Isn’t it time Trial by Media stopped?

In yesterday’s Age News, I see the ongoing saga of Christian Porter’s allegations  has risen again!  Did he or did he not rape a 16-year-old girl 33 years ago?

The Age reads:

“Police take formal statement from former boyfriend of Porter rape accuser …

NSW Police investigators have taken a formal statement from a former boyfriend of the woman who accused federal cabinet minister Christian Porter of rape”.

Updated April 8, 2021 — 5.24pm, first published at 3.46pm

Christian Porter has emphatically denied these allegations and still does. The police have also said and say again that they consider there is insufficient evidence to make charges, even with this additional witness’s ‘say so evidence’.

This should be the end of it! 

I am not presenting a defence by any means for Christian or anybody else, or making excuses. What I am saying, is that there is a lot more to consider than did he or didn’t he.

There is simply not enough evidence, actually there is no substantial evidence at all. The alleged rape victim, the accuser decided not to go ahead with the accusations and then committed suicide the very next day.

One could say she was traumatised by the whole situation, reliving it again; having raised the memories again after 33 years. Or, on the other hand she could have been fabricating certain situations and decided it all got too big for her.

The thing is we will never know what is true because the accuser is no longer with us and she was the star witness.

So what gives the Media the right to put anyone on trial over it; smear people’s good name and ruin their lives? 

We need to acknowledge it’s never about one person, there are always families involved who have to suffer these trials by media too. And in this case the Australian Government. It is very good to expose a crime if the evidence is there, but in this case it isn’t.

One wonders then, if this is not just about the politics and not really much to do with the alleged crime. And to be fair, It even has the smell of witch hunting.

Far too often we see the media grab hold of suspicions and allegations and turn them into character assassinations before the truth has been sort. 

In Australian Law we are deemed innocent until proven guilty. However the media has a way of publicising information without qualifying the facts, raising questions in the minds of the public that have been based on hearsay, and probably swayed by their own personal experiences in life. Before you know it the person is definitely guilty in their mind, not based on any facts they know of, but rather a feeling, or an ‘inner knowledge of the truth’.

This article is not about whether we think Christian Porter is innocent or not. We honestly do not know, and like everyone else are not privy to the facts that could give a clear outcome one way or another.

I am using Christian Porter’s situation to declare that the Media is overstepping their professional position, which is supposed to be reporting the true facts.

 Let’s look at this situation and put it in perspective with what we do know.

Christian Porter was 17 years old when he met his accuser who was 16 at the time. This meeting took place in NSW in 1988. They were both under age or minors, but over the age of consent in that state. Therefore simply having sex IF THEY DID, cannot be considered rape. So then we have the question, if they did was it consensual?  That is tricky because it is often not just, “yes or no you can have sex with me”. Many a time it can be a passionate encounter that just happens. Whether or not a person is ok in there mind about a sexual encounter, can be unclear. They could appear to endorse the act by not clearly objecting, allowing their partner not to detect a negative reaction.

Therefore in cases such as this one and the many others like it (that lack true witnesses), there should be evidence to back up the accusations, and there is not. Only hear say of something that happened 33 years ago, not evidence. And the accuser had been obviously not mentally in the right frame of mind as she took her own life, rather than go forward with her accusations. This is very sad and obviously her family are hurting. However this does not justify or give anyone the right to put Christian Porter or anyone else in similar situations up for a trial by Media.

When are we going to stop being part of the problem by gossiping about this kind of defamatory rhetoric, and start being part of the solution by objecting to Media hype, and call for legislation that restricts the Media from printing unproven injurious articles?

Written by Yvonne Gentle

Read in the Age news release (link below) the article referred to in the above text. Please note that the accuser is repeatedly referred to as the victim when actually no rape has been proven. 

https://apple.news/AdPLDy1AQSy2wfh9LTydHLw

Posted on April 9, 2021 in Uncategorized

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