It has been a dismal week here in New Zealand, with a large – seemingly vast – proportion of the population reeling in shock and disgust at a group of lads who went round raping schoolgirls, bragging about it, and the utter lack of any action by the New Zealand Police.
It has unearthed a revolting – and apparently widespread – “Rape Culture” that it seems many of us are struggling to comprehend. Recently – if you read the world news, you would see similar atrocities in Kenya, or India, where gang rape is all to frequent, and almost always ignored by the police. It’s easy to think “Well, that’s over there, it wouldn’t happen here”. But it did. The fact that a group of lads – calling themselves the Roast Busters – grew up thinking there was nothing wrong with getting younger girls drunk and gang raping them is horrifying enough – and should have the schools being asked some pointed questions. But worse – they were so sure of their position, of their Right to do this, they felt nothing but pride in labeling themselves as rapists.
How on earth have we ended up in a society where young lads are PROUD to be rapists, where that is the height of their achievement – their goals. They arent hiding in the dark, springing out of dark alleys, wearing long macs and masks. They are doing it broad daylight, filming the rapes, and then going online and showing off about their raping, and shaming the girls they raped.
And where were police?
Watching from afar.
And then lying about why they couldn’t do anything. Because no one would make a complaint. Except they did. Four girls went through the brutal procedure of making a complaint to the police – who by all accounts were more interested in what a 13 year old girl was wearing while we she was being held down by 2 boys and raped by a third, than in who was raping her and where they could find him and which was the deepest dankest cell they could lock the shitheads up in.
The police have been watching these guys boast about their rapes for 2 years. 2 years! That’s 2 years of rapes, 2 years worth of victims, 2 years these monsters were allowed to carry on victimising young girls and bragging about it because the police still think what a woman wears will have an impact on whether she gets raped or not.
I can’t decide who is more the monster here – the rapists or the police.
This is New Zealand’s Jimmy Saville case. “We all knew” “We did nothing” And like the Jimmy Saville Case, the only reason the police are now acting – is because they have been forced to – by the media finding out about what was going on, and publishing it. And because the New Zealand Public have been forthright in telling the police just what they think of their disgusting attitude to rape.
But then the NZ police are themselves known to had a significant rape culture within its own ranks, and despite promises that they would clean up their act, it looks like they haven’t changed a bit. (See below) Even worse – it has transpired that one of the rapists is the son of a Policeman, and one the son of an Actor. Whether or not that has actually influenced the police handling of the case or not – it has created the impression of a cover up, and that the Police will still look out for their own. They will have to work very hard indeed I think to overcome the suspicion.
Well, i think it’s actually a positive sign that the fallout from the revelations have been so immense. The girls who made complaints to the police have come forward and called out the Police lies, so now the police are being forced to act. The courage that must have taken, especially having been treated so badly by the police in the past has not gone unnoticed by most. The police have been referred to the Independent Police Conduct Authority – not just for their
dishonest claim (Sorry – miscommunication) about the fact that the reason they couldn’t prosecute was because no victims came forward, but also because it is generally accepted by any decent human being that asking a rape victim “What were you wearing” is irrelevant and shows a shocking lack of understanding about what rape is. I hope that there are some sackings – because people like this have no place in a modern police force.
There has also been further backlashes against others who have apparently indulged a bit of “Victim Blaming” Radio Live is facing an advertiser boycott after the way two of its presenters interviewed a friend of one of the victims. I didn’t hear the piece (I don’t listen to Talk Radio) but I understand there was more than a splash of the whole “What were they wearing” bull crap.
One really sad piece that come out was that some of the gang’s female friends were defending them. Apparently, because they were known to be doing this, then anyone who went along with them know what they getting into, and were not “raped”. They called the rapists “Cool Dudes”. I feel an immense amount of sorrow that any young women grow up thinking that their male friends are “Cool Dudes” if they rape someone. I sincerely hope that they, as much as the victims themselves, someday get to know what its like to be friends with real boys and men, and I speak as someone who grew up with almost all my friends being male.
But the rapists are now under no illusion that almost all of New Zealand thinks they should have been rotting in jail a long time ago. Although there are a few people who still think they are cool, and that the victims are to blame, most of those people seem to be basically illiterate. Which in itself is a damning indictment of how they are brought up and taught. The two ring leaders have been sacked from their jobs, and I would expect that this is just the start of the road for them. I hope that by the end of it they fully appreciate the enormity of what they have done. One of them has apparently already realised that being a Rapist is not acceptable – so there is perhaps hope for some of them.
Also on a “you really couldn’t make this shit up” front, the NZ Police, not having covered themselves in enough glory over their handling of Proud Gang Rapists, cocked up even more by threatening a blogger for taking a pot shot at them. While it appears they cannot possibly prosecute a gang of rapists who proudly name their victims and shout to the whole world they that are raping young girls – they will in a heart beat threaten a Blogger with a $5000 fine and up to 6 months in jail for posting a Mocked Up recruitment poster. Yep – really.
One thing that particularly shocked and upset me, was that on Monday, when I first heard about this on the news, and the police were still claiming that they couldn’t act because no one would make a formal complaint,there was a comment from a lady called Louise Nicholas. Her case against 4 NZ Policemen, was in a lot of ways similar to what we are now seeing. Evidence was suppressed by the police, lies were told by the police, and it took three attempts at a trial to get anywhere. Although her case ended in acquittal, the police she accused were found guilty of other gang rapes, and the police officer she reported the rape to in the first instance (John Dewar) was jailed for 4 and half years for perverting the course of justice.
On Monday, Louise Nicholas went on the news and backed up the Police’s inaction on the basis that no victims had come forward. Even if it hadn’t tuned out that – once again – the police were lying about that, just as John Dewar did when she reported her rapists, I found it astonishing that her support was not for the victims of gang rape, but for the police. I wonder how she feels about the situation now.
No – it’s not cyber bullying – it’s rape.
There was a lot of hand wringing at the start of the week about how the police had no power to arrest and charge these rapists, because we do not have sufficient laws against “Cyber Bullying”. Apparently, the fact that these rapists were bragging on Facebook, is a whole lot more serious than the fact they were gang raping 13- 15 years old girls. Apparently too, videos and confession on Facebook do not warrant proof. Nice to know. I wonder how many people are rotting in jail on the basis of a taped confession where they were “Just bragging”?
It was also a marked coincidence that on the same day as this story was breaking across NZ, the news were also reporting a group called Terres Des Hommes, who had created a Virtual Child and were using the creation to monitor and record interactions that pedophiles across the world were having with the “child”. This includes 4 New Zealanders, and the information gained from the group has been passed to the NZ police. They talked about these men “Virtually Raping” this child – who isn’t real. So I have to ask – how can you even think of prosecuting men (disgusting though they may be, and quite deserving of a slow roasting in hell) for Not actually raping a not real child, but we cannot prosecute real men, for really raping, real girls. Because the girls may have worn a skirt that was a bit shorter than the police think is OK.
I know that the Police force here have a separate unit that deals with Paedophiles, and child pornography. I personally think they probably have the hardest job in the world. and I have nothing but admiration and respect for them. I cannot help but wish though the the NZ police took rapes like this as seriously, and had specialist groups to deal with them. There is NO place in the police force for rape victims to be judged and dismissed,and there is no place for the softly softly approach the NZ police have taken with the rapists.
Whatever the outcome of all of this – I think it’s going to be a long and bumpy road. Hopefully at the end of it all, there will be change. There needs to be. The police need to start treating the victims of sexual violence as victims, and not as walking invitations, and start treating the rapists as rapists and not try and minimise their actions as “Cyberbullying” or anything else.