Thursday, 3 May 2012

Look Stuff, I've fixed it

Two women fought off separate attacks from an unidentified man in central Whanganui.  Police suspect the attacks were related, as both involved women being targeted from behind, while they were out running.

"It's clear we have a predator trying to target female joggers," said Detective Inspector Plod.  "We'd like to praise the strength and ingenuity of the two women who successfully stopped potential sexual attacks."

Police have urged all community members to monitor suspicious behaviour of men who fit the description below who seem to be lurking in this area at the moment, and call the Police if they see anything suspicious.  Both attempted sexual assaults were late afternoon to early evening.  The attacker was described by one woman as dark-skinned Maori, in his late-20s or early-30s, about 178cm tall. In the second event, he was described as male Maori, aged 17-23 years.

"As usual in cases of stranger rape - which we know are the minority of sexual assaults - this predator will be trying to commit offences with the lowest possibility of detection," said DI Plod.  "We can keep one another safe by monitoring suspicious behaviour of men in this area.  We urge all men to be aware that until this predator is caught, this area is likely to feel unsafe for many women."

Specialist sexual violence services in Whanganui can be accessed here for survivors of any kind of sexual violence, and their family and friends.  

Poor media coverage which offers no options for stopping sexual violence except for women hiding in their homes can be found here.


A Nonny Moose said...

Fucking A-woman. When will the victim blaming ever STOP?!

Cat said...

Thank you so much for this - I was having trouble articulating a better way of writing that article, and you nailed it :)

Alex said...

Brilliant revision of a horrifically bad article. Perhaps you should send it to Stuff, tell them they can publish it for free and see if they will?

Rachel Hansen said...

This is awesome. Thank you thank you thank you! I had got in a debate with someone about how crappy the original article was, and being able to show them this alternative is great. I agree that you need to send it to Stuff!

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy your writing but this is a particularly awesome re-framing of something so common, that reading this feels like a breath of fresh air (under nasty circumstances).


LudditeJourno said...

Hey thank you everyone :-)

The one slight problem with sending it to Stuff is DI Plod. Sadly, he doesn't exist. But that doesn't mean the media could not get similar advice from specialist sexual violence prevention people. Because it's not really rocket science that if a community mobilises around stranger rapes they are likely to become much more difficult to perpetrate.

I did write something back in 2008 when I was a student journo about early reporting of the Tony Veitch case which my tutor promoted to real journos though - a bit of a polemic about the media and violence against women. It's for those interested :-)

Bel said...

Thank you for this. From a woman whose hometown is Whanganui!

anthea said...

This is brilliant.

Annani said...

I read this early this morning when I was still half asleep and thought it was a reproduction of an actual Stuff article. Was just about to sing some hallelujahs when the penny dropped.

I look forward to the day when this really is how reporting of such events will read.