It's being called SHAME (Suppression Helps Abusers Make Excuses) and its main proponent is advocating no name suppression for those accused, and suppression of the names of victims and the nature of their relationship to the accused. (It's unclear to me whether the intention is to cover name suppression in all cases, or just those which involve crimes of abuse.)
The following are stated as SHAME's reasons for wanting to end name suppression:
- ...often sex offenders who [get] name suppression ... also have court orders preventing them or restricting them from approaching children, areas where children are located like schools and playgrounds... As the public has no right to know who these people are how then are we to know that the fellow over there by the playground is in fact a convicted or accused kiddy-fiddler and is not allowed to be there. The police surely can’t monitor the person 24/7. Because of name suppression he can happily stalk children with no-one having the ability to wander over and suggest perhaps he might like to go elsewhere lest the authorities be informed of his breach of bail or parole conditions.
- People are n’t interested in the lurid details of the victim they are interested in the names of offenders. If something becomes a secret then people want to know that secret. Open-ness is the only solution.
- There is significant New Zealand and overseas research that says that by naming the offender it is likely to bring more victims forward enabling a slam dunk prosecution.
Reading between the lines of a couple of other posts I have also discerned that other arguments from SHAME may be:
- Naming the accused means others in the same profession, demographic, etc are not unfairly suspected
- To give people the right to criticise socially harmful behaviour
So trying, honestly and objectively, to put aside the nitty gritty of SHAME's campaign and the person behind it, does name suppression actually help abusers to make excuses?
And how would you like our name suppression laws to be changed, if at all?