Rugby rapists and other sexual offenders
Posted by Cate on May 12, 2009
I’m sure I was the only one sickened when I watched Four Corner’s report into sexual violence against women by players and coaches in National Rugby League. I won’t detail the specific offences, I was distressed enough watching the program to be completely frank, as a victim of sexual violence myself. But I would encourage all Dawn Chorus readers to watch the program on the Four Corners website. I’m struggling to write anything at all, as the images of the program play out in my head. I hope our readers will be kind towards my disjointed thoughts. I will hopefully add some more cohesive updates.
A few points that I’ve been thinking about…
I find the notion of group sex as an acceptable ‘bonding experience amongst men’ quite bizarre and can see it as little more than exerting physical power against women. Is this practiced (anecdotally or otherwise) amongst other groups of men in society? Surely the watchers of such acts are as implicated as the direct perpertraitors. The notion of consent in such an environment is surely, laughable.
What is the real impact of an apology? Apologising for embarrassing one’s wife is not the same as apologising for destroying the emotional psyche of another human being. An apology cannot be equated with restitution.
Many of these events were looked at by police many years ago and no charges were laid. How many more women will come forward, preferring the media as their vehicle for justice over the judicial?-
What role did women play? A woman was interviewed who was effectively a match maker between players and fans. She viewed a video of sexual violence (filmed on someone’s phone) yet continued such matchmaking.
I was pleased to see training for rugby players about consent and sexual violence but despair that such training is necessary at all. Such ‘education programs’ further perpetrait the notion that acts of sexual violence can be attributed to a lack of knowledge or willful ignorance of what constitutes sexual assault or consent. Surely respect for women at a deep internal level is not something which can be taught. Further, I shudder to think how one tabulates whether such programs reduce the instances of sexual assault against women.
The article is noticeably absent on the front page of the Herald Sun website