Crime

Does Julian Assange subscribe to a rape culture?

The Standard and other various left wing people out there have been attacking the government and Murray McCully in particular over an alleged “rape Culture” in New Zealand and protecting the rights of victims to speak out about the “crimes” that were visited upon them.

It’s funny you know, because when you do a bit of research around this issue you find all sorts of interesting contradictions.

Take the case of Julian Assange…superficially it is similar to the Malaysian diplomat case. Assange is charged with actual rape, where as the Malaysian diplomat is charged with intent to rape. Assange’s charges are much more severe. Both are being sought for extradition to the country where the alleged crimes occurred. One used diplomatic protection to run, the other just ran and is hiding in another country’s embassy to avoid facing his accusers in court.

Now this is where it gets different. In New Zealand a foreigner appears to have picked up a “rape culture”…where as Julian Assange is portrayed as the victim of a vendetta and trumped up charges.

Lynn Prentice was particularly vociferous over the Assange case.

You will be interested to see the scorn with which Lprent – and other commenters – pour on the alleged victim – and the stern defence of where the burden of proof lies.

standard1 Read more »

Protect that Child and ignore the wombles

The Sensible Sentencing Trust has launched a campaign about name suppression and flown Derryn Hinch over to speak about the travesty that is name suppression.

I may have been convicted and in the process changed the law, but the law changed put through by Simon Power were small and more interested in stopping people like me rather than actually tightening up on suppression orders.

Derryn Hinch has gone to jail for opposing suppression orders.

Derryn Hinch wants to be able to turn on his mobile phone and see the names of all sex offenders in the neighbourhood.

The outspoken Taranaki-born broadcaster, who now leads a campaign for a public sex offenders register in Australia, has come home to launch a pre-election campaign by the Sensible Sentencing Trust to get a similar register in New Zealand.

He will take part in a trust-organised debate tomorrow against liberals Dr Gwenda Willis and Kim Workman.

Kim Workman is one of those wombles who means well but is a hopeless crim hugger that the media uses all the time to promote their crim hugging stance.

Stephen Franks gives him a right good ticking off in his latest blog post.

On Sunday afternoon I’ll be in Auckland to chair a public discussion of  the secrecy that justice insiders defend so tenaciously. Derryn Hinch is the main speaker. He’s endured prison to stand up for open courts and freedom of speech.

Doing my homework, I’ve been reminded of the intellectual blindness engendered by the beliefs of well meaning people.  Kim Workman is a good man. He writes thoughtfully on his blog “Smart on Crime”. The post prompted by the absurd discharge of the Maori prince is worth reading by anyone who needs to understand the criminal justice establishment. They need to feel morally superior (compassion is their claim) over the rest of us, but they acknowledge the need also for research on their side.

So how do they end up so far from reality? This well written piece shows us. The reasoning is respectable so far as it goes, but it stops well before it gets anywhere near the main issues. It misses the same point as is missed by the justice insiders generally.

It measures everything according to its potential to redeem the offender. Redemption is worth trying if it does not prejudice more necessary purposes. But the fate of particular offenders is trivial, when the proper measure of a justice system, indeed any social mechanism for inculcating and upholding norm observance, is the extent of offending overall. Recidivism rates may affect offending rates, but they are much less important than rates of recruitment to offending.

Most serial offenders and hardened criminals will never be redeemed. I’d like to see Kim Workman offer to take in some of these scum into his own home if he thinks they can be redeemed.

I suspect he’d baulk at that suggestion.

Almost all cultures rely heavily on reputation mechanisms to discourage the establishment of such patterns. They commonly involve exacting a price over the long term from individuals, their families, and communities that harbour them. They also commonly provide well recognised paths to discharge the shame burden, to demonstrate remorse. As Kim Workman acknowledges, Maori norm enforcement relied heavily on whakaama – shame. What he does not go on to acknowledge was the extent to which shame mechanisms need practical impacts and ‘stigmatization’. They depend on tangible consequences to shameful behaviour. Whakaama (shame) becomes irrelevant and toothless when it is separated from the consequences, when the forgiveness carrots are poured out in sackloads without any sticks of  ritual humiliation, group responsibility and formulaic depredaton (muru and utu)..

But well meaning ‘sickly white liberals’ (in Winston Peters’ memorable words) have gutted our law of its links with reputation sanctions. They’ve left the law struggling ineffectually to rely on formal punishments alone.

So Mr Workman, when you deplore the powerful trend toward more severity in punishments, when you rail against the lack of recognition of the truth that speed and certainty of consequence are much more important than severity in deterrence, take a look at your own responsibility. You’ve helped eliminate from our law the most powerful and speedy social sanctions of all at the critical time (in application to young people).

Rethinking Justice applauds the secrecy of our youth courts. You defend our disgraceful name suppression law. You supported the Clean Slate law. And in your blog you whine about the ordinary peoples’ rejection of the expert demand that criminal justice policy be left to experts. You exemplify the establishment’s comprehensive rejection of the reputation based natural social sanctions.

You genuinely believe you have research and reason on your side, but it is fatally limited. Your post on Paki takes the shame analysis no further than the effect of shame on rehabilitation prospects. Shame may inhibit rehabilitation for offenders outside a community with high social cohesion (i.e. where the social sanctions are presumably severe, and scope for collective redemptive support). But where is the consciousness of its importance to offending rates?

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So what is this Rape culture that you speak of?

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Rape culture is a term that was coined by feminists in the United States in the 1970’s. It was designed to show the ways in which society blamed victims of sexual assault and normalized male sexual violence.

I do not believe that NZ has a culture where women get blamed for rape. Not at all. Blaming women for men’s actions is typical of backward Patriarchal countries where women have little power and are forced to dress modestly least they cause men to lose control. India has been in the news lately a lot for that kind of thing. Simply being a woman on a bus without your male relatives to protect you appears to be justification enough for a gang rape over there. Now that is a rape culture!

Is male sexual violence normalised in New Zealand? No it isn’t. No one considers it normal to beat their wife or girlfriend in New Zealand. Yes some do but mainstream New Zealand does not have that view that it is ok or normal, not at all. To not only beat but to also rape, only hard core Gang members or sick Men from Patriarchal countries would ever dare to express the view that that was acceptable.

Emilie Buchwald, author of Transforming a Rape Culture, describes that when society normalizes sexualized violence, it accepts and creates rape culture. In her book she defines rape culture as…..

a complex set of beliefs that encourage male sexual aggression and supports violence against women. It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent. In a rape culture, women perceive a continuum of threatened violence that ranges from sexual remarks to sexual touching to rape itself. A rape culture condones physical and emotional terrorism against women as the norm . . . In a rape culture both men and women assume that sexual violence is a fact of life, inevitable

Violence sexy? Violence in action movies and online games is directed towards combatants in battle scenarios. Apart from a few exceptions like the car racing game where hookers and drugs were part of the game, violence is depicted in battle against combatants not against women. In films, sex is certainly way more explicit than it used to be. However romance is still popular and I cannot imagine any sex symbol lasting long in the industry if he played a character in a love story who raped or beat his love interest. No one in NZ would find that sexy. They would find it disgusting. Most women in NZ expect respect and love, not violence and the majority of Men in NZ want the same in return.

The website Force: Upsetting the Rape Culture explains how rape culture is the images, language, laws and other everyday phenomena that we see and hear everyday that validate and perpetuate rape.

Rape culture includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, legal jargon, laws, words and imagery, that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable.

– www.wavaw.ca

When was the last time you heard a rape joke? If you are like me it would be never. When people have made rape jokes in America they get attacked on Twitter, on Facebook and in the Media. We have a very politically correct culture in NZ and it is hardly a breeding ground to allow rape jokes, images of rape, or laws that make it easy for a rapist to get off.

Yes, rape happens in New Zealand. Yes, we do have nasty examples of masculinity like the so called Roast Busters. What we do not have is a culture of rape. At least not by the definitions quoted above.

The backdown has started, Andrew Little was just thinking out loud apparently

The other day Andrew Little said that Labour had a new policy where they wanted to shift the burden of proof in rape cases from the prosecution to the defence.

Essentially Labour thinks that someone charged with rape should have to prove consent.

Predictably, after copping a flogging online and on talkback for the last few days, they are now in full reverse ferret mode.

A case of Andrew Little thinking out loud.

Labour’s downplaying its justice spokesman’s proposal to shift the burden of proof in rape cases.

The party wants the Law Commission to consider a shift to an inquisitorial system – to make courtrooms less combative for alleged victims of sexual assault.

Mr Little’s suggested the defence should have to show there was consent, to prove the accused’s innocence.     Read more »

Public Transport Helps to Facilitate Crime in Auckland?

It seems that public transport is helping to facilitate crime in Auckland.

Despite the ongoing bad publicity surrounding Auckland’s public transport system (and rail in particular) it appears some people are finding it to be an effective and efficient way of traveling around and are making the most of it.

I refer to the attached article excerpt from the July issue of the Onehunga Community News.

The Police certainly seem to think public transport is enabling crims….from South Auckland no less.  Read more »

One job a senior Nat official need not apply for

Judith Collins and Anne Tolley have announced the position of Chief Victims Advisor to advise on the needs and views of victims of crime, including domestic violence victims.

A cross-government approach to prevent family violence proposes new Justice sector initiatives to keep women and children safe, Justice Minister Judith Collins and Police and Corrections Minister Anne Tolley announced today.

“The high rate of family violence in New Zealand is unacceptable – too many domestic violence victims continue to be re-victimised even when a protection order is in place,” Ms Collins says.

“This Government is committed to do more to end family violence. That’s why we’re proposing a suite of initiatives to increase the safety of family violence victims, reduce the risk that they will be re-victimised and make services more responsive to victims’ individual needs.”

The Justice sector’s stronger response to family violence links with Associate Minister for Social Development Tariana Turia’s work to promote community wide rejection of family violence. Together with the Government’s focus on vulnerable children, it will help future generations of children to grow up without family violence.    Read more »

Anti-corruption laws a good start but missing important component

Judith Collins has introduced anti-corruption measures in a new law brought before the parliament.

unfortunately it doesn’t include provisions for the creation of an Independent Commission Against Corruption, something sorely needed with electoral act breaches going uninvestigated by police, mis declared donations and pecuniary interests and the like.

I think the law could be strengthened by putting such a provision in and perhaps they could get a good judge like Judge Tony Adeane to handle it.

Justice Minister Judith Collins has unveiled a range of law changes to crack down on corruption, organised crime and bribery in New Zealand.

The minister tabled the Organised Crime and Anti-corruption Legislation Bill in Parliament this afternoon.

It includes requirements for banks to report international transactions, new identity theft offences, and harsher penalties for private sector bribery and corruption offences.

Mrs Collins said the changes would give law enforcement agencies more power to deal with organised crime and corruption, and would help New Zealand fulfil its international obligations.

“New Zealand is consistently regarded as one of the least corrupt countries in the world. However we cannot afford to be complacent — we must remain vigilant,” she said.

If the bill passed into law, banks and financial institutions would have to help Government detect money-laundering by reporting all international wire transfers of more than $1000 and all physical cash transactions of more than $10,000 to the police’s Financial Intelligence Unit.

Maybe they could help Labour find out who trousers the cash from Donghua Liu and other donors?  Read more »

Do what he wants, deport the scumbag, now

NZ so thick they haven’t deported someone who wants to be.

Send the ratbag home.

A Somalian-born man who sexually violated a sleeping woman during a home invasion says he is desperate to be deported back to his homeland.

Mohammed Abdiwali, 23, who last month pleaded guilty to one charge each of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection and burglary, has been jailed for five years nine months, with a non-parole period of two years and 10 months.

Abdiwali, who was sentenced in Tauranga District Court today, committed the crimes in Te Puke in the early hours of April 11 – amid a delusional belief that if he committed a serious crime such as rape or murder then the Immigration Service would automatically deport him.   Read more »

Bloomberg’s astroturf counter to the 5 million member NRA lies about shootings

Michael Bloomberg’s astroturf organisation, Everytown,  set up to counter the 5 million member NRA has been busted telling whopper sized lies about school shootings. The anti-gun group created a list of 74 supposed school shootings in the last 18 months and pimped it to a compliant media who spread the message. The problem is, only 15 are actually are what most people would call “school shootings”. The rest are a collection of suicides, gang activity or domestic incidents.

After the failure of his Mayors Against Illegal Guns group to sway public opinion in favor of more gun control, Michael Bloomberg announced earlier this year that he would be funneling at least $50 million to a new, “grassroots” organization now called Everytown For Gun Safety with the hope of “outmuscling” that scourge of civilized society, the National Rifle Association, and their ill-begotten political influence (because of, you know, their five million official members and millions more sympathizers). In what is only Everytown’s latestdisplay of choosing deliberate exaggerations, lies, and scare tactics over honest conversation, the group recently updated their running list claiming that there have now been at least 74 school shootings just since the massacre at Newtown in December of 2012, which a HuffPo editor then helpfully mapped out:

 

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When the system fails people get hurt

Summary from Internal Police memo

Summary from Internal Police memo

Last night TVNZ lead with a story about a Tauranga case where the Crown Solicitor opted for cost saving over public safety and basically let a rapist walk who (quite predictably) has now raped again.

The organisation charged with prosecuting criminals has been accused of allowing a violent offender to attack again.

Neihana Rangitonga has admitted kidnapping a woman for sex and threatening to kill her.

Now another woman who alleges she was an earlier victim says the handling of her case by Crown prosecutors meant another woman was attacked.

For nearly four years, the woman who claims she was an earlier victim has been monitoring news reports about sex attacks, wondering if the man she says attacked her had struck again.

“Anytime something happens in the news, I think about it, that memory,” she told ONE News.

Then last month, Rangitonga was arrested for abducting a 21-year-old student for sex and threatening to kill her.

He has pleaded guilty to picking her up from a Mount Maunganui Burger King drive through in the early hours of May 10 and trying to force her into sex.

The terrified woman managed to jump from his car and raise the alarm.

“If anyone didn’t believe me at the police station, I thought if they don’t believe me now they’ll know,” says the woman who alleges she was an earlier victim.

Four years earlier, Rangitonga was arrested and charged with raping and wounding this woman, who can’t be identified for legal reasons.

The pair met on a bus and she agreed to go to a park with him to take drugs.   Read more »