Sexual Predators and Their Accusers

In light of the recent spate of allegations of sexual harassment, it appears our justice system is not offering avenues of support and resolution to either the accusers, or the accused. It’s appalling to read that many women feel they hit a brick wall when complaining about behaviour.

We are also witnessing what may prove to be appalling cases of wrongly accused people loosing reputations and careers without any recourse to the justice system or the right to a presumption of innocence, waking to find themselves named and shamed on the front pages of newspapers across the country. In the case of Geoffrey Rush, a journalist went trawling to try and find any gossip about any actor.

I suggest that governments in Australia move as soon as possible to make any complaint of sexual harassment immediately reportable to a specially established court by an employer and the accused, with substantial fines for non reporting.

Such a court would be bound by absolute privacy, as would all parties. The parties would be required to attend and the magistrate (s) – a panel of three might be the way to go – would then determine whether there was enough evidence to dismiss the complaint, warrant a trial, or perhaps mediate a mutually agreeable settlement.

If a trial was established as necessary, at that point and only at that point, would the names of the parties involved be made public, any prior publication by the media, or on social media would also incur substantial penalties.

As a society, we cannot allow situations to develop where predators can act without consequence as a result of power or position, nor can we allow the destruction of peoples reputations, careers and lives on unproven hearsay.
Greg Ross

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