Rape Case Worsens

1a rapistsTeen rapists ‘abhorrent,’ but media blaming victims — Rape Crisis

By Alan Tristram

Wellington Rape Crisis (WRC) says its  been overwhelmed with messages of outrage from members of the public about the group of Auckland rapists calling themselves ‘Roast Busters’, as well as about subsequent media coverage. 

It says concern for survivors of these rapes has also been tremendous.And it makes eight key points:

– Behaviour of Auckland teen rape group is abhorrent

– Much of the media coverage has been appalling and is harmful for survivors

– John Tamihere and Willie Jackson should resign for their victim-blaming comments

– Media outlets clearly need training on sexual violence and rape culture

– Better funding nationally for prevention and awareness programmes is needed and could have prevented these sexual assaults in the first place

– Police need to take immediate action

– The Law Commission report into pre-trial and trial processes for sexual assault victims needs to be reinstated immediately

– Wellington Rape Crisis expresses its deep sadness to the survivors of the rapes by this group of men, and all survivors 

Horrific situation

WRC manager Natalie Gousmett says, “This whole situation is horrific. First we have the abhorrent behaviour of the members of the rape group, causing serious harm to the victims they have targeted.

“Then we have appalling coverage by media, including extreme victim-blaming and today we have heard the Police have indeed had complaints yet have only just started taking action now.”

Ms Gousmett says: “All of this demonstrates the rape culture in NZ, which is extremely harmful to survivors. 

“When victims are told they are at fault for being raped they are less likely to access support.”

 Radio hosts condemned

WRC goes on to say: ”For radio hosts such as John Tamihere and Willie Jackson to express these views on Radio Live is absolutely horrific1”, says Gousmett. “They should both resign for this.”

 

Some questions unsuitable

Wellington Rape Crisis would also like to see other media outlets not asking about the behaviour of the survivors, through questions such as ‘Should she have been drinking?’ and ‘What was she wearing?’

It says the focus must be on the behaviour of the rapists: rape is never caused by the victim.

The pressure group is part of a rape and sexual abuse prevention collaboration (the Sexual Abuse Prevention Network), which provides prevention programmes for young people, adults and hospitality staff — teaching ethical decision making, skills for negotiating consent, and ethical bystander skills.

It adds:” “Unfortunately this work is currently underfunded, but we would like to be able to extend our reach to many more young people and also to individuals and organisations in the media who currently lack understanding of the

dynamics of sexual violence,” says Gousmett.