Saturday, 5 July 2008

Why women don't lay rape complaints

Read this and weep.


Anna McM said...

Some Associate Professor Such-and-such said on the news last night that he was unsure why the complainant had written a letter describing her experiences, as if it was in some way suspicious. It's actually pretty obvious, if you look at it from the perspective of a human being rather than that of a lawyer. Telling her story is the only thing resembling justice this woman will get - certainly the media and general public don't much care about her welfare, and would savage her if charges were laid.

Julie said...

Two thoughts:

1. Glenda Hughes is doing the spokesing for the victim. This is a very intriguing choice, as she is an ex-National MP and also has a history of doing management and media work for athletes (if I'm thinking of the right person). She has probably represented rugby players in the past.

2. The English RFU's CEO is reportedly "desperate" to clear the names of the players. Doesn't bode very well for a fair and independent inquiry now does it? Basically they seem to only be interested in finding a way to make it look like nothing. I hope I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

I know! I saw that. It was law prof Bill Hodge. Of course, if the woman is not going to lay a formal complaint, she wouldn't want to deal directly with the media or the rugby board that is investigating. Doing that would undermine the reasons she isn't laying the formal complaint in the first place (avoiding further persecution/invasion of privacy).

By using a lawyers letter it added authority to her claims and lifted it above the smutty tabloid style reportage of our media. I am so furious though that this woman will not have the opportunity to take this to court because she has already seen the destruction of her character in NZ and overseas and can't face any more.

Shame on our media and our rugby obsessed culture

Ari said...


Do you get the feeling that the rape-apologists just want this to go to trial so that they can shame her as hard as possible?

I think a letter to the media is brave, because she's still vulnerable to exactly the same attacks, except this way those attacks are protected by free speech. I really hope she's not reading the newspaper.

This is making me feel psychosomatically dirty. I think I need a shower. Eww.

Carol said...

I don’t know which is worst: the fact that it’s had to get rapists convicted or the way the mainstream media mostly deals with it.

OTOH don’t assume that all rugby fans, especially male rugby fans, have retrograde attitudes on the issue. I’ve been following some of the online discussions. See for instance planet rugby (international forum). The discussions have often been conflicted and fractious (in keeping with many discussions on the forum). And while some guys have expressed a negative and derogatory attitude towards the 18 year old woman, many have supported her – including many Kiwi guys.

The views have ranged from nasty attacks on the woman to others that have been very critical of the 4 accused English rugby players. Some have said it was all consensual and boys will be boys (especially red blooded rugby players), but others have said even if it was consensual it was wrong for 4 burly rugby guys to have group sex with an 18 year old woman – that it brings the team and the game into disrepute.

Also it’s heartening that many guys have taken on board the comments by people like the women’s refuge spokeswoman, about how difficult it is for a rape victim to go through the trial process, especially when so few rapist get convicted.

See here for instance (last night’s thread on the topic seems to have been removed – must have got too fractious?)

The woman complainant sounds like she has a very sensible approach in difficult circumstances.

Carol said...

Sorry: I meant the spokeswoman from the rape crisis centre, not from the women's refuge.