Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for rape survivors

By   /   November 21, 2014  /   17 Comments

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People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday.

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People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday.

They will demonstrate the woeful state of our rape statistics and charge the government, police, and courts to seriously address this problem.

People will line the streets and participate in a human pie chart to show how few rape survivors ever see justice upheld and participate in a live petition on the road. Everyone is welcome to come and invited to leave messages in chalk outside the court. Auckland Samba Band will be performing and light refreshments will be provided.

Rape is endemic and devastating in New Zealand; our culture effectively enables rape by not addressing it properly. Sexual assault is so common that it is a public health crisis. Survivors of rape struggle to find support and out of 100 rapes, 1 may lead to ‘accountability’ through our law/court process – a definition and a process which needs improvement.

As with the National Day of Action to Bust Rape Culture last year, people are demanding:

– Immediate reinstatement of the Law Commission review of trial and pre-trial processes in sexual assault cases

– Adequate/sustainable funding for rape crisis services to help surviviors whether or not they choose to report

– Better police processes and training to support survivors and pursue justice

– Educational programmes for prevention and awareness in public and in schools

– Implementation of recommendations by TOAH-NNest and Wellington Rape Crisis

 

The Facebook event is here

An event in Wellington is happening on the same day

Spread the word!

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17 Comments

  1. Sozare says:

    Approximately 1 out of 10 rape complaints are false. That means if you are going to shift the burden of proof or make the court process less rigorous you have to be damn sure you aren’t going to do it at the expense of imprisoning the innocent.

    • Approximately 1 out of 10 rape complaints are false.

      Source for that claim?

      • adam says:

        Frank – there was a very badly researched paper put out by the FBI that had those figures.

        But, even they now admit that the paper was just wrong. I tried trudging the FBI site for it, but brain not working to ask right search question this morning.

        • Adam – The best I could find in a few minutes; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_accusation_of_rape#FBI_statistics

          The figure by the FBI was given as 8% “unfounded” rather than “false”. (The two terms are not the same.)

          Which, if true, mean that 92% are well founded.

          But even the definitions of “unfounded” is dubious, as it ” many of the jurisdictions from which the FBI collects data on crime use different definitions of, or criteria for, ‘unfounded’.” One definition was whether or not the alleged victim tried to fight off the suspect!!

          However, I suspect those who try to invoke stats for so-called “false complaints” are simply trying to cloud the problem; trivialise it; and try to show it as “exagerated”.

          The term for this is “in denial”. It reminds me of the “miniskirt defence”;

          “Your Honour, she wore a mini-skirt so she was asking for it!” (And variations thereof.)

          • womble says:

            Other studies have shown that false complaints account for up 50% of rape complaints. 10% is actually a rather modest figure.

            “I suspect those who try to invoke stats for so-called “false complaints” are simply trying to cloud the problem; trivialise it; and try to show it as “exaggerated”.

            So, the same way that stats for “unreported rapes” are massively inflated by using incredibly vague definitions of rape, over a 1000% higher than actual reported rapes, to try and make rape appear to be an epidemic.

            Even the 1% premise of this “demonstration” is based on flawed statistics. Rape has a similar, if not higher conviction rate than other kinds of violent crime.

            Across various countries the conviction rate for rape varies from 24% (India) up to 63% (UK).

            The people participating in this demonstration are either woefully ill informed.. or willing to lie to achieve their goals. Either way, they’re not people who should be listened to.

            • Rape has a similar, if not higher conviction rate than other kinds of violent crime.

              Not true. According the Ministry of Justice, conviction rates for sexual offences are lower than for other crimes. (http://www.justice.govt.nz/policy/supporting-victims/sexual-violence/introduction) See “The problem we want to address”, para 6.

              The people participating in this demonstration are either woefully ill informed.. or willing to lie to achieve their goals. Either way, they’re not people who should be listened to.

              So you don’t want to listen to women’s voices? You’ve proved my point very well about the threat to the male hierarchy.

              • womble says:

                >The conviction rate for all sexual offences in 2004-2006 was 46%

                Do you understand what the word “similar” means?

                Frank Macskasy – “The figure by the FBI was given as 8% “unfounded”…Which, if true, mean that 92% are well founded”

                If you’re going to use the same black and white thinking as you did before, that means 54% of rape cases were false accusations.

                Or do you only use black and white thinking when it supports your point?

                I notice that in your prior comment you chose to ignore the very next paragraph on the Kannin study that showed 41% of rape complaints were false.

                The point is, the “rape culture” brigade cherry pick statistics, make up numbers, and deliberately interpret them poorly to support their claims.

              • Ralph says:

                Comment deleted. Ad hominem (and quite a childish one at that) unaccepable. – ScarletMod

    • frontierguy03 says:

      According to Statistics Canada: after investigation by law enforcement officers, 43% of reported sexual assaults result in charges; after adjudication by the justice system, 56% of charges result in convictions. How many of the reports were blatantly false, I don’t know. How many of the reports were simply a slanted opinion of what actually happened, I don’t know. How many of the reports simply lacked enough evidence, I don’t know, maybe the evidence did not exist; but I do know that in all of the cases where the man was charged, his name was publicized while the woman’s name was shielded from public scrutiny. What kind of equality is that?

  2. Destructo says:

    Rape is an inherently difficult crime to convict. You have the wonder what exactly is being recommended here; reversal of burden of proof – guilty by default, man goes to prison for 7 years on a woman’s say-so – or letting a judge pass verdict based on what is essentially opinion on the likelihood of the accused being guilty. It’s hard to see what form a fair solution could take.

    • Destructo – I would put it to you that very, very few women would go through the trauma of a police investigation; court case; cross-examination; media reporting; etc, if the allegation did not have merit.

      Remember that only 10% of sexual offences are reported.

      The Ministry of Justice reports that “in 2003/4, 21 percent of reported rape offences went to court and 12 percent of these resulted in a conviction. The conviction rate for sexual offences is also lower than for other crimes”.

      http://www.justice.govt.nz/policy/supporting-victims/sexual-violence/introduction

      Which indicates that 90% of women are reluctant to come forward to report offending.

      Why is that?

      I submit because it is a traumatic, embarrassing, and highly unpleasant process to put yourself through.

      Very, very, few people would go through that process knowing it to be a false allegation.

      Isn’t it interesting that we don’t have the same debate over supposed false allegations over burglary, assault, car thefts, murder, etc?

      But it always seems to arise when sexual violence is discussed.

      Why?

      Because, I believe, this is an instance where the primarily male-dominated society finds itself challenged by a female’s voice. This is a case where a woman’s voice in Court is in direct challenge to a man’s voice.

      If anyone doubts this, re-read Sozare’s comment above;

      “Approximately 1 out of 10 rape complaints are false.”

      Sozare didn’t say that 9 out of ten complaints are true, which is a more accurate reflection of the situation. The figure was turned on it’s head so as to minimise the problem, and thereby imply slyly that the woman’s voice was untrustworthy.

      Isn’t it interesting that allegations of gay-male rape are never questioned in public. The male hierarchy is simply not threatened.

      But when heterosexual males are involved – the “stats” are trotted out with monotonous regularity.

      • Sozare says:

        “Isn’t it interesting that we don’t have the same debate over supposed false allegations over burglary, assault, car thefts, murder,”

        It’s not interesting because no-one is suggesting we alleviate the burden of proof and make it easier to get convictions in those cases. Ironically no doubt you would be up in arms if the Police were calling for the law to be changed around theft complaints to make it easier for them to incarcerate people.

        “Sozare didn’t say that 9 out of ten complaints are true, which is a more accurate reflection of the situation ”

        Because I hold to one of core tenet’s that our legal system is founded upon;

        “All presumptive evidence of felony should be admitted cautiously; for the law holds it better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent party suffer”

        The hypocrisy behind it is galling.

      • WAIT_A_SEC says:

        “very few women would go through the trauma of a police investigation; court case; cross-examination; media reporting; etc, if the allegation did not have merit.”

        This is contradictory — these circumstances would be traumatic if the allegation did have merit. If, however, someone is trying to use the legal system to exact revenge, then going through all this is just part of the process. There’s no trauma to relive.

        • If, however, someone is trying to use the legal system to exact revenge, then going through all this is just part of the process. There’s no trauma to relive.

          The entire process of police investigation, interviewing, Court process, cross examination , etc, etc, is, in itself, traumatic. If it wasn’t, then perhaps more than 10% of victims of sex-related crimes might lodge complaints. Even someone trying to rort the system might not find it an easy process to navigate.

          Ask yourself why only 10% of victims ever proceed with lodging a complaint?

          The concept of “trying to use the legal system to exact revenge” is, in itself a red herring used by those who want to discredit women’s voices even before they’re heard.

          Question is, why would a woman want to “exact revenge” against a perfect stranger who she has never met before?

          Which leaves situations where the woman does know the perpetrator (even after one night, say from a party) – and there we get to the nub of the problem. A perpetrator of sexual violence against a woman known to him has few defences; (a) she’s lying or (b) she originally consented. To which if she is lying or had originally consented, why is she now claiming rape?! “Oh well, your honour, she must be trying to get revenge because of [insert reason here].”

          Interesting how such questioning of personal motives for laying a complaint is never (or hardly ever) levelled against property theft. Or fraud. Or child abuse. Or murder. But when it comes to sexual violence, the first thing that seems to pop up is whether or not the complainant has “an axe to grind”.

          I suggest the reason for this is because it is one of the very few occassions where the power-dominance of the male hierarchy is directly threatened by a woman.

          Little wonder that the Saudi’s find it difficult to stomach women being about to drive cars. Same thing; the power-dominance of the male hierarchy is directly threatened by women.

          I suggest you have a read of Andrea Vance’s column in today’s Sunday Star Times. Ms Vance makes some very interesting points.

      • Destructo says:

        “Isn’t it interesting that we don’t have the same debate over supposed false allegations over burglary, assault, car thefts, murder, etc?”

        Because the offenders have the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty. The State has to prove otherwise.

        What Jessie and other feminist commentators seem to be suggesting is the removal of that right for men accused of sexual assault, or for judges to come to a verdict based their own interpretation of events. The proportion of false or dubious claims becomes an issue with a close-to 100% conviction rate and few options for the accused.

        “Very, very, few people would go through that process knowing it to be a false allegation”

        The process would be less significantly less traumatic if some of the changes suggested were put into practice.

        “The figure was turned on it’s head so as to minimise the problem, and thereby imply slyly that the woman’s voice was untrustworthy”

        Of course the number of women who make false accusations are few. Basing the court process on the assumption that one gender is morally superior to the other is still indefensible.

  3. adam says:

    Jesse, I would have come – but I need more notice. My best wishes and thoughts with you all.

  4. WhoTheHell_Cares says:

    Well according to feminists only 2 % of reported rapes are false reports, and that justice can only be served by believing 100% all accusers.

    In line with this thinking, I feelz that all Feminists have raped me, and I want them all imprisoned, now, without trial, based entirely on my feelz and accusation.