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Sexual assault at NZ universities

Filed under: Gender Politics,General,Sex Abuse / CYF — Sam Butler @ 12:51 pm Thu 21st May 2020
I’ve recently come across this Australian study of sexual harassment and assault on Aussie campuses:

Though it’s been reported under headlines claiming it shows ‘widespread’ harassment and assault, it’s worth noting two things.

One is that the definition of harassment is very broad, including ‘inappropriate leering or staring, sexually suggestive comments or jokes, and intrusive questions about someone’s private life or physical appearance.’ And in fact, these were the most common forms of ‘harassment’ that were reported.

The second point is that only 1.6% of respondents reported sexual assault in a university environment. Obviously that’s just allegations that haven’t been proven, but even so it contradicts the official narrative that universities are more dangerous in terms of sexual assault than other contexts.

At Vic uni there’s long been a campaign called ‘Thursdays in Black’ to get students and staff to wear dark clothing in mourning for the supposedly high rates of assault. I haven’t seen a NZ study similar to the Aussie one yet (and would like to), but it looks likely the idea that NZ unis have an epidemic of sexual assault is as false as it is in Australia.

14 Responses to “Sexual assault at NZ universities”

  1. Jed says:

    Around the year 2000, Victoria University had “safety angels” who were available to escort women home so they wouldn’t be raped. At the time, their had not been one single rape at the university campus. The safety angels were mostly women as well as some of the creepiest men I have ever seen

  2. golfa says:

    #1 hahahaha !!!!!

  3. JustCurious says:

    poor women… abused and threatened everywhere.
    Protected species clad in skimpy clothes, make up and wrapped in nakedness and promiscuity.
    Maybe we should exclude/excise/castrate men from university campuses.
    ban alcohol or drug consumption from men and maybe bring the nuns back in and turn campuses into convents? Make the teaching profession and all female profession?

  4. Lukenz says:

    There is no clear answer to this problem. Except to explain what likely happen. And then what followed.

    1. Friday night banter is mutual at the time.
    2. Monday morning survey or worst a complaint will have serious life long consequences for the male victim that can lead to mental health issues and suicide.

    I do not know who commissions these surveys. Or who funds them. I always like to follow the money trail and see where it leads. A typical example of this is, A sample survey is taken, Oh there is a problem, we must have more funding to have another or broader survey.

    Even the manner and method in which questions are asked can have a different outcome.

    1. Internet.
    2. Phone
    3. Face to face.

    In business we have documents to refer to should a complaint arise. Perhaps a one touch sound recording on your smart watch as a backstop to protect yourself. Keep the recording forever.

    Keep safe and protect yourselves at all times.

  5. Neville Robertson says:

    Member following this thread might be interested in this study of sexual behaviour on a NZ university campus. – it helps put some context around claims of symmetry in sexual harassment and sexual assaults.

    Brown, J. (2016). ‘We’re like the sex CPR dummies’: Negotiating (hetero)sex in a university residential setting (Thesis, Master of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from

    (For access, copy and paste the link into your browser)

  6. golfa says:

    #5 I bought a copy of KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor Jr’s book called The Campus Rape Frenzy. It’s a fascinating read although the Trump Govt has now tossed the Obama Title IX decree to Universities in The USA.

    “In this masterful account, Johnson and Taylor examine in detail how President Obama’s Education Department―promulgating regulations beyond its statutory authority, invoking erroneous data, and fanning the false narrative of a ‘rape culture’ on college campuses―has created a regime of kangaroo justice. Male students accused of sexual misconduct are found guilty, and their lives destroyed, by campus panels operating without any semblance of due process and all too frequently on the basis of grossly inadequate information. Your blood will boil as the authors meticulously examine scores of cases where, in the name of political correctness, male students are sacrificed to the mob, with academic leaders happily serving as the hangmen.”

    ―William P. Barr, former Attorney General of the United States (1991–1993)

  7. Neville Robertson says:

    Members interested in what it takes to make a fair trial in sexual assault cases may want to check out this excellent webinar “Specialist Sexual Violence Court Support Role” by the HELP Foundation.

  8. Ted says:

    #7 The webinar is about supporting the complainant, and the complainant is only one side of a trial. So “making a fair trial” it isn’t.

  9. Neville Robertson says:

    Why would support for the complainant make a trial unfair? Unlike the defendant, the complainant doesn’t have a lawyer. I’m pretty sure many male complainants would like support too.

  10. Ted says:

    “Why would support for the complainant make a trial unfair?”

    Because it is supporting one side only. The webinar had a lot of pictures of balances stacked up on one side only. Well, here’s another one.

    “the complainant doesn’t have a lawyer”

    No, they’ve just got the State, prosecuting on their behalf.

    “I’m pretty sure many male complainants would like support too.”

    I agree.

  11. Neville Robertson says:

    I’m not sure whether it is accurate to say that the State is prosecuting on the complainant’s behalf. This suggests that the State is at the service of the complainant.
    The reality is that the prosecution is very much driven by the Crown. The complainant’s only value to the Crown is as a witness. Apart from testifying, the complainant has no say in how the prosecution is conducted. They are at the service of the Crown.
    Be that as it may, many complainants feel that the court process is retraumatising and abusive. It seems reasonable to provide support.

  12. Ted says:

    The complainant instigates the process, and the State’s prosecution of the defendant may follow. In that case, the choice was with the complainant, but the impact is on the defendant, who had no choice in the matter. Effectively, the complainant invokes the power of the State.

    I’m sure that many defendants feel that the court process is retraumatising and abusive too. Especially if they are innocent.

  13. Neville Robertson says:

    So is is okay that rape victims face such huge challenges in court that very rapes get reported? Does’t that mean that the vast majority of rapists face no consequences for their violence and hence have no motivation to stop?

  14. Ted says:

    Is it okay to bias a trial so that the likely outcome fits your prejudices?

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