Privacy For Rape Victims, Whether They Want it or Not

Em Carpenter

Em was one of those argumentative children who was sarcastically encouraged to become a lawyer, so she did. She is a proud life-long West Virginian, and, paradoxically, a liberal. In addition to writing about society, politics and culture, she enjoys cooking, podcasts, reading, and pretending to be a runner. She will correct your grammar. You can find her on Twitter.

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10 Responses

  1. Oscar Gordon says:

    I would hope legislators have people who try to game these things out, and perhaps they do.

    But if AUS has a legislative process anything like ours, an exception for the victims to tell their own story might have been in the original, but got amended out along the way by someone who was probably working to close loopholes (if I am being charitable).Report

  2. InMD says:

    Seems like a good way to get journalists prosecuted for reporting on matters of public interest. The law is wrong but, while understandable, so is the rationale behind it, even if there were an exception for the victim.

    The public’s right to know outweighs any private concerns. I’d hope anything remotely like this would be held unconstitutional in the US as a content based restriction.Report

    • Em Carpenter in reply to InMD says:

      Why does the public have a right to know the identity of a crime victim?
      Not withstanding open court concerns, what public good is served by this?Report

      • InMD in reply to Em Carpenter says:

        Transparency of the system is its own good. Not to mention it could be necessary for a corrective that could only be discovered through knowledge of an accuser’s identity.

        The idea that no one needs to know is based on a belief in the infallibility of witnesses, police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and even accusers themselves (really the whole system). That kind of trust isn’t founded. The ability to examine and re-examine the processes of the state is an essential safety valve and test of its legitimacy.Report

        • Em Carpenter in reply to InMD says:

          The identity is known to the court system and exists in the records. All that you cite can be accomplished without publishing the victim’s name elsewhere.
          The public gains nothing by knowing her identity except as gossip fodder.
          I’m honestly kind of disgusted at the thought.Report

          • George Turner in reply to Em Carpenter says:

            On the other hand, if rape victims couldn’t tell their own stories, as under Australian law, Epstein would still be alive, Weinstein would still be running Hollywood, and probably making Bill Cosby movies.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Em Carpenter says:

        Why does the public have a right to know the identity of a crime victim?

        Well, the Australian law confers those protections to “alleged” victims, so the prohibition applies pre-verdict.

        Do you think the alleged perpetrator should also have his/her identity protected?Report

        • Em Carpenter in reply to Stillwater says:

          The section of the statute in question, as cited, applies when “a proceeding for a sexual offence has concluded and resulted in the conviction of the accused”, so it is not relevant to this conversation.Report

  3. Em Carpenter says:

    I appreciate everyone reading and responding, but I’m bowing out of the comments section on this one, for reasons.Report