Madison

This year I attended a discussion group in Wellington about rape culture. One of the speakers, a lawyer, recounted a conversation she had had with one of her female friend who is a judge in New Zealand. The judge had resided over rape cases that had made it to court in the past. Based on this experience the judge said that if anyone ever told her that they had been raped or sexually assaulted she would tell them not to go to the police. It made me feel sick to know that an influential member of the legal community in New Zealand felt this way. That she felt the best way to protect victims of rape was to turn them away from a body that is supposed to respect victims and bring them justice. The treatment of survivors in the New Zealand legal justice system is so traumatic, and the conviction rate so low, that the cons far outweigh the pros. And that is not how it should be.

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