Thursday, 10 April 2008

blame the victim

i too have to express my outrage at the stance taken by garth mcvicar of the sensible sentencing trust as regards the killing of a teen tagger. as far as i know, the SST is an advocate for victims of crime. yet somehow, they are not prepared to advocate for the victim of this crime or his family. rather, they seem to be advocating for the alleged offender. mr mcvicar:

is quoted describing Bruce Emery as "a decent hard-working citizen (who) is facing a murder charge because of his frustration over this (tagging) issue."

the standard suggests that the ethnicity and social status of this victim is the reason for mr mcvicar's stance in this case. it's hard to understand what other motive he could have. given that neither he nor his organisation is willing to advocate for this victim, it is even more galling that he should criticise the children's commissioner for doing so. he seems to think that pihema clifford cameron should have no support whatsoever.

that such a spokesperson is excessively quoted by the media and treated as someone whose opinion has value is an indictment on our society. i suspect mr mcvicar would have been the first to agree with the "one law for all" mantra that was popular in the don brash era of politics. it's about time he applied it to himself, and advocated equally for all victims of crime.

here's a bit of positive news that is likely to go unreported. it seems that kiwis are pretty satisfied with their public service. to quote from the press release:

Other general results included:
* 66 percent agreed that the service met their expectations
* 75 percent felt that staff were competent
* 70 percent thought that staff kept their promises
* 73 percent thought that they were treated fairly
* 63 percent felt that their individual circumstances were taken into account
* 55 percent thought that the service was an example of good value for tax dollars spent

so it seems that our navel-gazing bureaucrats aren't doing too badly after all!

the hand mirror blogs today about the alac ad involving "lisa". it's the one where the young woman gets drunk in a nightclub, and ends up in a dark alley with a sinister looking man. the mirrors (is that ok for a nickname?) are angry the advertisement perpetuates the myth that women are responsible for rape, rather than putting the blame squarely where it belongs: on the rapist.

i totally agree with them on that point, and would encourage people to make complaints - see their blog for details on how. i just have one teeny concern. let me state straight out that as a muslim, i don't drink at all and have a pretty negative view of excessive alcohol consumption. also i blogged about this a few days ago (go to the bottom bit).

i think we do need to get the message out to young women that binge drinking is unhealthy and can be dangerous, given the research on date rape. the problem then becomes: how do we package that message, without blaming the victim of rape? how do we encourage a culture change and highlight the dangers of excessive drinking, while making sure that we don't give the message that it's ok to take advantage of a drunken woman?

it's a difficult one, but one that definitely needs some work. in the meantime, it's worth letting alac know that their current attempt doesn't get it right.

finally, good to hear that banks are tightening their lending criteria, so that it will be more difficult to buy a home without a deposit. while this is bad news for first homebuyers and young families, in the long run they are better off not taking on more debt than they can afford. in other words, it would be much worse if they had been putting money into repayments for several years, then end up with a mortgagee sale where the sale price is less than or equal to what they still owe. it means they'll have lost quite a bit of money, while the bank loses almost none at all.

however, i think it's a bit hard on the self-employed who don't have a regular PAYE slip to support their income. i would hate to think that our entrepreneurs were having to struggle harder than wage-earners to get into a first home. there's definitely room for more policy work in this area.

i probably won't be blogging now until monday. hope you all have a good weekend.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Hey Anjum, thanks for your comment on my post, I am going to write a reply have just been a bit busy with some family stuff. Hopefully will get on to it in the next few days.
Take care,