Just when we thought that there had been enough outcry over ‘talented’ rapists being let off with light sentences, and that judges will now think twice about it, a New Zealand judge does it again! An eighteen-year-old sportsman sexually assaulted a fourteen-year-old girl, and then a few months later raped another girl. Who knows how many girls in between, or since, that suffered at his hands, have chosen not to come forward?
As usual, there was no mention about how his victims’ futures have now been compromised. School girls, especially, suffer from being victim-blamed, as their youthful social structures buy into patriarchal misogyny in order to stay onside with the boys. The male perpetrators, of course, are Teflon-coated. The girls often leave school, because of the hell they get there. They leave with their futures gone awry, and their confidence crushed. No-one rallies around them in the same way as the talented rapist is supported. However, a few badly treated women and girls appear to be no more than collateral damage, when a man has success in his sights. Can’t let what is considered a bit of a bump in that road de-rail him.
Except it isn’t a bump in the road for those he has harmed. Ask anyone who has been assaulted in any way, especially sexually assaulted – man, woman, or child – and the story is always the same. It annihilates them. Sure, they may get on with life, but it’s not the life they might have had. And what does society lose out on when a person is unable to fulfill their potential? What about if a person is so destroyed, that their only way of dealing with that is to destroy back whatever they can? The perpetrator moves on, those who have been harmed don’t.
This young sportsman with a bright future got references and recommendations from those who didn’t want to see that bright future dimmed. They quite happily sacrificed the girls for him – the usual story. I would put money on it that this young sportsman goes on to further his misogynistic behaviour, after a wee cooling off period, because, in all likelihood, this behaviour is in his bones. Those who assault others just because they can, don’t usually stop without significant intervention.
The slap on the wrist the judge gave this multiple offender is an outrage. Would he have been so lenient on this promising young sportsman, if he had sexually assaulted and raped young boys?
Here’s the report from Stuff: