that? Because they
are afraid and ashamed to show their emotional scars; they also know that
they would be condemned even if they were the victims. This is what
exactly is happening now.
The defense seems to put the victim in a vacuum where rape victims
should have behaved in a way society expects them to and that they
should have done this and that RIGHT AFTER experiencing such a
harrowing ordeal. The defense is looking for pieces of evidence that are
immaterial in proving innocense of the accused. It mist be noted that the
presence of a torn blouse, a knife and a showing of physical injuries is not
always consistent with a finding that there is rape.
Nidora is a professional public school teacher. Teachers are taught how to
conduct themselves in a dignified way. May I ask, Your Honors, does the
defense know how it feels to be in Nidoras shoes? Specifically, does the
defense know what goes on in Nidoras mind while being assaulted by the
accused? After the rape, does the defense know what Nidora sees every
time she looks at herself in the mirror? NO.
The defense also condemns the victim in that by having an illicit
relationship with her attacker, no rape transpired. Even the most trustful

relationships end up in the rubble when one takes advantage of the trust
reposed on him by the other.
The victim trusted the accused but the latter broke that trust by imposing
himself on her. Does the fact of relationship preclude the victim from crying
out rape? Are we going to establish another facet of rape culture wherein
women would be afraid to speak out because the fact of relationship with
their attacker will be taken against them?
The defense has essentially put the victim on trial, pointing out that the
victims story is not believable just because she did not act in a certain way
and because she had a forbidden relationship with the accused and
therefore, there was no rape. But that doesnt justify what happened to her.
It cannot. We are all entitled to the protection of the laws. Even Nidora who
had made a mistake in having a relationship with accused and she had
paid for it dearly, earning the ire of her husband.
So what if Nidora acted calm and collected right after the ordeal
happened? So what if Nidora had an illicit relationship with the accused?
So what if the medico-legal reports did not show physical injuries? Are all
these enough to deprive the victim of her privilege to defend herself
against her attacker? Is this what the defense needs to prove that their
client is innocent?
Let us focus on what we needs to be proven in this case: that, beyond a
reasonable doubt, on January 6, 2006, the accused raped Nidora Zobel.
This should not be a judgment of a person but a judgment of what
transpired on that fateful day. With this, I would like to ask, Your Honors,
that you find the accused, accountable for what he did to Nidora. Thank
you.