Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Victim blaming on air

New Zealand is a small country and often has a great sense of community when things happen. It also has a strong talkback radio tradition, where people phone in and talk with the hosts on just about any subject that you can think of.

Some of the facts in this case are startling; A facebook page where young men brag about plying young girls with alcohol and raping them, they call themselves the Roast Busters (not the same at all as the UK company, who are now getting a lot of the fall out). A police force that says they cannot do anything as there is no formal complaint.

As it turns out it was not quite the truth they told. First of all the facebook page, up for quite some time was taken down quickly due to complaints of people aware of it.

Secondly a very brave then 13-year old had made a complaint two years ago. The strong, incredibly brave young woman, now 15, that has made the formal complaint stepped forward again after the story broke. According to her the line of questioning had been along the lines of victim blaming and having to play out the scene with dolls for the police officers. She also states quite rightly that a number of rapes could have been prevented, had the police listened. Rumour has it that they did not think she was a good victim.

3 more young women had stepped forward in the past few years, but no formal complaint.

An official investigation into the police was launched. Lots of high hats are getting involved. The victims? All of a sudden they seem to be less important. The rapists? The men have not been caught yet. They have left their known addresses, somebody is hiding these rapists

And then the outcry over this had another twist.

Two men; radiohosts at RadioLIVE and both former parliamentarians, well known and leaders for some in their specific community, got involved.
A young woman called into their show. She knew the men at the centre of the case and the hosts questioned her about it.

Instead of asking her about these men and their behaviour, they asked her about the drinking and what was she doing at night away from home and how was she dressed. The well known leading victim blaming questions.

Effectively they told the whole of the country; really these girls are to blame for what happened. That the men in question raped 13-year old girls well they simply should not have been drunk, dressed provocatively etc.

But of course they did not see that they had done wrong. These two men, with an example function in their community set the worst example and when they apologized they said they had thought they had been sensitive toward the woman. Sensitive! It is infuriation how they behaved and testament to the fact that victim blaming is alive and kicking.

Did it end there? No. A number of advertisers pulled their ads from the show, strongly condemning their wording. The men had a studio guest telling them on air that they were wrong and victim blaming. People that want to help the victims and a discussion seems to have started. On the bad side the focus has shifted to the Police botch up and away from the real issue; young men raping girls and girls too afraid and scared to step forward.

But for now the reality of what is happening was written down by Wendy Nissen in a wonderful way

For this posts a number of articles from both the NZ Herald (www.nzherald.co.nz) and www.Stuff.co.nz were referenced.

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2 thoughts on “Victim blaming on air

  • Hecuba says:

    One wonders why New Zealand has laws in place whereby rape is a crime when New Zealand police officers and two very influential males publicly protect males who make the decision to commit sexual crimes against female children.

    Laws criminalising male sexual violence against women and girls have to be implemented but this is clearly not happening because the message being sent to males living in New Zealand is that it is okay for males to sexually prey on women and girls because if a male does rape a woman or girl he will not be charged with the crime of rape.

    I note commentators responding to the article by Wendy Nissen consistently ignored the male rapists’ decision to sexually prey on female children and instead these commentators blamed the girls’ parents.

    Even before the advent of facebook and social media males sexually preyed on women and girls and one of the most common methods male sexual predators use is to engage in conversation with their female victim because this would be viewed by misogynistic society as clear evidence the female victim(s) was not raped but was supposedly ‘sexually promiscuous’ since she had engaged in conversation with the male sexual predator(s).

    Here in the UK that deceased male sexual predator Jimmy Savile enjoyed decades and decades of immunity because police were too frightened to investigate Savile’s sexual predatory behaviour. The female victims knew that if they reported to police what Savile had subjected them to, they would be dismissed as liars because upright respectable males never ever commit sexual crimes against females.

    We also have the so-called Rochdale and Oxford court cases wherein groups of males systematically engaged in sexually preying on disadvantaged girls and subjecting these girls to serial sadistic male sexual violence. Some of the female victims reported to police what these men had subjected them to but as usual the male dominated police force dismissed these girls’ as liars. Social services too also took the view that these disadvantaged girls had supposedly ‘enacted their sexual agency’ when the male sexual predators subjected them to group rape. In other words women and girls have no right of legal protection from male sexual predators because males have pseudo right of sexual access to any female, any time any where. This does not of course apply to males of any age because male on male sexual violence is viewed by male supremacist system as ‘real rape and real sexual violence perpetrated against a male.’

    There is a similarity between what is happening in New Zealand and what is happening here in the UK and that is an embedded refusal by our male supremacist system and male dominated society to accept that contrary to male created myths, males do sexually prey on women and girls and the female victims are never responsible for causing these male sexual predators to commit their sexual crimes against women and girls.

    Males must never ever be held to account for their choice and decision to commit sexual violence against women and girls because to do so would immediately challenge how our male supremacist system operates whereby males are consistently excused/justified in their decision to sexually prey on females. Instead it is far easier to blame the female victims and pretend ‘good respectable women and girls would never, ever put themselves in a situation wherein the mythical male monster would attack them.’

    But male sexual predators see all females as suitable sexual prey and our male supremacist system continues to excuse/justify these males’ decisions to act on their agency and choice. This is why widespread female victim is dominant because ‘respectable white males’ are never ever accountable for their decision and choice to sexually prey on females.

    I wonder if

  • Admin says:

    Shocking that this issue has gone almost unremarked in the national media in New Zealand.

    Excuses, excuses for perpetrators of abuse.

    It’s almost as if they cannot see men being better. We are puzzled as to why this doesn’t instigate an outcry by men!

    Men – we know you can do better.