A “badge” of shame” has been created for women who have been accused of sexually assaulting a man.
Key points:Women can be branded a “predator” and their behaviour will “get a bad name” if they are identified in the mediaA number of women have spoken out against the systemA group of former judges has also been involvedThe Women’s Legal Service (WLS) is working to reform the systemThe organisation said the creation of the badge of shame is the latest in a series of steps it is taking to ensure women are not stigmatised and their behaviours will “gets a bad label” if their names are made public.”
Women are not expected to be silent in this way, but they are expected to report the crime, be seen as the perpetrator, and they have a right to a fair trial,” WLS chief executive, Rachel O’Neill, said.”
If they don’t report it, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a problem, but the problem is that we’re not talking about it.
“We are going to create this badge of silence, because if a woman does something wrong, that means she’s a predator.”
Ms O’Connor said the badge was intended to help women identify themselves and to raise awareness about the problem.
“The idea is that if we know that we are a victim, then we’re going to go public with that information,” she said.
Ms O, who is also the executive director of the Women’s Law Centre, said the issue had been around for decades and she hoped the new badge would help raise awareness of the problem among victims.
“It’s about getting a fair and accurate representation of the women who are victims of domestic violence and sexual violence,” she explained.
“That’s a real concern for victims, it’s about their identity, it really is about their dignity, and it’s also about their mental health.”
Ms Wlesons husband, Peter, was also a judge on the Victorian Supreme Court.
“I think that’s where the badge is really important, and how we do that is by being aware of the situation,” she added.
“What happens to victims of this sort of behaviour?
How do they respond to this?
And how do they make a recovery?
And I think it’s something that needs to be considered for the public to see.”
Ms McEwan said she had no problem with the badge, but said she was disappointed the process was not more transparent.
“There are other ways to get this badge, like having a website, or a petition, or whatever else that would make it more accessible and more transparent,” she told the ABC.
“But I think we need to get the facts out there first and then people should be able to make their own decisions on what they want to believe.”