Rape Culture

So there has been a bit of discussion over the last few weeks about whether we have a rape culture in NZ or not.

Paula Bennett the Minister responsible for sexual violence denied rape culture in NZ

“I wouldn’t say that we’ve got a rape culture or a sexual violence culture in New Zealand. Actually most men and most women do not and would not condone any sort of behaviour like that. We have got a few people that have got disgusting and abhorrent behaviours that we need to address and stand up and say that we will take a stand on and hold them to account.”

This comment is made in the context of 1in 4 girls and 1 in 6-10 boys experiencing sexual violence in NZ and evidence of higher rates for trans* and some people with disabilities. It may be hard to believe these statistics but they are well evidenced.

I think the fact they’re so hard to believe for many New Zealanders is a result of how much silence we have around sexual violence and the ongoing victim blaming that all too often happens. Most perpetrators are known and at times even loved by the victim. It doesn’t help to paint them as disgusting and abhorrent, doing so can actually just increase shame and self blame and hopelessness. This is part of what holds the system in place.

Another thing that enables the violence to continue is our lack of a justice system. When we compare the incidence rates identified in the few prevalence studies we can see only a very few cases are reported and then there is further attrition between reporting and charging and then charging to conviction with a resulting 1 in 100 cases ending with a conviction.

Over the last few years we have continued to hear about inappropriate police and court responses to sexual violence including of course the “roastbusters” cases.

We have had decades of rigorous research telling usher to improve our justice system to improve this, yet all we’ve had in response is tinkering. This refusal to address the core barriers, his refusal to adequately fund the support services, this refusal to provide consistent political leadership is part of the problem.

9 Comments Posted

  1. Dave… you poor innocent boy! I understood immediately!


    It is perhaps more common in the USA than anywhere else, and Key may well have missed the reference entirely as a result of unfamiliarity with the slang, overfamiliarity with the slot machine problem he is creating, and faith in the writers… I’d give him benefit of doubt on that one… expect he’d be properly horrified to learn how his words were interpreted by his USian audience.

  2. Reason
    Your reasoning is a little adrift
    I was pointing to one of the simple and (in NZ) amazingly common reasons for rape in India (and Pakistan for that matter). However; as English might not (seems not to) be your native language, I guess your misconstruing my post can be excused.

  3. We don’t have a rape culture because we don’t rape like indians …. according to dave.

    glad thats all settled then …………..

  4. In what world do you live, Ms. mcKenzie, where women are referred to as “slot machines”?
    I find myself disgusted by your mind, and equally so for your lack of research on the comment.

  5. I have not forgotten the unfortunate appearance of John Key on the David Letterman show where he stated the ’10 Best reasons to come to NZ’ … Reason 2 was that ‘We have the loosest slot machines in the Pacific Rim’
    When the Leader of one’s own country refers to womanhood as ‘loose slot machines’ what sort of male attitude does this reflect? I believe the episode is still on Utube. Cheers CM

  6. To see what a true rape culture looks like, read up on India, where a girl who has extramarital sex can be gang-raped to teach her a lesson. If that was happening here, every in-married girl over the age of (for example,) 18 would be looking over her shoulder every minute she was out of home, and perhaps many while in it.

    If you disagree, then please give me a definition of “rape culture” that can be equitably applied to all.

  7. Funny that, I thought it was perfectly normal. Predators around young naïve and vulnerable girls was often the norm when I was a young girl. Men who thought it was their right to force themselves on girls. Married men were often the worse. Reminded me of watching dogs and cats going crazy when they want ‘it’. No, you did not tell anybody, it was part and parcel of NZ way of life? You didn’t make waves, you just moved on with life. Funny though, you can never forget the beasts who did. By the way, who is the MP who tried to force himself on a woman? No pressure on ‘outing’ him? Which tells me there is a culture that is definitely not nice…

  8. When All Blacks and Politicians, Policemen and Celebrities get name suppression and leniency it is no wonder people don’t trust the system.
    One law for all.

    Justice Goddard sentenced a man recently to 1.5yrs for his fourth rape.
    She explained to his 18yr old victim that this with the 8yr 4 mnths he had got the previous year for three rapes now added up to 10yrs jail (he was in jail for the previous 3 rapes!)

    I consider her sentencing and behaviour to this victim unprofessional and unacceptable.
    Rape should get a min 3-7yrs per rape, As a man I prefer they get 7 than 3yrs..
    Why didn’t this man get full sentence for his 3rd rape?
    Is Crown law, NZPolice and the Judiciary trying to end run the 3 strikes law?

    Are Green Party MP’s or members part of this?
    The case was reported on in the DOMPOST.
    I would love to overturn the sentencing and sack Justice Goddard if possible.
    But as an ordinary person I am unable to do so. Mike Mckee Seatoun.

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