Tilting laws to advance the feminist agenda

The icy grip of feminism on our key institutions has been exposed in a series of alarming stories emerging over the last month. Last week the Daily Telegraph announced UTS in Sydney has introduced special committees to judge other students accused of sexual assault or harassment. These extra-judicial panels comprising students and some staff members will examine evidence, conduct interrogations and recommend punishments – expulsion from the university or withholding of degrees. The university has caved in to feminist demands and is foolishly blundering into legal territory potentially undermining proper process in what could be serious criminal matters.

For the past eight months I’ve been supporting a young PhD student at Adelaide university who was pursued by a similar committee following an accusation of sexual assault from another student. The Adelaide committee didn’t include students but rather ‘student affairs officers’ who handled proceedings in a totally unprofessional manner. The result was a Kafkaesque nightmare with the committee trying to persuade the student to attend meetings, despite giving no detail of the actual accusations. I found a criminal barrister to advise the student on how to handle their ham-fisted efforts to force him to comply – scary times indeed for the young man because the committee had the power to recommend his PhD be withheld. The university ended up dropping the case and backtracking madly when they realised the committee was at risk of denying basic legal rights to the male student.

None of this should come as a surprise, even though you may have thought the campus feminists would have given up after last year’s fake rape crisis proved such a fizzer. They’d persuaded the Human Rights Commission to spend a million dollars trying to prove there was a rape crisis on our campuses and all they came up with was some unwanted staring. Despite this setback they are still pushing to persuade universities to take over the investigation of sexual assault cases simply because they believe our criminal system doesn’t convict enough date rape cases. Juries won’t convict where there isn’t sufficient evidence to determine whom to believe in a ‘he said, she said’ scenario. Hence the push from these gender warriors to encourage universities to break down traditional protections for the accused such as access to all relevant evidence.

We’ve seen where this leads in US universities where Trump is winding back the college tribunal system; with universities facing massive legal costs from falsely accused students and their families. Just this month 130 leading law professors and legal experts signed an open letter condemning the use of investigative ‘victim-centred’ practices subverting the objective collection and presentation of evidence in such sexual assault cases, particularly on campuses.

Shocking evidence has emerged of a report, funded by the US Department of Justice and produced by a group called ‘End Violence Against Women’, which calls on police investigations and personnel conducting investigations to ‘work for a successful prosecution’ – meaning, obtain a conviction by using a number of unethical strategies. These include: making the complainant ‘appear more innocent’; ‘not writing a detailed report’ to minimise the possibility of inconsistent or conflicting accounts; and writing the report in such a way that the incident does ‘not look like a consensual sexual experience’. The influence of this group’s ‘Start by Believing’ campaign underpins many of the miscarriages of justice cases now rebounding on the universities.

Meanwhile Britain has been rocked by the collapse of a series of rape trials due to deliberate withholding of key evidence by prosecutors. Alison Saunders, the former Director of Public Prosecutions, has recently stepped down; all current rape and serious sexual assault cases are currently being reviewed; and Metropolitan Police are now ditching the practice of ‘believing all victims’, according to the Times.

The BBC reported that over the past two years there’s been a 70 per cent increase in the number of prosecutions in England and Wales that had collapsed because of a failure by police or prosecutors to disclose evidence. Last year, 916 people had charges dropped over a failure to disclose evidence – up from 537 in 2014-15.

The most notorious example involved the trial of Liam Allan, who faced 12 counts of rape and sexual assault. Allan’s trial was halted and charges dropped when it emerged evidence on a computer disc – which police had looked through – showed messages from the alleged victim pestering him for ‘casual sex’. Feminists have long argued that such social media messages should be withheld from rape trials – evidence which often helps the accused. Clearly Britain’s public prosecutors have been doing just that.

But tilting of the law in rape cases is only part of the story. In Perth a few weeks ago, an experienced relationship counsellor was fired from Relationships Australia for posting on his Facebook page my article ‘Silent Victims’ (published in the Weekend Australian) giving the true facts about domestic violence. Here is a government-funded counselling body which proudly proclaims their domestic violence policies are based on a ‘feminist analysis of gender power relations’ – an analysis which denies women’s role in family violence and paints men as the only real perpetrators. Somehow the managers of this notoriously male-hostile organisation felt entitled to summarily dismiss this respected counsellor for exposing his own experience with both violent men and women in his counselling practice.

Relationships Australia now faces an unfair dismissal case which will highlight efforts being made by many organisations to silence those who publicly challenge the feminist dogma they are promoting. That will be just the start of a major campaign, including crowd-funding, to pay the young man’s legal fees but also to expose the scandalous fact that such government-funded bodies feel entitled to promote dangerous ideology rather than properly address the real causes of domestic violence and provide help to all its victims. As I point out in my article, most children growing up in violent homes are cowering not just from fathers but often mothers as well. We are failing these children by allowing feminist ideology to warp proper debate on this issue.

Source: first published in The Spectator

Edit: I’m finding it very discouraging that after organising a lot of publicity about what has happened to this young man – national television, a couple of radio and newspaper stories – the video interview with him only attracted about 3,000 viewings. Let’s face it – no one cares about what happens to men. Why is it that the many thousands of Australian readers of this site can’t be bothered spreading the word about this scary development – the fact that our universities are following down the dangerous US path and are taking on the role of investigating rape cases? This should be big news and all men should get on board in spreading the message that this is happening. YouTube has done its best to bury the video but it has been still able to be accessed through the direct link shown above. Yet hardly anyone bothers. Why is that? – Bettina Arndt

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