No-one asks to be raped

My laptop was stolen at an airport.

I’d put it down with my suitcase to pay for parking, paid, picked up the case but not the computer.

I realised my mistake minutes later, ran back but the computer was gone.

Thanks to some very good police work it was recovered a few weeks later.

Was I careless?

Yes.

Did I ask for the computer to be stolen?

No.

Did my carelessness make it any less a theft?

No.

Had it been an honest man who found the computer, he’d have called me back, phoned the number inside the case or handed it in to someone in the airport.

He wouldn’t have taken it, found a way round the password, loaded his contacts onto it and used it until the police caught up with him.

My inattention provided an opportunity for the crime but it’s one an honest person wouldn’t have taken.

So it is with rape.

Some discussion on the Roast Busters has turned to what the victims were wearing and that they were drinking .

There’s been suggestions this somehow excuses the behaviour of the young men who plied them with alcohol, raped them and boasted of their exploits on Facebook.

It doesn’t.

There is no excuse for rape.

Regardless of what the young women might have been wearing and doing, and whether or not they should have been where they were and drinking, they were not asking to be raped.

Asking to be raped is an oxymoron.

Rape is unconsensual sex and someone who is comatose cannot give consent.

Among those who seem ready to excuse the perpetrators and blame the victims are Radio Live hosts John Tamihere and WIllie Jackson.

I didn’t hear the programme but have heard enough of the reaction to it to be disgusted by what they said, the apology for an apology and apparent inability to understand why they “caused offence”.

The best response to it comes in an open lettter from Dr Leonie Pihama and Marama Davidson of the Te Wharepora Hou Maori Women’s Group:

Tena korua John and Willie

Yesterday we were sent the link to your radio programme of your discussion with ‘Amy’. Listening to your programme is a rare event in both of our whare. Why? Because the views you espouse are on the whole conservative, often ignorant and nearly always sexist. So we are not surprised with the misogynistic undertones of how you spoke to ‘Amy’.

What is saddening is the fact that you seem to have absolutely no awareness or experience of the impact of rape on the lives of it’s victims and survivors.

What is disturbing is that you show no empathy for the pain and ongoing distress caused by sexual violence on entire whanau.

What is alarming is that with all the involvement you have in providing programmes within urban Maori communities that you remain ignorant of the destruction caused by rape culture.

What is disconcerting is that you have no sense of understanding for how difficult it is to talk to others about being raped, about sexual violence, about family violence let alone what it means to be 14, 15 or 16 years old.

What is disgusting is that you seem to revel in the deep-seated ignorance on these issues.

Rape, whether it be of a woman abducted, or of a mother catching a bus home after work, or of a young woman out for drinks with her friends, or of any woman in her own home by someone she knows – is rape.

Rape, John and Willie, is rape.

Rape, John, is not about “how free and easy are you kids out there these days”.

Rape, Willie, is not about how you are too young to have a drink out with friends.

Rape has nothing to do with if they are good looking. ‘Good looking’ men rape too Willie.

Rape – John and Willie – is rape. . .

More questions over police handling of the issue were raised yesterday when they released a statement saying a complaint against the group had been made two years ago:

Police investigating allegations involving the “Roast Busters” group can confirm a complaint was received in December 2011. An investigation was launched and the complaint was thoroughly investigated.

Whilst this was a distressing situation for the girl and her family, Police determined that there was not sufficient evidence to bring a prosecution.

Out of respect for the victim and her family Police are unable to discuss the specific details of this particular situation any further, however the victim’s complaint is still part of the continuing investigation and should new supporting evidence come to light as part of the ongoing enquiry , the decision in this case not to prosecute will be reviewed.

Police discussed this matter again with the victim’s family this morning and re-stated their absolute commitment to doing their best by their daughter.

Inappropriate and offensive comments that are alleged to have been made to the victim in this case by Police are under investigation.

I can understand that finding enough evidence to make an arrest would be difficult.
But I can’t understand why police were unable to have the website shut down and to warn people about the abhorrent activity of the group far, far sooner.

13 Responses to No-one asks to be raped

  1. madbushfarm says:

    No one ever asks for rape of any kind, no matter the circumstance, no matter the reasons given as the excuse by the offender. There is no excuse for any person to commit such a terrible act of violence. Five years ago, my two children both girls were walking our dog along the road just up from the farm gate. They were victims of an attempted kidnapping. The dog saved their lives. The intent of the two men trying to take my kids was clear. The trauma and anguish it caused lasted a long time afterwards. I wrote about it because all need to be warned. Take care of your kids and your family

    http://madbushfarm.blogspot.co.nz/2009/11/thank-god-for-simon.html

  2. Andrei says:

    I think some people need to take a deep breath and stop using emotive words like “rape”.

    The age difference between the “victims” and the perpetrators is trivial and these people are children – children who have grown up in a hyper sexualized society and who have been saturated almost since birth in sexual imagery and idolatry.

    These boys are just convenient scapegoats for what are in effect our own moral failings.

    All the people involved here are/were children while we are the adults and we are the ones who have failed them

  3. homepaddock says:

    I agree they’ve been failed by adults. That might explain their behaviour but it doesn’t excuse it and rape is the correct term to apply to unconcensual sex.

  4. Deborah says:

    Great post, Ele. Thank you for writing so clearly about exactly who is responsible for rape.

  5. Andrei says:

    I guess there is nothing like a good moral panic to shut down peoples analytical skills and to advance hidden agendas through knee jerk legislation.

    The lynch mob has been aroused

  6. madbushfarm says:

    Nothing to do with moral panic and everything to with bringing awareness that people don’t go around asking for it, because they don’t. Just as someone doesn’t ask for someone to steal their car, or bash them up because they decide that the person deserves it. I know I don’t have a hidden agenda. I’m just a mother out in the country watching out for my kids.
    http://arcsmanawatu.org.nz/resource/legal-definitions/

  7. Viv K says:

    Thank you Ele for summing up this awful situation so well and for your comment at 9.14.

  8. Actually, Andrei, the other commenters here are making perfectly good, clear sense. Nothing wrong with their analytical skills and no lynch mob mentality either. If that’s what you’re seeing, you need to have a look at your filter.

  9. Armchair Critic says:

    I think some people need to take a deep breath and stop using emotive words like “rape”.
    Why? “Rape” is exactly the correct word for it. I think some people need to stop using the names “Roast Busters” and start using the correct term “Rapist’s Club”.

    The age difference between the “victims” and the perpetrators is trivial and these people are children – children who have grown up in a hyper sexualized society and who have been saturated almost since birth in sexual imagery and idolatry.
    Age difference = irrelevant. Sex with a minor is rape. Other things that are irrelevant and can’t be used as excuses include:
    The use of alcohol. When someone is impaired by alcohol they cannot give consent, so having sex with them is rape. People who are heavily affected by alcohol need to be cared for so they don’t fall, choke, or suffer alcohol poisoning. Sexually assaulting them instead is reprehensible; criminal.
    How they were dressed. Nothing about how anyone dresses implies consent to have sex with them.
    Whether they grew up in a hyper-sexualised society. Most of use did. Yet most young men don’t turn out to be rapists. It’s not OK for anyone to think this is an excuse, and it’s even less OK to present it as one.

    These boys are just convenient scapegoats for what are in effect our own moral failings.
    Twaddle. Own your own moral failings, don’t judge mine or make assumptions about them (you don’t know me) and don’t assign the failings of others to me.

    All the people involved here are/were children while we are the adults and we are the ones who have failed them
    Tempting though it is to politicise this issue, that can wait.

  10. Andrei says:

    I don’t know if you realize this AC but I actually find this whole story utterly repugnant – and sad. It all makes me physically sick.

    NOBODY IS EXCUSING THE ACTIONS OF THESE BOYS – NOBODY!

    Personally I think a public flogging would be an appropriate punishment for them.

    I also think that adultery should be a criminal offense – it was a big mistake to take that off the statute books imho.

    I have four kids after all, three are girls and we bought them up strictly for sure – so as they would not get involved in these sort of scenarios but know how to avoid them – the pitfalls of life in a very very wicked world.

    BUT
    it worries me deeply when these sort of things come up and the lynch mob mentality takes over.

    AND
    when people in good conscience express opinions over these matters eg Radio Live hosts John Tamihere and WIllie Jackson that do not match the narrative some would like to become the official line – and the howl goes up for their heads to roll.

    AND
    when heads start to roll others are intimidated into silence which means kangaroo courts are sure to follow and that is not good, not good at all – it is in fact fascism

  11. Armchair Critic says:

    The whole thing is repugnant Andrei.
    Kangaroo courts – nah, let’s just get the current Police force to do their job enforcing current laws in our currents Courts of Law. Market forces can do the rest, I’ll email my bank (ANZ) tomorrow and thank them for withdrawing their advertising from Radio Live.

  12. […] No-one asks to be raped (homepaddock.wordpress.com) […]

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