When all else fails, is a woman justified in naming the man who raped her?

19 Jun

 

Writer Lauren Ingram revealed on Twitter yesterday that in April 2015 she endured a violent sexual assault, allegedly perpetrated by an official of the NSW Greens.

Ms Ingram went public, including posting images of the bite marks (yes, bite marks) and bruises inflicted on her body by the assailant.

Lauren went to hospital. She went to the police, who told her the individual responsible was probably too young to know how to have sex properly, and declined to pursue the matter. After discovering she wasn’t the only woman with complaints against the alleged perpetrator, some made by young Greens members as long as six years ago and ignored by the party, Lauren approached the NSW Greens.

She had no more luck with them than she’d had with the police. The man was until recently employed by the Greens, as well as an office holder. He’s resigned his employment as he plans to go overseas.

When a woman reports a sexual assault to the police she might be lucky and get a good, well-trained officer, or she might be unlucky, as Lauren was, and find herself dealing with yet another form of assault and insult in which her complaint is dismissed and her trauma increased. This is unacceptable. Laws designed to deal with sexual assault are useless when frontline police officers do not do their job, out of ignorance, lack of interest, or lack of training. Lauren had hospital reports. She had photographic evidence of injury. The police officer couldn’t be bothered. This is unacceptable. I hope that officer is identified and subjected to disciplinary measures, because until such officers are weeded out, women are not safe when reporting crimes against us.

The NSW Greens have allegedly been aware of a rapist and sexual harasser among their number for some six years. Yet they have done nothing. They have not expelled him. They have provided him with a hunting ground for victims. They have enabled and supported his predatory behaviours. This is unacceptable. The NSW Greens have lost all credibility in their claims to support action against violence towards women. You cannot, as a political party or any other institution, protect an abuser and claim to be opposed to abuse.

The police and the Greens have done Jarah Cook no favours. In declining to pursue the complaints against him, they have denied him the opportunity to argue his innocence. In naming him, Lauren Ingram has taken matters into her own hands because every other option available failed her. As society in general appears to be more concerned with the fate of the perpetrator than the victim, let’s look at it from the alleged perpetrator’s point of view. Had he been been questioned, arrested and charged, Jarah Cook would have been given the chance to defend himself. It is not Lauren Ingram’s fault that this didn’t happen. It is the fault of the police, and the political party who gave him protection.

So, when all else fails should a woman name the man who raped her? In the case of Lauren Ingram, absolutely, yes. The idea that because a woman is blocked by police from obtaining justice she should keep her mouth shut is vile. Just what are we expected to do? Crawl away and maintain a silence that will only protect the perpetrator and the system that has failed us?

When the system fails we have the right to speak out.  Ms Ingram has most bravely taken this path, and I can only hope more women are empowered by her example.

As for the NSW Greens. All institutions are responsible for knowingly harbouring offenders. There are no innocent bystanders. They are accountable.

On June 19 2017, the Greens issued this statement. Jarah Cook’s membership was revoked in February 2017.  

Further reading 

And here

 

 

 

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29 Responses to “When all else fails, is a woman justified in naming the man who raped her?”

  1. Arthur Baker June 19, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

    Looks good to me. Same applies to any alleged offence. If the first place you go to is the cops, who are supposed to investigate it, and they refuse, who can blame you for using other channels to get action? (But some will, inevitably, blame you).

    One thing I just can’t get my head around. The cop said, allegedly “the individual responsible was probably too young to know how to have sex properly”. Huh? Wha’?

    We’ve all been in that situation in our younger day, but most of us somehow, with a bit of frustrating but ultimately harmless fumbling, eventually managed to acquire some fair-to-middling expertise without (a) biting anyone or (b) prompting an accusation of rape.

    Sorry, that one doesn’t cut it with me. If he’s old enough to go out and work for a political party, he’s old enough to treat other people with a bit of respect, and face the consequences if he doesn’t.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson June 19, 2017 at 2:52 pm #

      Agree, Arthur. There’s a big difference between inexperience and violence.

      Like

  2. samjandwich June 19, 2017 at 3:01 pm #

    I’ve just read down Lauren Ingram’s Twitter. Wow. The world’s been really nasty all this time and I’d failed to notice. Ivory towers etc etc. Thanks Jennifer.

    *Must try harder*

    Liked by 1 person

  3. townsvilleblog June 19, 2017 at 3:54 pm #

    I can understand any woman wanting to publicly name the perpetrator however there are defamation laws to consider too. This makes it very difficult for the victim of a rape to get justice. There must be a way around this, could the other ladies he has raped join in a class action to sue this monster? Rape is a serious crime and it should not have been treated so lightly by the police involved.

    This is a serious question that this lady should be asking her local State MP, surely this animal can’t just continue to rape whoever he likes and get away with it, the local State MP should be pushed to come up with an answer for the constituent, that after all, is their job, is it not?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. silkworm June 19, 2017 at 4:26 pm #

    Your statement that the Greens have done nothing with Mr Cook are at variance with the facts. Just today the co-convenor of Greens NSW, Debbie Gibson, issued a statement that Mr Cook “was formally and indefinitely suspended on 20 February 2017 and all member rights were removed.”

    https://nsw.greens.org.au/news/nsw/statement-2017

    Liked by 1 person

  5. rhyllmcmaster June 20, 2017 at 1:16 am #

    Jennifer, if the police dismissed Lauren Ingram’s complaint, that is very concerning. She should re-submit her complaint to more senior police until she gets her allegation dealt with properly.
    As for your statements critical of the Greens, they appear to be unsubstantiated. They first received a formal complaint on the 16 February 2017 and suspended Mr. Cook four days later. They are also carrying out an internal enquiry into the way the complaint was handled. They have acted in a proper manner.
    Lauren Ingram has made public allegations vilifying a private citizen, but we must consider Mr. Cook to be innocent until proven guilty, so her action is without merit.

    Like

    • Jennifer Wilson June 21, 2017 at 6:18 am #

      No, rhyllmcmaster, the Greens haven’t acted in a proper manner if the first complaints were made to them by other women six years ago.

      In fact the Greens have acts only when forced to by the matters becoming public.

      You have accused Ingram of *vilifying* and in the same sentence insisted Cook must be considered innocent. This appears to be a double standard.

      Like

      • rhyllmcmaster June 22, 2017 at 12:55 am #

        But Jennifer, we don’t know if the first complaints were ever formally made known to the Greens.

        I did not insist that Cook must be considered innocent. I simply stated the rule of law which says that an accused person must be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

        Like

        • Jennifer Wilson June 22, 2017 at 3:44 pm #

          The rule of law counts for nothing if its agents, the police, don’t abide by it.
          When this happens citizens have a right, even a duty, to speak out.
          Yes we do. Several women have confirmed that they complained to the Greens about the individual. Nothing was ever done, until matters became public.

          Like

          • Marilyn June 22, 2017 at 8:31 pm #

            But saying the Greens did nothing when it is not their job to do anything but kick him out is as absurd, the Greens cannot act as judge, jury and executioner,.

            Like

            • Jennifer Wilson June 23, 2017 at 6:32 am #

              The Greens received complaints six years ago.They left him in place, gave him a job in spite of him using their party as a hunting ground for six years. They acted only when it went public.
              Yes, they do have responsibility. They knowingly harboured a sexual predator.

              Like

      • Marilyn June 22, 2017 at 8:29 pm #

        Do we blame people in political parties who are also Catholic for all the thousands of rapes and torture by priests and school teachers and other workers?

        The man was never charged with anything, hanging him out to dry and the Greens to is as disgusting as what has happened to Assange, a case where no charges were ever laid by anyone against him but he has been arrested on a fake warrant, kept in a dungeon on remand, denied his freedom for 7 years based on fake charges.

        The law is for everyone, she should not have named him in public while he is still innocent before the law,

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson June 23, 2017 at 6:31 am #

          There’s no comparison with Assange, Marilyn.

          The law is not for everyone if police refuse to act on allegations. As I’ve said a million times, the fault here lies with the police, who denied due process & natural justice to both parties.
          I am absolutely sick to death of the woman involved being used as a scapegoat for systemic and institutional failure.

          Like

  6. samjandwich June 20, 2017 at 1:03 pm #

    Aingh! Are you moderating comments these days?

    Like

    • Jennifer Wilson June 20, 2017 at 2:18 pm #

      Well, I haven’t, but I probably should.
      I don’t like to give them the satisfaction of complaining they’ve been blocked because I’m scared of them. LOLOLOLOL

      Liked by 1 person

      • samjandwich June 20, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

        Ah goodo that’s a good strategy!

        Well here’s one I prepared earlier, which for some reason my intuition told me – correctly – mightn’t survive the transmogrifying process…/-;

        So, after thinking about it for a bit I think I’ve come to the conclusion that Lauren Ingram has done a remarkable thing… but it disappoints me a little that this is the case.

        One thing I think’s really important when assessing someone’s actions is that you need to develop an understanding of the person’s subjective, individualised perspective, not just on the issue at hand but on things generally. Though at the same time you also need to realise and/or have the humility to understand that you will never be able to understand completely what goes on inside another person’s head. I’ve known my mum for almost 40 years and she still manages to surprise me on a regular basis!

        What this boils down to is that to a certain degree you have to take it on trust that there are probably good reasons why people do the things they do, even if they seem counter-productive to you. Doubly so when the act is significant and foreseeably has major repercussions.

        I’m perfectly happy to accept that Laura Ingram publicly named the person who raped her (don’t like the term “her rapist”…) because she felt she had exhausted all the avenues available to her to pursue justice – and warn other people about this guy – any other way. This is not to say I believe objectively that there really were no other avenues, but that Laura had felt she had done enough to pursue the complaint “officially” and been met with opposition, that she had made up her mind that the various authorities were systemically incapable of meeting her needs. Oh and I’m pretty sure she was quite well aware of the risks and the interest that her tweets would elicit as well.

        Nonetheless, it’s a brave move for all sorts of reasons – and the reason it pains me to say so is that this whole situation makes it pretty clear that as a society we are still not ready to take women seriously, or respond appropriately, when someone rapes them.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson June 20, 2017 at 6:47 pm #

          I understand your observations, Sam and to some extent agree.
          However. The stand out issue here is the failure of the system to uphold the law. The failure of the police to carry out their duties has caused a situation in which nobody involved was allowed due process.
          This happens over and over and over again. It is the system and its agents that are at fault, not the individuals who have both been denied justice.

          Like

  7. doug quixote June 20, 2017 at 3:04 pm #

    Ah, yet another can of worms.

    “The sex started out as consensual. But then quickly he started to get rough. I said “ow” and he kept going. I told him to stop, please, and he held me down, bit me and hit me.”

    Those who have read the book ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ may have some inkling of the world of abusive/masochistic sex, where the episode Lauren describes would be typical enough.

    If her statement to police included the paragraph quoted above I am not surprised that the police failed to proceed to a prosecution.

    Undoubtedly Ingram feels abused, misused and badly done by. The alleged perpetrator has now also been abused and accused, defamed and badly done by. In contrast with Ms Ingram’s allegations, this defamation is all too well documented and public.

    This is a lose/lose scenario. Clearly the punishment of Cook will go on; and Ingram’s punishment of herself as a self-appointed victim will also go on.

    What’s done cannot be undone. But all those on the sidelines should back off, rather than further compound the misery.

    Like

    • Jennifer Wilson June 21, 2017 at 6:23 am #

      The book is a work of fiction, DQ. You are implying that Ms Ingram’s account is also a fiction.

      You accuse Ingram of *defaming* Cook, and describe her as a *self-appointed victim*, yet insist that Cook be considered *innocent* This makes no sense to me. There is apparently no doubt in your mind that Ingram is lying. Why would you leap to that assumption?

      Again, the central point here is that police did not follow the law. Had they done so, this matter would be where it ought to be, in the courts, and not in the media and blogs. This is not Ms Ingram’s fault. It is the fault of the police, who have denied Cook the opportunity to defend himself.

      Like

      • doug quixote June 21, 2017 at 12:53 pm #

        No, I believe her account. But she says herself that it was consensual. In those circumstances rape is notoriously difficult to prosecute. She may have a tryable case for assault and battery, but not for rape. (For the pedants, yes I know it isn’t called “rape” in the statutes, but it is a convenienty term).

        If a case cannot be successfully prosecuted, the police were right not lay charges.

        Liked by 1 person

        • helvityni June 21, 2017 at 3:14 pm #

          Seeing that she called him ‘my rapist’, I don’t see anything wrong someone calling him ‘her rapist’…

          Also if it was consensual, how can it be rape….if the cops were confused, so am I.

          Like

          • Jennifer Wilson June 21, 2017 at 3:36 pm #

            It began as consensual sex, Helvi. It then turned violent, the woman asked the man to stop, he refused. Then it ceased to be consensual.

            Like

        • Jennifer Wilson June 21, 2017 at 3:36 pm #

          No, that’s not what happens, DQ. Police interview both complainant & defendant, then send to DPP for advice on prosecution. Police in this instance did not do any of this. They simply mocked the complainant and verbally abused her.

          Sex can start out consensual. Then it can become violent, as happened in this case. The man was asked to stop. He did not. It then ceased to be consensual.

          A woman can ask for sex to stop at any point & if forced to continue, that is not consensual.

          Like

          • doug quixote June 23, 2017 at 11:15 am #

            I agree with you. However there are some difficulties with Ingram’s account.

            “I went to the police only weeks after I was raped” she says in her article which you reference above.

            What happened in the intervening weeks – did some further action or non-action by Cook make her decide that the earlier event was rape?

            There is too much missing for us to decide. But as you say, the better course would have been for the police to take evidence and then refer it to the DPP. Are we sure that did not happen?

            As I said before, a can of worms.

            Like

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