Tuesday 25 October 2011

Queensland Minister for Woman slams Gavin King

Queensland's Minister for Women, Karen Struthers, has again hit out at Cairns LNP candidate Gavin King, saying his victim blaming views have undermined the message of Sexual Violence Awareness Month and the Reclaim the Night.

Karen Struthers has called for all members of State Parliament to help raise awareness of sexual violence and attend their local Reclaim the Night march.

"[LNP leader] Campbell Newman has now likened himself to Gavin King, describing him as the 'Newman figure of the North. Newman and his northern counterpart are only reinforcing outdated victim blaming views that stop women reporting rape," Minister Struthers said.

She was referring to an opinion column King wrote in 2008.
  • IF a woman drinks to excess during a night out on the town, is she partly to blame for being raped or assaulted?

    As uncomfortable and difficult as this question is, the answer surely is yes.
  • If a woman is flirting or wearing a short skirt or drinking too much she never deserves or "asks" to be raped.

    But women need to ask themselves if their binge drinking behaviour puts them at risk.
    The answer is yes, it does.

    So long as young women ignore this risk, and fail to report cases of rape because they were drunk, the number of horrific sex crimes will continue unabated.
    This Friday, Reclaim the Night rallies and marches will take place across Queensland, including Brisbane, Toowoomba, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Townsville and Cairns. It is expected that hundreds will gather in Brisbane's Square for the rally at 6:30pm and march to West End.

    ''It was vital [MPs] go along to show their support, particularly male MPs as this month's campaign slogan is 'ending sexual violence against women is men's business','' Struthers said in Parliament.

    According to the Queensland Police Statistical Review, there were 5,442 sexual assault offences reported state-wide in 2009-2010.

    "It is disturbing that 80% of sexual assaults go unreported," Struthers says.

    Cairns MP Desley Boyle says as it's approaching the end of Sexual Violence Awareness Month, it's very important people take a stand against sexual violence.

    "Events such as these support women to come forward and break the silence by reporting rape," Boyle said. "The victim blaming views of the LNP's candidate for Cairns Gavin King undermined the message of Sexual Violence Awareness Month and the Reclaim the Night rallies.''


    D.J.HUNT said...

    Spot on, at no time is it acceptable to blame victims.I have had the task of dealing with multiple rape victims in my career and anyone who has seen the way it tears victims lives apart would never say such stupid things. Having also worked with those who commit these attrocities they are always looking for justification and tacit support for their crimes. Any time someone blames a victim, in the criminals mind it justifies what they did and makes it harder for victims to report such crimes.
    Any moron who says the way a woman dressed or that they had a binge drinking session is responsible for their sexual assault has clearly never spent time with a victim. Will these people stand in front of a rape victim and say "Well you know if you hadn't been drinking and wearing that short skirt this wouldn't have happened". They might get an insight into what victims go through then.
    The fact Campbell Newman would not distance himself from such obscene thinking is more concerning than the person who wrote it.
    But these comments and focus also overlook and make it even harder for gay and same sex rape victims to come forward.
    When I was a liaison officer between the Qld police and LGBTI community in Cairns I was often told how difficult it was for the LGBTI community to report sexual assaults due to, you guessed it, victim blaming. Same sex rape victims are going to feel even more intimidated if this is the type of thinking floating around Cairns.
    A party that endorses victim blaming has absolute ZERO credibility on law and order issues in this town.

    Concerned Bluewater said...

    Ohh so Struthers you think it is ok to assault people, drink drive and sign off on waterfront public housing at a cost of millions of dollars ? No it is not ok not so honorable Struthers. You and your government are a joke and need to be booted to Malaysia with the rest of your labor circus, now that's a Malaysia solution!

    Another day with the clowns , Cairns !

    KitchenSlut said...

    That's the most credible comment I have heard from DJ on any topic, as it properly puts into context why the response has been inappropriate. The appropriate response would have been to clearly recant and apologise for the offending component and acknowledge that it was wrong.

    The actual response of claiming misrepresentation and misunderstanding, while trying to offload responsibility onto some police PR release as a motivation is just more of the same kind of spin and media management most people are sick of.

    The police PR release claim also exposes the flaws in King as a pretty ordinary journalist. Given an opportunnity to contribute something he took the second rate hack approach of taking a PR release and turning into something sensational rather than informative and constructive.

    voter said...

    Well said D J Hunt and KitchenSlut.

    CBD Tarzan said...

    DJ Hunt. I agree. And K Slut has elequently put how I feel on this topic.
    All I can add is Gavin's spin doctors had better get him out kissing a truckload of babies to get the great unwashed hords to mark an X next to The Kings name.
    Not many Bluesky days till the election are there K Slut?