Wednesday, 4 June 2008

supporting rape victims

have been thinking about maia's post at the hand mirror today about brad shipton. actually, i'd been thinking about it since hearing the very powerful interview with his victim on radio nz yesterday. tracey barnett has written an excellent piece in the herald on the topic. and today's waikato times editorial (not yet on line, but should be here in a day or so) calls on shipton to take part in a restorative justice programme, while noting that if he does so, any admission of guilt will bring the louise nicholas verdict into question.

i'd like to reiterate my comments on maia's post: why is the sensible sentencing trust silent in this case? why are they not supporting the rape victim who is clearly suffering from the efforts of keeping shipton, schollum and macnamara in jail? she is facing hearings regularly, and is now getting a double whammy with the shcollum hearing now being overturned.

i can understand that victims should have the right to speak at parole board hearings. yet it is traumatic for the victim to have to relive the crime every time a hearing comes up. there must be a better way for this to be dealt with. the victim calls for parole board hearings to be cancelled and for such decisions to be made by a judge.

i find it appalling that garth mcvicar is silent in the face of the pain faced by this victim. but then, he and his trust have shown before that they don't support all victims of crime.

the task force on sexual violence is due to report back by the end of this year. i hope that it will look seriously at issues around proof of consent, as well as support of victims through the court and parole process. i'd particularly support victims advocates being available during trials.

the fact is that some fundamental changes need to be made to our justice system, so that victims of rape get justice, and stop being continually and repeatedly victimised.


Anonymous said...

Ahem... you may have missed this

stargazer said...

that release is for louise nicholas. the victim i'm talking about is not louise nicholas. her name is suppressed, but she is equally deserving of puclic support from sst.

however, good on sst for supporting ms nicholas.

Ben R said...

Former Court of Appeal Judge Ted Thomas has written about reforming the way sexual abuse cases are handled.

"I do not believe that it is an exaggeration to describe the experience which rape victims undergo as being brutal and barbaric." It was an outdated error, he went on, to persist with the claim that the adversarial system got at the truth."

moveon said...

i believe their must come a time when victims of rape must move on the courts hand down a sentance thus saying justice is served people/ victims owe it to themselves and family to move on they must not let this ruin their lives i feel your pain i really do