Allegations against rugby players
Allegations that sexual abuse was committed by several touring English rugby players have been milked by unscrupulous media showing scant regard for civil rights. The NZ Press Association is even quite happy to provide names of those who might have been alleged to have committed sexual crimes.
The case raises important questions relevant to gender politics. For example, why have the police spent what must now be considerable time and expense “investigating” a case for which no complaint has been laid? If you went to the police and told them your mate had an eye injury that he said had been caused by Joe Bloggs assaulting him with a bat, what do you imagine the police would do? There is a good chance they would simply tell you there’s nothing they can do unless your mate came in and made a complaint. If they did not have too much on their plate, they may well pay your mate a visit at some stage and ask him about it, but you can be sure they would quickly lose interest if he made it clear he wouldn’t lay a complaint. So what’s the difference?
It can’t be the seriousness of the possible offence, because “Assault with Intent to Cause Grievous Bodily Harm” is up there with the most serious of them. It can’t be the long term effects of the possible crime because your mate may well never be able to see properly again and he may well have lifelong PTSD as a result of the attack assuming it occurred. It can’t be the risk of the leaving the offender at large (assuming there was one), because a bat-wielding violent lunatic surely must be seen as presenting a relatively high risk. So why else would police waste their valuable time preparing one case rather than another when neither have a complainant and therefore neither have any hope of successful prosecution? What might be the essential difference between the two examples? Let me think…
Possibly, the incident involved a degree of sports skullduggery intended by at least some of the key players to unsettle the visiting team. But then we are told that, two weeks after the ploy did its job by contributing, probably, to a sound defeat for the disgraced team, the police still continue to apply resources investigating this incident and the media still publish stories on the incident on almost a daily basis.
It appears that the woman at the centre of the story may be as much a victim of this process as are the rugby players. From what we are told she made it clear from the outset, for whatever reason, that she did not want to pursue the matter yet somehow the system went against her wishes and caused the matter to be pursued in a highly public way and to no conceivable good end. Now the woman feels the need to issue public statements through her lawyer to counter the rumour mill that inevitably developed. Such patronizing treatment of this woman may well have started with the medical professionals who decided that her right to confidentiality did not outweigh their desire to ensure some men did not get away with possible wrongdoing. Did the case involve imminent, serious harm to their patient or to some other known person? I don’t see it, but regardless the rules have changed and various professionals now see it as their duty to inform police about crimes that may have been committed, even decades ago. Their choice about what crimes they need to report is an interesting study in itself. It seems that even the most minor sexual crime will be reported, most assaults might or might not be depending on the gender of the alleged offender and victim, and I’m sure burglaries, robberies, fraud and other equally-traumatizing crimes would rarely if ever be reported. Quite frankly, one might think twice before seeking medical or other “helping professional” assistance nowadays because confidentiality is no longer a realistic expectation.
Sadly, nothing the woman or her lawyers say can be taken seriously because they make it clear they don’t want any of it to be subject to scrutiny. The (not quite) allegations remain faceless and anonymous. How irresponsible then of the media and all those who spread the stories to media in order to impugn publicly the reputation of a number of men knowing there will be no testing of any of the allegations even through our imperfect Court process. When a police complaint is made, at least there is a small risk a false complainant will be held accountable even though the penalty will almost certainly be laughable. But where no actual complaint is laid, all those spreading the allegations take a cowardly position in which there is zero risk of any consequences for false allegations. Even the tiny possibility of a successful civil defamation case is averted when allegations are made regarding non-specific members of a large team. Other than denying wrongdoing, the accused rugby players can do nothing to avert many of the consequences that should be reserved only for those proven to have offended.
Further, the wording used by some media has been pejorative. On National Radio news yesterday there were repeated headline stories referring to “the victim” of alleged sexual assaults. This has also become standard practice in Court trials where a complainant is referred to as a victim. Of course, there can be a victim regardless of any Court case (though with false complaints there may have been no actual victim at all except the accused), but legally there can only be a victim when the alleged events have been proven. What next, shall we simply refer to anyone accused as “the offender” even before it has been proven that he offended? Why then have we tolerated the development of referring to complainants as victims? Because of feminist-driven manipulation of language to suit their own purposes, as we have seen over several decades now with the eager collusion of Courts and others who should know better.
After reading this thread, i am inclined to believe the whole matter is fiction,
a new trend in journalism to make false stories to put in the news to sell papers.
No different than an author/novelist that writes action adventure books.
You might want to take a look at this American site for the man’s man. It’s hilarious and has a lot of great information. Cheers! http://www.realmanmag.com
Well written post.
Perhaps defence counsel ought to start referring to their clients as victims during the trial process. If anything it would wake up a few wigs to the issues.
I agree with Richard. Referring to the accused as a victim would surely confuse the court but maybe it would help to change the way various labels are applied to the accused and the accuser.