The Roast Busters actions shocked the nation, so what can we do about it?

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The Roast Busters case came to international media attention last November when the news broke that a gang of young New Zealand men had been plying underage girls with alcohol and then having sex with them, an act which is considered sexual coercion and statutory rape. The Roast Busters would then compound matters by naming and shaming these girls online. This group of violent young men then encouraged others through their Facebook and youtube videos to join them in their exploits. The case is still in legal review and the investigation is ongoing.

The news of these young men’s deplorable acts sent shock waves throughout New Zealand, and many people called for vigilante justice offering a “4k reward for footage of The Roast Busters getting hidings” as the NZ Herald reported, last year. When I heard the news last year I was left shaking with anger, but I was not shocked by their actions. The act of young men targeting underage vulnerable girls is something I have encountered over and over again in one form or another since I was young myself.

When I was twelve, I lived in a house on a quiet Howick, Auckland cul-de sac. On our street there were many families with teenage boys and young girls, unfortunately for some of these girls they hit puberty early, meaning that while they looked like women they were very much still young girls ranging between the ages of twelve and fourteen. I was lucky as I did not start to develop breasts and curves later until after the age of fifteen. Other girls in my neighbourhood who had breasts and hips by the time they turned thirteen, were not so lucky.
Two houses down from me the Wheat family lived with their two teenaged boys aged between fifteen and seventeen and their step daughter. It was here that these boys and others from the neighbourhood would take underage girls. In the basement of the Wheat house they would sexually coerce them into performing blow-jobs, hand-jobs and other sexual acts. A girl I was related to that I will call Amanda, believed for years that what had happened down in that basement was consensual. After all, she never said “no” – she never said yes either. Amanda was only twelve when they started sexually abusing her. No twelve year old girl can give informed consent. Amanda has often maintained to me that she performed those sexual acts because she believed she had no choice. It was not until many years later Amanda realised what had happened to her was in fact, rape.

I knew what rape culture and male sexual self-entitlement over women’s bodies was and looked like by the time I was 14 – I just had no language at the time to talk of what I had witnessed.

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The Roast Busters and the teenage boys who lived in my neighbourhood are not aliens and they did not drop out of the sky from some far off planet. We live in a culture that not only teaches behaviour like the boys in The Roast Busters exhibited, but one that encourages it – and then when we hear stories like these boys are accused of doing, we are all shocked and outraged.

“We do not choose the ‘roast’ the roast choices us. We have girls asking to “hung out with us” The girls know what we are like, they know what they are in for”.

These words were spoken by boys in The Roast Busters in a youtube video. This internalised victim blaming aims to excuse their own behaviour and put the blame on the underage girls they boasted about having sex with on their facebook page. Their beliefs are part of our culture that endlessly victim blames girls and boys when they speak out about surviving sexual assault.

In the minds of The Roast Busters the girls turned up and made the choice to hang out with them, which for them was synonymous with them choosing the sexual abuse that came with it.
“She got drunk,” “she had a short skirt on,” “she walked down that ally way,” “she should have fought back…”, “she did not say no”, “she wanted it” are examples of how everyday people perceive rape survivors; not as victims of men’s violence, but as responsible for the violence committed against them. This focus on the female’s actions who are victims of violence renders the perpetrator invisible. When people make statements like “she got drunk” the person who committed violence is not even part of the conversation and therefore not accountable for their own violent behaviour. Jackson Katz, a theorist and anti-violence activist, points out

“This is one of the way dominant systems maintain and reproduce themselves. Which is to say, the dominant group is rarely challenged to think about its dominance.” Katze said, “…that is one of the key characteristics of power and privilege; the ability to go unexamined, lacking introspection.”

When the case of The Roast Busters first hit the media, the police falsely reported to 3news the following, as stated by the IPCA report

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The Waitemata Distract Manager focuses on the young girl’s behaviour and uses the lack of bravery of the girls who had not come forward as an excuse when he explains why the police cannot act against the boys in The Roast Busters. The perpetrators are allowed to be invisible. Elizabeth Plank of .Mic wrote, “…it’s hard to feel like we can solve the epidemic of sexual abuse if law enforcement isn’t on our side.” As it turned out, young girls and family members had come forward to lay complaints of sexual misconduct against the boys in The Roast Busters, as the police later admitted to.

We need to stop erasing perpetrators of rape from the conversation as Katz explains,

“Why is it that, when we talk about sexual violence and domestic abuse, we talk about the women involved and erase the men from the conversation?” he explains, “[When we act] as if white people don’t have some sort of racial identity … as if heterosexual people don’t have a sexual orientation, as if men don’t have a gender, [then] the dominant group is rarely challenged to even think about its dominance.”

We often talk about violence against women as a gendered issue, men often think ‘gender issues’ are synonymous with ‘women’s issues’ therefore have nothing to do with them. I know this might be a paradigm shifting perspective for some, but violence against women is first and foremost a men’s issue. Women are not hitting or raping themselves. We need to bring men who are violent back into the conversation and examine why they are behaving in violent ways. How we can do this is by examining and challenging publicly, what it means to be ‘a man’ in New Zealand, and global culture. In the media The Roast Busters actions where condemned but there was no examination of what produces boys like these and creates their extreme misogynistic views and ideologies.

In a searing opening speech by Angelina Jolie for the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict she said “rape is not about sex it is about power”, men are taught from the time they are born that the way to gain power is to dominate – this is the socialisation of men. They are taught as Jeff Perera, who works for White Ribbon, has reiterated for many years that being a man means adhering to the rigid, negative and damaging stereotypes of masculinity; never cry, be tough, be strong, never ever show fear, and show no emotion with the exception of anger. Whether this is internalised destruction, New Zealand has the highest rates of male youth suicide in the OECD, and/or externalised, Women’s Refugee reported between 33 to 39% of New Zealand women experience physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner. These rigid stereotypes are not just hurting both men and women, they are killing them.

Russel Smith, who works with violent offenders and is a clinician at Korowai Tumanako a service designed to support iwi, hapū and whanau who have been affected by sexual violence, said when we spoke,

“I have worked with 3 female sex offenders, over 600 adult male sex offenders and I have worked with about 300 adolescent males who have exhibited harmful sexual behaviour in my career.”

So why are we as a society so surprised when boys like those in The Roast Busters boast online about exerting their dominance over young vulnerable girls and exhibit extreme sexist ideas? We live in a society that tells them the way to be a man is to exert power and control over others. I witnessed boys in my neighbourhood behaving this way when I was 12, The Roast Busters behaviour is not a sudden or new phenomenon.

Sexual violence against women intrinsically intersects with rigid stereotypes of masculinity. We desperately need to disrupt and challenge these stereotypes, if we ever hope to end violence against women and raise young boys who are happy and hold healthy views about women. How we can begin to do this is to create a climate in our culture where men and boys who act in sexist or violent ways loose status.

The anti-sexual assault campaign ‘Are you that some1’ was launched last Friday by National’s Paula Bennett and was developed by the team at Rape Prevention Education, in response to the actions of The Roast Busters and other cases of sexual assault in New Zealand. The campaign uses the ‘active bystander approach’ in preventing sexual assault. It encourages young people to ‘step in and step up’, in non-violent ways when they witness young men engaging in unwanted sexual advances and/or behaviour with women in bars at parties or social situations.

The more men and boys who ‘step up and step in’ when they see behaviour they think is not ok, the more others will do the same. Positive peer pressure is a powerful tool to incite change and challenge everyday sexism that has become normalised in our society.

We have many strong male public role-models and community leaders in New Zealand, both Richie Hardcore, a personal trainer who works at the Auckland Council in drug and alcohol harm reduction and Shortland’s Street Sam Bunkall are both involved with the ‘Are you that someone1’ campaign. The before mentioned Russell Smith who works from a Māori perspective, challenges Māori men to rethink what being a man means to them and their own iwi, hapū and whanau.

Culturally diverse public male role-models that counter negative stereotypes of masculinity in their communities, are inspiring and it is encouraging to see, but they need to become the norm and not, the exception.

One of John Key’s responses to The Roast Busters was to say “These young guys should just grow up,” engrained sexism and misogynistic ideologies that can and do lead to violence against women, are not something boys just grow out of. It is behaviour that needs to be unlearned. Obama, recently condemned in a public speech the American college rape crisis and has dedicated a task force to combat the problem. We need this kind of leadership and condemnation for sexual assault from our male politicians and political leaders in New Zealand.

Marama Davidson who is a Green Party Candidate and fronts the indigenous rights movement ‘Idle No More’ said to Waatea News, while speaking on the recent release of the ‘Owen Glenn Report in to Child Abuse and Family Violence’, “we need to have a non-political party approach to fixing this problem, because actually it is successive governments who have not fixed this problem. We really need every political party to step up wipe away those political party barriers and say this is an absolute priority.” Ending violence against women is not just something some good men help out with, it needs to be a collective and national ongoing effort – we need to work with each other, not against. As Elizabeth Plank points out, “We [need to] publicly discuss gender, gender roles, masculinity and femininity as a matter of public policy and not the quirky, marginalized concern of “oversensitive” feminists and scholars.”

We need to engage men as allies in this cause to end violence against women. Most men are not perpetrators–and when we empower men to step in when someone’s in trouble, they become an important part of the solution.

27 COMMENTS

  1. Chloe, thank you! A very well written clearly explained article. Nicely done!

    I don’t have TV and I’m not on Facebook, so I missed the launch of this campaign. I’m so pleased the Nats have done something so right! This is what we need.

    There is a huge amount of sharing of stories about sexual abuse and violence in NZ going on at this time. If even only one or a few men in NZ read these and realise the depth of the problem then our stories will have achieved their purpose.

    I’ve shared mine here: http://iamsomeonenz.wordpress.com/

    And there are plenty of stories of harassment here: http://everydaysexism.tumblr.com/ (not just NZ though)

    And here: http://mansplained.tumblr.com/

    And here: http://i-once-had-a-guy-tell-me.tumblr.com/

    And here: http://www.writehanded.org/blog/2014/05/27/yes-all-women/

    And plenty more if one cares to look. Its a continuum; from casual harassment on the street, to rape and sexual abuse. It comes from the same place of power play and disrespect. Its effect is to keep half the population (not male) in fear of rape in a way men simply never have to think about (if they think about it at all its in the context of a mens prison). So although most men don’t rape or abuse, those that engage in victim blaming by placing responsibility of rape avoidance on women (don’t drink too much, don’t go out late at night, don’t wear revealing clothing) are complicit in keeping the fear alive.

    Over the years I have had many women friends, and once women get to know each other and are comfortable with each other they will often talk to each other about this kind of thing. I have only ever had ONE woman friend who was not sexually abused or raped. One. Every other woman I’ve spoken to about this has a story to tell. And I’m 44 so there are a few years there.

    Its a big problem in NZ. It affects a huge proportion of NZers. We need to change the culture so men can break out of rigid damaging stereotypes, and so women and children can be safe, and so transgender people can be seen as people first deserving of respect and safety. If we can change this damaging aspect of our culture we can all be better off.

    I want to be able to move around in public and not feel like prey.

    This propaganda campaign is a good place to start I think. Articles like yours Chloe continue that work. Thank you!

  2. “Whether this is internalised destruction, New Zealand has the highest rates of male youth suicide in the OECD, and/or externalised, Women’s Refugee reported between 33 to 39% of New Zealand women experience physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner. These rigid stereotypes are not just hurting both men and women, they are killing them.”

    There are facts that are highly disturbing, and indeed much needs to be done. Sexual violence or harassment are of course primarily committed by men. It is partly cultural stereotyping, but I think there is also a genetic predisposition for males to be more aggressive, to be “go getters”, “conquerers” and to compete with each other for not just dominance, but also to assert themselves under peer pressure settings, to be “counted” and accepted.

    The media with its stereotyping, strongly promoting sensualisation, whipping up “excitement”, competition, aggression and various related emotions, have questions to answer. Stereotypes are constantly perpetuated.

    Those not feeling that they “fit” in, that do not cope, who feel ashamed or whatever, they then are at high risk of self harm, or harm to others, and psychological issues are then prominent.

    It is astonishing that all this happens in an education system dominated by female teachers and other professionals, but it shows, it goes deep, and no matter what education is offered, many problems start at home, and in some cases may be due to wrong influences perpetuated by media.

    There will in any society also be a rogue element, and that is where I count the “roastbusters” in, as the conduct of those young males is so disgusting, it is also cowardly, as they never really fronted up to what they did wrong. But their excesses are not what most young males would do, to such an extend.

    It is important, I think, to not over criminalise and overly focus on blaming, and to work and involvement, on treatment, counselling, confronting persons that misconducted themselves, especially when they clearly broke the law, but much earlier. Early intervention is very important and necessary.

    Sending more to prison will certainly not solve the issues, apart from the more serious cases, and rehabilitation is necessary, where it may work.

    With a government doing away with much adult education and other services, the prospect to offer extra courses and so, to involve parents, to learn about what may be done, to become more aware of what their sons and daughters may be up to, and how to deal with problems, is not great.

    As for programs Paula Bennett supports, she may be right on some things, but I do not trust her for a moment, generally that is, as she has a lot to answer for, given her government’s poor record for funding helplines and more.

    Now come election year, she and her Nat mates suddenly “discover” that more may need to be done here and there. What a hypocrite she is, shame on her.

    New Zealand adults and youth certainly can do with some more cultural enlightenment, as a young nation, as what there is, is in need to be developed, when compared to societies with a longer cultural history, e.g. some places in Europe. Culture can be changed, further refined and positively enhanced, and treating each other with respect, in an educated, more mature way, that is part of “culture”, as I would understand it.

    • Although I agree with the general gist of your comment and thank you for being supportive of Chloe’s piece, there a couple of important points I’d like to make.

      Chloe tried to point out that Roastbusters is not actually “rogue” but an expression of a more widespread problem. They’re nothing new, and this kind of behaviour is actually reasonably commonly experienced by many girls in NZ. They were more extreme (to see what I mean by this you need to google what “roasting” actually is, and its basically gang rape) but for girls to be forced into sex, plied with drink or have their drinks spiked, harassed and coerced into sex is actually pretty damn common.

      That’s the problem.

      Seeing them as a “rogue element” reduces the problem and allows us to dismiss it as an isolated incident. Its not. And they don’t face what they’ve done because the rest of NZ around them focusses on what the girls did (why did their parents let them out to go drinking? what where they wearing? they must have known what hanging out with guys like that would lead do?) allowing the boys to do the same and getting us nowhere.

      I completely agree though that it is rehabilitation and education they need. Locking them up with no treatment and letting them back out into the population never ends well.

      • well said Lara, if we see it as an isolated problem then we think, collectively, as a society we don’t have to do much to address the problem, because hey it was just one group of boys, right? As I pointed out I was witness to this behavior myself. At the time when the young men who raped girls in my neighborhood pushed me out of the basement and locked the door, I thought I was missing out on something fun, as it turned out I was saved from being sexually assaulted.

        Many young girls who develop early are viewed as young women, therefore are far more vulnerable to sexual assault. We need to stop pretending behavior like that from the Roast Busters, is some kind of aberration. It isn’t as I explained in my blog.

        • Exactly.

          Not only is it not an aberration, its an expression of a common attitude to women and children in NZ.

          I was first abused when I was 13.

          Casual street harassment began when I was about 14, and in my school uniform. Too many incidents to count.

          Its a part of my landscape, because I am female.

          The only people who have ever harassed me in this way were men, and they’re only doing it because I’m female.

          My experiences of being harassed, abused and raped are actually pretty common for women in NZ, and even distressingly more common for transgender people. Disabled people, the most vulnerable amongst us, have an even higher rate of being abused.

          As I said earlier, I want to be able to move about in public and not feel like prey.

          And to those about to down vote this comment, particularly if you’re male, can you imagine what that feels like? To feel like prey EVERY time you go out? Specifically, to feel like sexualised prey? Because thats how many many women in NZ feel.

          And its not okay.

          I hope against hope that sharing this kind of information may just help change someones mind, and make them more aware of behaviours they see which can be dangerous to others. Stand up and say its not okay, help us change the culture in NZ to one with more respect for everyone.

          • I need to ask a question.
            I lost my virginity to a girl when I was 15. She was younger than me, but we were in 4th form together. She was my girlfriend and I guess I pressured her into doing it. It definitley wasn’t something she was keen to do at the time (it was her first time too) but she said “yes” and we did it. I’m unsure if she was old enough to give informed consent, hell, I don’t even know if I was old enough to do that. We remained a couple for a while after that. Anyway , my question is- Did I rape her?
            I dare not try to contact her for fear of hearing an answer I don’t wish to know.
            I also fear this is a reason why we find it hard to acknowledge this “blame the victim” mentality, because it means we have to assess our own sexual histories. The drunken one night stands I barely remember… did I rape them too? Or did they rape me? I once woke at a party to find a woman fondling my genitals. I was in a relationship with another woman at the time. I don’t know if I was in a drunken stupour and initiated the contact, or did this woman sexually molest a passed out man? Thankfully I was clear enough to remove myself from the situation.
            It’s these kinds of questions which scare me. I don’t want to learn that I was a sexual deviant. Or that I am still one! I have been married for 13 years now and have 2 wonderful children. But even my own sexual history with my wife could throw up some questions. I’m sure there have been plenty of times when I have wanted sex and she has just done it for my own selfish sake. Have I raped her? I once woke her by perfoming oral sex on her, is that considered rape? We had sex, but I initiated it without her consent.
            I apologise if this has become a bit graphic, but I am struggling with drawing a line and understanding where it can be crossed. I think this is what a lot of people will battle with when considering this discussion.

            • Well it sounds like sexual coercion at the very least, if you pressure anyone into having sex then it is coercing them into an a sexual act they did not want to do.

              I have a boyfriend and sometimes he does not want to have sex with me and I sometimes do not want to have sex with him, I only EVER ask once I never EVER ask a 2nd time because, simply, if he said yes I would have pressured him into it. Plus having sex with someone who does not want to at that moment, is a turn off for me.

              The fact you are worried about your own sexual behavor says alot. You probably need to think long and hard with how you interact with your sexual partner/s. It sounds like you really need to make some changes.

              “I also fear this is a reason why we find it hard to acknowledge this “blame the victim” mentality, because it means we have to assess our own sexual histories.”

              Well said, and yes that is one of the reasons why we live in a culture that endlessly blames victims of rape and questions their actions and not the person who committed the violence.

            • Thanks for having the courage to discuss this.
              Many of us act without thinking – I did the same to a male and I would call what I did rape.

              It happened because I was convinced that sex was what all men wanted. I didn’t think nor understand about consent. I needed lessons!

              I hope if he said something he’d be taken seriously but I know it isn’t likely.

  3. I’m staggered that the Police has proven to be so impotent and not pressing charges against these child molesters and sex offenders. The Police have brought shame on themselves and lost credibility.
    One of John Key’s responses to The Roast Busters was to say “These young guys should just grow up,”
    The PM’s response was not only irresponsible he shows himself to be misogynistic, sexist and unsympathetic to what is a disgusting crime. Shame on him unfit to be the PM.
    As a male I’m continually sickened by the sexual predatory nature of some Kiwi males, it’s a problem that we have not come terms with and a long away from dealing effectively when our political leaders and Law enforcement agencies refuse to acknowledge there is a problem.
    We must all ensure we teach our son’s right from wrong when it comes to sex, for too long predatory guys are seen as real blokes with awesome sexual prowess and seduction skills who are much admired by their peers.
    We all have a role to play in changing this disturbing attitude.

  4. One can’t just point the finger at male behavior, that’s only one part of the equation. Who or what is influencing them?
    Look at the sick culture we live in, which promotes violence for entertainment, debases sex, objectifies women. It’s everywhere you look.
    What about the sleazy music industry with the likes of Miley Cyrus cavorting like porn stars influencing our young.
    There are no bounderies any more.
    Computer games with simulated rape scenes (Grand Theft Auto).

    It’s not a “mens” problem. It is Society’s problem, because Society has turned a blind eye to all these sleazy corruptive degrading influences and simply tolerate anything. (How come??)
    Worst of all, Society no longer believes in protecting it’s young.
    Anything goes these days. And things are only going to get worse.
    BTW Where are all these influences coming from?. NZ must be a colony of USA for many years now.

    • Good points Cassie, and good article Chloe, thank you.
      There is little doubt that the sort of treatment one receives when attempting to report rape is related to people, with or without the support of their families, actually not doing so.
      There are myriad media incitements to objectify women as nothing more than mere punching bags and worse. For intelligent analysis watch Anita Sarkeesian’s excellent videos about gaming behaviour, modelling and tropes at:
      http://www.feministfrequency.com

  5. Excellent article.

    Yes the problem sits with the men of society – they are the culprits.

    And also, people who have never been involved with rape, need to understand that rape doesnt just mean a male and a female (against her free will) having sex – penis v vagina in a nice comfortable bed.

    Rape occurs in many many differing situations, and things other than the mans penis are sometimes used, causing gross and permanent damage to their victims – some horrendous stuff, both anally and vaginally, and sometimes causing death.

    It happens in childrens, and babies bedrooms too, and this is very common in NZ.

    What rape actually is, needs to be portrayed to the general public, but the PC crowd keep trying to dress it all up. It shouldnt be dressed up, for the tender sheltered few. It must be spoken of plainly, and exactly how it is.

    It is a disgusting and ever-increasing rampant blight on the manhood of NZ men. Are they too lazy to be nice to a woman? Or are they just too ignorant, and regardless of women to act in a nice manner towards women?
    What is it that causes the men in NZ to be so sexually violent, as if it is by right that they commit their heinous acts.

    It is just not good enough.
    Women should carry knives, and use them in self-defence when needed.
    Males should never be allowed to babysit your children – no matter who they are.

    The primeminister should be capable of making a more damning statement against rapists – oh but hang on – he must support rapists, as he cut the funding for the rape crisis centers. Blimey, if the PM supports rapists, then why should they stop – this is the message he has sent out into the public domain with his flippant remark – he didnt think it worthy of anything more than a heartless and supercilious comment.

    Rapists cost our country a lot of money!

    Rapists are men.

    Men, you need a serious reality check.
    Rapists should have to prove they didnt do the rape, rather than the way the law currently sits.
    Women and children shouldnt have to face the NZ Police barrage, and gruelling court processes (that fail) the rapist should.

    Men need to take this situation and turn it around, as seriously, the women may revolt one day very soon, and there could be a few men peeing through a tube and into a bag in the future if they dont get their rampant raping urges under control.

    Rape destroys innocense, and it destroys families, and it destroys lives.

    DO SOMETHING TO STOP IT – WHATEVER It TAKES!

    Opinion

    • I will have to strenuously disagree with much of what you have written here.

      If rapists have to prove they did not rape, rather than the current legal situation of the police and investigators having to prove they did, then you’re basically asking for a situation where men can be accused of rape and on an accusation only would be held as guilty until proven innocent.

      I don’t think you’ve thought that one through very well.

      Its anathema to the basic concepts of a decent society. Innocent until proven guilty is a fundamental concept we should never let go of. Otherwise we would end up with witch hunts.

      An inquisitorial styled justice system more like that of France, rather than our British based adversary system, would be a better approach.

      Finally, most men do not rape. The majority of men are good men. I am fortunate to be married to one, a most gentle decent respectful man. The statement that no man ever should be left to babysit is abhorrent to many men, and to me!

      If we place all men in the same basket and label them “potential rapist and child molester” exactly how much of their help do you think we will get? I’d say about zero. Please don’t do that to the very many good and decent men out there.

      • @Lara.

        If you want men to be portrayed as the culprits of rape – and they are the culprits – then ALL men need to pay attention to this fact, and ALL men need to take the responsibility of re-educating the men who will become, and already are, the rapists.

        Your comment is naive, and mine is very well informed.

        Most child rape (which you have prettied up as child molesting), is committed by the men of the family, and these men set themselves up as trustworthy in the eyes of the parents – this is fact.

        It is time to stop this horrendous man-instigated crime, and if the good men (and there are many) in society are offended, then they should do something about it!

        Opinion.

        • err yeah it is not about portraying men as culprits of rape, your language is really totaling, most men do not rape but most men stay silent on rape culture. So it would be amazing if more men realized violence against women is a men’s issue first and foremost

          • Yes. I agree, my language is totaling. And it needs to be.
            Too much PC going on here about rape, and rape needs to be taken right out of the PC closet it has become buried in.

            It needs to be brought out into the light of reality, so it can be dealt with. Hence my words. And likely hence this article in the first place.

        • Your choice of words is most unfortunate. Your tone comes across as condescending and patronising.

          I am in my 40’s. I have experienced the whole continuum of harassment to rape, and so I am unfortunately rather well informed and experienced to discuss this. Do not patronise me.

          Innocent until proven guilty is an important aspect of a civilised society. If you cannot think this through and maintain that the opposite, guilty until proven innocent, would work in cases of rape, then I have nothing further to say to you.

          • Lara.

            There is absolutely nothing patronising in my comments.

            They are simply stating the reality of the facts without the PC window-dressing.

            Perhaps this article should have come with a “trigger warning”.

            The negative votes to my posts here on this topic merely point to reality that most people cannot cope with the reality and factual account of rapes – and this is why nothing is ever done about it.

            The situation has now become so serious and prevalent in our NZ culture, and this, I believe, is because of the window-dressing it has received over the years – to the point where it is usually no longer even referred to as rape, but rather given new user friendly monikers like: child molesting, sexual assault etc.

            Just not good enough to get the job done – obviously.

            Opinion.

  6. We often hear the excuse about any bad male behaviour as “boys being boys” or teens needing to grow up, as if bad behaviour is an inevitable part of becoming an adult. For a change in the culture of violence of males to females this is one of the first things that has to change. This kind of behaviour has to stop being regarded as inevitable because it becomes simply an excuse for doing nothing and leads to a “que sera sera” shrug of the shoulders response.
    As for the Police, on one hand we can condemn their lack of action, but on the other hand the Police, in a way, also have to do their job according to the community values that exist around them. If the values around them are to excuse behaviour of this sort then that is what the Police will do. When the Police step outside the limits that we set for them, then they no longer work for us, such as what happens in dictatorships. Clear direction is needed for them and that must come from the people first, directed to the politicians and then onto the Police.
    It is a problem that is probably never going to go away and a very hard one to tackle, but that is no excuse for sitting back and putting it into the “too hard basket”.

    • It is easy enough to criticise the police, considering the amount of things they have to handle, victims of crimes can be hard to understand if they have been traumatised.
      One thing that strikes me is that when the police ask you, “what were you wearing?”, that it is not necessarily an inference that you were inappropriately dressed but because certain items of clothing, colours, footwear, whatever, may stick in someone’s memory as an identifier, perhaps better than a purely physical description of an abductee or victim. The other thing is that many people will not have any memory of a sexual assault per se because they will have been drugged with the sort of pharmaceutical which, when administered on the sly, completely obliterates memories but does not necessarily show up in a toxicology report. In our society we permissively adore alcohol and condone the wholesale use of pharmaceuticals and genetically enhanced weed. To imagine that this does not affect our young people in awful ways is erroneous at best.

  7. The police did drop the ball on this ……………… over and over.

    They are also hampered by the present adversarial justice system which works especially poorly for sex crimes.

    I think abuse of power is firmly entrenched in New Zealand culture from parliament down and certainly including the police force and ‘justice’ system.

    Making a stand against abuse of power in all its forms is whats needed.

    A lot of vested interests ( those holding and abusing the power ), to overcome though.

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