Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Ted Heath, Jonathan King and the role of The Spectators…

An Exercise in Comprehension, for Subjects Lacking in Empathy, but Over-Equipped with Entitlement.

August 2015.

Please read the following before forming any opinion, sharing on Twitter, or other social media sites. You may now turn over your paper.

Case Study A

There are allegations against a series of people and those allegations are that they took part in illegal activities some decades ago.
The alleged crimes had victims, who are still alive today. The crimes were fraud, war crimes, embezzlement, tax avoidance, libel, property theft, and medical misconduct.
The police have announced they will be investigating these allegations and if warranted, passing on the evidence to the country’s independent judiciary system.
This is known as a formal investigation.

Case Study B

There were once allegations against a series of people and those allegations were that their personal beliefs were at odds with the prevailing state doctrine.
The alleged activities resulted in no individual victims. The crimes were socialism, communism and homosexuality.
Members of the state senate secretly investigated the allegations, or in totalitarian states, members of the armed forces or police. Executions or expulsions from society were carried out.
This is known as a witch hunt.

Case Study C

There are allegations against a former Conservative Prime Minister, who was a distinguished statesman, an exceptional yachtsman, and respected public servant.
The alleged crimes had victims, who are still alive today. The crime was sexual abuse of children.
The IPCC have announced they will be investigating these allegations and Wiltshire Police have reopened their enquiries into claims of abuse by the former Prime Minister. If warranted, they will pass on the evidence to the country’s independent judiciary system.
This is known as a formal investigation into police corruption and sexual abuse claims.

Which case does case study C most closely resemble? Extra marks are available if you can strike out the irrelevant words in C’s first paragraph.

The Spectator today published convicted child sexual offender Jonathan King to make the case for Heath not being gay; (presumably next week they will publish Max Clifford’s claim that Ted Heath wasn’t a Celebrity Publicist who drove a yellow car either, followed up by Rolf Harris’ assertion that he was crap at painting Australian landscapes. Frankly, that would be less bafflingly irrelevant.)

Having randomly* asking a convicted child sexual offender to comment on an alleged child sexual offender’s level of attraction towards him, (King presumably waived his fee in favour of six unedited paragraphs of excruciatingly pathetic self-congratulation) The Spectator then put the emphasis firmly on the, ‘shit’ in ‘shit or bust’ by allowing him to comment on the emerging and overdue culture of victim belief being a start point in sex abuse investigations – just as it is in literally every other single crime under the sun.

“That was when I became aware of the sex abuse allegations industry. I could not believe that one could be accused, arrested, charged and eventually convicted for crimes, when there was no evidence that they had ever taken place…

The sex abuse allegations industry has exploded. Whether genuine misunderstandings and adapted memories over the passage of time or a desire for sympathy and attention, cash reward, delusions or simple exaggerations, it is far preferable if the celebrity is dead or incapacitated.…

…the vast majority are clearly misunderstandings, inspired by drink or drug use or simply never going to be able to be proved.”

This is not part of a ‘sex abuse allegation industry’ as King revoltingly calls it. This is not a witch hunt. For the media to continue to draw a parallel between the alleged rape of children and the subjects of 20th Century persecutions – political beliefs and sexual preferences – reveals that for many, child sexual abuse should be considered more a private past time than a violent crime and any investigation into allegations of it be seen as a gross invasion of that privacy.

There are no such thing as Schrodinger’s crimes, as King would have us believe, where the fact that they are difficult to prove, carried out behind closed doors, in dark and in secret means they didn’t happen. Clue, Jonathan. Many crimes are committed in secret. That’s why we have people called, ‘detectives’ working in the police force. Also, living with shame, moving house endlessly to avoid attention from fans or the press, coping with emotional, physical and mental health issues over a life time is not the huge motivating factor you think it is in bringing a claim to the police. Similarly, unconsensual sex when consent is unable to be provided (such as being under the influence of drink or drugs) is rape. I know you’ve been gone a while, but the internet is now widely available.

Finally, to feel more empathy for the person being investigated, rather than potential victims shows an entrenched set of values that still centres white, middle and upper class adult males over any other set in society. And when I say, ‘centres’, I mean no one else is on the page.

This is a formal investigation into alleged crimes and corruption. This is not a witch hunt.

*We know it wasn’t random. We know the Spectator subtext here is that homosexuality is paedophilia-lite. We didn’t come down in the last shower.

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