Tagged: sex crime

Signal boost: Help get sexual violence services properly funded.

Take it away, Coley:

… But now we have an opportunity to speak out at a national legislative level on how unacceptable this status quo is. Submissions to the inquiry into the funding of specialist sexual violence social services are open now until 10 October.

I want to be very clear – you do NOT have to be a client or an associate of the sexual violence sector to submit. You do not have to be a survivor. You just have to be someone who, like me, wants to trust that if I or anyone I love needs help, this is a country which gives it and values those who give it.

You can make a submission, and read more about the guidelines and process here.

If the jargon puts you off, or you feel like you don’t know enough about what is definitely a specialist sector, just talk about what having these services around means to you. What you would want to see these services do if they were adequately resourced.

There will be submission writing workshops run by agencies and community groups so keep your eyes peeled and don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Please speak out for services which are often invisible. Their impacts aren’t.

Please make a submission.  This is such an important opportunity to get some real action on sexual violence – or at least, if I’m cynical, to at least get a clear mandate which we can use to push governments to take this issue seriously.

Leaked: draft blueprint for future recruitment to ACC sensitive claims unit

It has recently come to the attention of the recruitment team that employees working within the sensitive claims unit may not be fully aware of the expectations of their role and the unit in general.

Given our unstated practice of never correcting the behaviour of current employees, given this will very likely incite them to leak even more sensitive material to external parties, the [redacted] Committee has determined the following policy:

1.  Review current recruitment processes for the sensitive claims unit and institute a holistic end-to-end process for ensuring global best practice is implemented within the recruitment framework

2.  Allow natural attrition to gradually downsize the potential risk profile of future incidents through replacing sub-optimal occupants of roles within the unit.

New recruitment procedure

The [redacted] Committee has determined that the following additional steps will be mandated in the recruitment process for the sensitive claims unit.  The new process will be in place as of 1 March 2013 notwithstanding current recruitment underway.

1.  Candidates will be asked to confirm that they realise they are applying for a role within the sensitive claims unit.

2.  Candidates will be asked to explain in their own words the implications of the name “sensitive claims unit”.

3.  Candidates will be asked if they understand what “sensitive” means.  If a satisfactory answer is given in (2), recruiters may choose to skip this step.

4.  Candidates will be placed in a scenario dealing with a medical report submitted relating to a sensitive case.  They will be given the options of:

a.  Filing the report as provided by the medical practitioner

b.  Filing the report as provided by the medical practitioner in the bin

c.  Randomly amending the report and making no note of the changes made

d.  Deliberately amending the report and making no note of the changes made

e.  Spinning round and round in their chair for an hour then go for drinks without locking their workstation.

Only candidates who answer (a) or (e) will be progressed to further stages of the recruitment process.

~

H/T: Aww, Standard comments

Court of Appeal on comedian sex offender: not entirely good news

So, finally, the comedian who sexually assaulted a child but was initially discharged because  he’s so funny then re-sentenced because that’s not actually a fucking excuse will finally actually serve his sentence.  Which is only eight months’ home detention anyway.

Here’s the latest problem (because this story is just packed full of delicious, angry-making problems):

Judge Cunningham decided not to sentence Comedian Z (as referred to by the courts) because it would damage his career.  (My thoughts on this argument remain the same: Sexually assaulting a kid SHOULD FUCKING WELL AFFECT YOUR CAREER.)

Judge Perkins decided this argument was bunkum not because sexually assaulting a child SHOULD FUCKING WELL AFFECT YOUR CAREER but because:

[he] considered that, to a significant extent, the adverse consequences had already been suffered and would not be significantly exacerbated by the refusal of a discharge

And this is what the Court of Appeal has agreed with in choosing to enforce the frankly pathetic sentence.

Not because sexually assaulting a four-year-old is fucking awful.  Not because changing your story about sexually assaulting a four-year-old – “oh I don’t remember what happened” but “oh I thought she was my adult partner” – is fucking digusting.

Nope, it’s okay for this guy to serve eight fucking months‘ home detention because his career’s already been shot to hell – AS IT FUCKING SHOULD BE – so a sentence can’t make it worse.

Which leaves only the fucking terrifying conclusion that if his career hadn’t already been ruined by his sexual assault of a child … the Court of Appeal would entertain the idea he should be let off.  Their argument is literally that his career can’t be ruined any worse by a custodial sentence, so he should serve a sentence.

For, let me just remind you one last time, sexually assaulting a four-year-old.

Our fucking justice system, ladies and gentlemen.  If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the Angry Dome.

Assange, Wikileaks, and how I don’t give a fuck for your greater good

I keep ending up in wonderfully unproductive “debates” about the ongoing Assange case.  So I just want to state a few things for the record:

Even if this is all a CIA plot …

Even if the Swedish government, well-known US government lackey that it is, is only pursuing rape allegations made against Julian Assange because they have a cunning plan to extradite him to Guantanamo Bay …

Julian Assange could have prevented this whole thing in one easy step: by not raping anyone.

I don’t really think that’s too much too ask.

But QoT!  the rape apologists [when it’s An Hero of theirs] cry.  Maybe those evil jezebels sent him Mixed Signals.

Then Julian Assange was perfectly capable of thinking, “Hmm.  I’m not getting clear signals here.  Maybe I should remove my penis and check that everyone’s on the same page.”

But QoT!  This is only being done to detract from Wikileaks’ work!

Number of mentions of Julian Assange on Wikileaks’ About page:  none.  Not counting the newsfeed sidebars.  Seems to me that any self-respecting “not-for-profit media organisation … network of dedicated volunteers around the globe” should be more than capable of getting on with things without one figurehead.  I mean, Julian Assange can’t be the only smarmy self-promoting crusader for free information out there.  How about getting Kim Dotcom on board?

Silly QoT.  Julian is super-important.  He’s the glue holding Wikileaks together / the front man / the face of Wikileaks.  An attack on him is an attack on the whole endeavour, even when that attack is “being accused of rapey acts which his lawyers agree occurred”.

Sorry, defenders.  If I wanted to sign up to an organisation headed by an accountability-free megalomaniac which occasionally manages to accidentally do some good in the world, I’d have stayed Catholic.

But QoT, clearly you just hate Julian Assange because he’s a man.  And you just think women can never tell lies.  And anyone who dares to level the slightest criticism against Our Holy Leader is a Zionist.  And the real problem is that there might be a secret US plot behind all of this, and anyway rape culture is just part of the global hegemony so once we conquer that we promise to stop being rape apologists.*

~

*Not even making up ANY of those comments.

Special thanks: to the others fighting the good fight whenever this topic comes up, and in the most recent Standard comment threads that means McFlock, Pascal’s Bookie, and rosy, plus everyone who gave support to their comments, and anyone I missed once I had to stop reading the goddamn email notifications.

Sex offender gets reprieve from sentence he should’ve faced 11 months ago

[Trigger warning:  sexual assault of a child]

That’d be the headline if Stuff had a single ounce of integrity.  Instead, they’ve published an article which boils down to “oh noes, the poor man is left uncertain of his fate for a whole seven days, look at his fee-fees.”

The fate of his victim isn’t mentioned until you’re sixteen paragraphs in.  But don’t worry, because in paragraph five, my new Official Scum member Judge Mark Perkins has already downplayed her trauma:

“There is an argument that the [psychological] effect on the child of the offending is a result not of the offending itself but the actual breakup of the family.”

Yeah.  The breakup of her family because she was sexually assaulted by her mother’s partner.  (It remains unclear to me if the victim is his biological daughter, signs point to no.)

You’ll remember the case from this post of September 2011.  That’s where Judge Philippa “I like a good laugh” Cunningham refused to impose a sentence on him because he’s such an inspiration, and it was so tragic the way that his sexual assault of a child may have affected his career.

Sexually assaulting a kid SHOULD FUCKING WELL AFFECT YOUR CAREER.  And you should also face some kind of actual punishment, you know.  It’s not like any judge is going to let Mark Hotchin walk off just because “being publicly mocked by Hell Pizza is punishment enough.”

But no, after we’ve found one good judge (on ya, Judge Murray Gilbert) who can actually comprehend that

the consequences of a conviction did not outweigh the offending, … the judge did not take into account that the guilty plea meant the man had admitted he intended to carry out an indecent act on his daughter, and … the fact the man was drunk should not have been a factor in the original decision.

Now it’s back in the hands of someone who’s quite willing to think that maybe we should treat the obvious consequences of the offence as being the real problem.

There’s one chance for Judge Mark Perkins:  it’s entirely plausible that Stuff have lifted their quote out of context, that it was part of a wider discussion, that it was followed with the phrase “but that argument is, in the opinion of the court, utter cack.”

I guess we’ll have to wait and see if some actual justice prevails.

Fun with cognitive dissonance and the Sensible Sentencing Trust!

Good parents who are just doing their best raising horrible children => get investigated for assaulting said children => no further action taken when Police/CYFS are satisfied no abuse taking place?

HORRIBLE PERSECUTION OF INNOCENTS, STATE OVERREACHING ITS BOUNDS.

Random people who may or may not be sex offenders => names published in a sex offender registry accidentally => potentially face actual persecution in the form of mobs, harassment, being chased out of neighbourhoods?

WE MUST KEEP THIS NATION SAFE!!!!  WHY DO YOU LOVE CHILD ABUSERS???

Homework:  create a mind-map showing what qualities you think the Sensible Sentencing Trust assumes those two groups of people (“good parents” and “random not-actually-convicted-of-anything people who someone thinks is a sex offender”) have, and how to distinguish between them.

Bonus credit: present an internally-consistent explanation of how the Sensible Sentencing Trust can expect our Police and child protection services to crack down on abuse while simultaneously never investigating Good Parents.

Oh, well he’s funny, that makes up for sexually abusing a four-year-old

The sentence is in on the anon Kiwi comedian accused of sexually assaulting his partner’s daughter.

Oh, did I say sentence?  Because there isn’t one, because he’s just suffered so much already and we all need more laughter in our lives.

Basically, FUCK YOU, JUDGE CUNNINGHAM.  Officially Scum, that’s what you are.  You’ve even made me fucking agree with Garth McVicar and there’s no going back from that shit.

LudditeJourno has more.  Big trigger warning for child sexual abuse and abuse apologism.

Bonus fuck-you: to whatever tragic sick fuck at stuff.co.nz entitled the article “Talent helps comedian get off sex act charge”.  I realise y’all at Stuff are scum-sucking bottom-feeders desperate for pageviews, but you’re seriously going to Hell for that one.

I find that generally the missionary position is (a) boring and (b) INVOLVES CONSENT

[TW rape apologism on a baffling scale]

Via LadyNews.  I’m … well, a little speechless at this point.

Peeps, if your partner’s definition of “let’s do it in the missionary position” involves the criteria

  • while you’re unconscious, and
  • after you’ve said “no” already

Then I can only advise not continuing to sleep with scary rapists.

A side thought:  I wonder if Julian Assange will see the irony for Geoffrey Robertson QC when someone tries to discredit his future clients by saying “Well look, I mean, he did defend Julian Assange by claiming nonconsensual lack of condom forced sex was just “the missionary position”.”

James Whitaker challenges Greg O’Connor for “worst police spokesman” role

Hat tip to LudditeJourno for this one.  Trigger warnings for sexual assault, misogyny and NZ Police continued cluelessness.

The NZ Police have a new recruitment drive going.  Apparently they’re aiming to

to attract intelligent, balanced, non-judgmental young people, … using a tongue-in-cheek sense of humour

(Just to show how cool and edgy they are, one ad references Justin Bieber.  Topical!)

And apparently they decided this would be a good idea:

(A dark blue poster reading “We’ve got a lot in common with cougars.  We like ‘em young too.”)

LudditeJourno neatly sums up the issues around “cougar” (ie LOL OLDER WOMEN WITH SEX DRIVES ARE HILARIOUS AND ALSO ICKY) but there’s a much bigger, more specific problem with this.

And I’m just not sure how the fuck someone paid to take care of Police PR managed to miss it.

(Oh wait, misogyny and ego probably answer that one.)

Have we forgotten Clint Rickards so soon?  Are we meant to ignore the many, many stories of police officers abusing their power to have sex with vulnerable young women?

I mean, it’s not like any reports have come out recently which state the Police still have ingrained, shitty attitudes towards women and a boys-club mentality … oh, wait, scratch that.

And now some genius has decided that the way to entice Kiwi kids to join the force is to use sexually-suggestive advertising talking about “liking them young”.

Oh, wait, there I go reading things the wrong way again:

“All of the adverts in the current campaign are youth-centric, and use ideas like earning a good salary, skipping to the front of a queue, etc, and language that youth commonly use and see as perfectly acceptable.

“Cougars are merely identified as a group that are interested in those under 25 years old – as are we when we are looking to attract new police recruits.”

Merely identified, people.  That’s all cougars are, they’re just interested in having “naughty” sex with young people.

Who the fuck does James Whitaker think he’s kidding?

All of the adverts in the current campaign are clueless-misogynist-centric, and use ideas like treating older women as freaks, covering up for your mates and raping vulnerable women that cops commonly use and see as perfectly acceptable.

There, I fixed it for you.

Yes, Gordon Campbell, you’re a rape apologist

Gordon Campbell has made his third post in a row in which he treats the accusations against Julian Assange, and his own journalism!fail, so seriously they’re the second item in the column.

After explaining that his “comments policy” boils down to “I don’t have to engage with my audience, now I’ve made my declarations from on high you are permitted to talk amongst yourselves”, Campbell has a go at me.  Without being so open as to just name names, then people might actually look me up and see both sides of the story, which I understand is the most important thing in the world to him under other circumstances.

But since there’s still some apparent confusion, let me explain why Gordon Campbell is, indeed, a rape apologist.

From the most recent post:

I do not, and have not, absolved or condemned Assange’s personal conduct.

Gordon, you’re a rape apologist because you equate “accurately stating what the charges against Assange are” with “believing the charges against Assange”.  You’re a rape apologist because you are contributing to the narrative that says people who say they want Assange held to account in a court of law must actually be “assuming” he’s guilty – and therefore, obviously, are not worth listening to.

You’re also a rape apologist because you refuse to address the fact that his personal conduct involves not simply denying the charges and waiting for trial, but employing lawyers who have outright lied about the charges and allegations and continually fed into rape culture with their statements about the accusers.

In the second Wikileaks article, I repeated the gist of the accusations against Assange, and put them alongside the gist of his initial response in court to them. It was an attempt at balance, not to absolve the left’s golden boy of the hour.

You’re a rape apologist because you continue to pretend that the answer to “you have printed misinformation about the case” is “okay that bit was maybe kinda wrong but here’s their side of the story!”

You’re a rape apologist because you’re acting like accurate reporting of the accusers’ statements – not agreeing, not supporting, just stating what they have said and what the charges are – needs to be “balanced” by Assange’s [lying] lawyers’ statement.

Guess what, Gordon.  If the Herald prints that Remmers McFlorist won the Ellerslie Flower Show, and someone points out that actually, Flowers McArrangement won the Ellerslie Flower Show, it would be a bit fucking douchey if the Herald then printed, “Okay, okay, so we printed the wrong name, but here’s 500 words from Remmers McFlorist on why she SHOULD have won!”

That’s not balance, Gordon.  And Assange’s rebuttal is not actually relevant to you correcting and apologising for your misinformation – misinformation which was weeks out of date.  You’re a rape apologist because you have taken the lies of a “golden boy’s” lawyers at absolute face value over the statements of women You’re a rape apologist because you instantly believed that unprotected sex is a crime in Sweden (those silly liberals, eh?) and thus the charges must just be nothing that Real Countries would prosecute.*

From the second post:

I think Bianca Jagger’s piece in the Huffington Post explains why doubts exist about the sturdiness of the case against Assange …:

It is widely known that the complainants first approached the police because they wanted assistance in securing an STD test. Initially, there was no mention of pressing charges of rape, coercion or molestation. How did this escalate from a request for a test to an investigation of a criminal nature? Who made this decision? After considering the evidence, Eva Finne, a female Chief Prosecutor chose to dismiss the charges. The case was then taken up by a politician who was facing re-election and whose motive may be questionable. The matter was taken to a prosecutor in a different city where none of the events had taken place. Why was this done? Was any pressure brought to bear? These are the questions a truly committed investigative journalist should be asking.

Gordon, you’re a rape apologist because you uncritically post comments which criticise rape victims for not behaving the way they “should”.  You’re a rape apologist for posting comments which imply that the cases must be silly if a women lawyer dropped the charges initially.

Below that, you’re a rape apologist for posting the “gist” of the charges against Assange … a “gist” which just happens to omit that whole “tearing off somebody’s clothes”, “holding somebody down” aspect.  Funny how the charges, which you misreported, get given the “gist” treatment while the lying lawyers’ statement bullet points get the full “can I hold your coat while you take the stage, sir” rub-down.

Back to the latest post.

What I’ve said all along is that Assange’s personal conduct shouldn’t determine, one way or the other, how the revelations by Wikileaks are judged.

Gordon, you’re a rape apologist because you’re the one who keeps bringing up Wikileaks.  You’re the one who keeps waving the Wikileaks flag and you’re certainly fucking smart enough to know that waving that flag just keeps everyone conscious of the fact that Julian Assange is linked to Wikileaks, and Wikileaks is awesome, and the Powers That Be hate Wikileaks, and so we have to take accusations of rape with a grain of progressive dudebro-brand salt because HEY, WIKILEAKS!  DID I MENTION WIKILEAKS YET?

If you want the charges against Assange and the work of Wikileaks to be treated separately, maybe you could stop fucking playing the Wikileaks Is Important card every fucking time you are asked to report ethically on the charges against Assange.

You know what would be awesome and bold and courageous, Gordon?  If you had stood by your premise from the start:

Assange’s alleged sexual misconduct has managed to divert some media attention away from the content of the cables. The two things are – or should be – unconnected.

Who keeps connecting them, Gordon?  I’ll give you a clue:  it’s not the feminists who want rape charges treated seriously.  It could, you know, be Assange himself who wants to constantly remind us (when not playing the I Can’t Help It If I’m A Rocking Stud line) that there are powerful forces against him and that “CIA honeypot” is a real conspiracy-theory-tickler of a line.

But don’t think he’s done, people.

Yet at this point, Assange has to be presumed innocent until proven guilty of the charges against him.

Gordon, you’re a rape apologist because you have just busted out Rape Apologism Maxim the First.  Guess fucking what?  That’s a principle applicable to justice systems.  Is my blog a justice system?  Is media reporting a subset of the justice system?  And hang on, at what fucking point is accurate reporting of the nature of the charges tantamount to assuming guilt?  At what fucking point have I said “you have to assume he’s guilty”?  OH THAT’S RIGHT, NEVER.

We claim to want the same thing here, Gordon.  We claim to want to see these charges answered in court.  But because you’re a fucking rape apologist you aren’t waiting until the charges are answered in court, you are making statements right now that the charges are silly, the women didn’t act the way they should have, HAVE I MENTIONED WIKILEAKS IS IMPORTANT AND IMPLIED THAT THIS IS A CIA HONEYTRAP YET???

The Guardian’s actions in releasing part of the Swedish prosecutor’s file against him was – I thought – an injustice.

You’re a rape apologist, Gordon, because you think an “injustice” is having the facts of the case published AFTER Assange’s lawyers have lied about them, AFTER Assange’s lawyers have lied about the entire Swedish legal system, AFTER the accusers have been not only named but had their photos and addresses publicised and been FORCED INTO HIDING.

But sure, what the Guardian did was the “injustice” here (now you’ve gotten around to reading it).

I found it interesting that one commenter portrayed me as part of a gendered tendency to minimize women’s experience and testimony in sexual complaints, while also denigrating me for linking to Bianca Jagger

Don’t worry, Gordon, this one isn’t about you being a rape apologist.  This is about how you’re a misogynist douchebag for acting like quoting Bianca Jagger magically absolves you of your significant contributions to rape apologism.  You’re a misogynist douchebag for going on to say naming the accusers mustn’t be that bad because hey, these Famous Feminists totally did it – failing to mention that one had retracted those names until after the quote, which was even better for your argument what with it boiling down to “everyone else did it so I did it too”.  But as a bonus, you and Bianca Jagger are both rape apologists for pretending that criminal cases can never be re-opened unless Dark Forces Are At Work.

Then it’s a fine finish with a lather/rinse/repeat of “we can’t assume his guilt” [CITATION NEEDED] and a wonderfully oblivious expression of male privilege:

Personally, I do find it depressing that so much energy has been spent on Assange’s actions in bed and so relatively little on the morality exposed in the Wikileaks cable

WHY AREN’T THE WIMMINZ INTERESTED IN REEEEEEEAL ISSUES??  Oh, and Gordon?  You’re a rape apologist for spending so much time pretending to care, so much time claiming it was about balance and fairness and did you mention Wikileaks … and then you fucking write off rape allegations as “Assange’s actions in bed”.

Gordon, you’re a rape apologist because you continue to make excuses for the fact that you spread misinformation.  You’re a rape apologist because you pretend that factual reporting of charges requires a critique-free rebuttal.  You’re a rape apologist because you have continued to downplay the charges and continued to privilege Assange’s side of the story.  You’re a rape apologist because you have on multiple occasions, contributed to a culture which denigrates rape victims and treats rape as far less serious than other crimes.

You’re a rape apologist because every single thing you have said over three columns is straight out of the rape apologism playbook.

I can’t think why Polanski-defenders came to mind in light of all that.

~

*Protip, Gordon:  most countries are pretty shit at even prosecuting “real” rape cases.

Many links sourced from megpie’s excellent round-up.