Faulty Assumptions Behind New Zealand’s Sexual Violence Bill, Professor Writes

Article here. Excerpt:

'It’s a claim that’s made all over the world; that just a small percentage of “perpetrators” are convicted for sexual crimes, the assumption being that society undervalues rape victims.

But Professor Felicity Goodyear-Smith, a medical doctor and faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland, says repeating the statistic – in New Zealand, allegedly only 11% of “perpetrators” are punished for their crimes – assumes that all allegations are true and able to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, which they are not. In a post on New Zealand’s The Daily Blog, Goodyear-Smith dismantles the statistics being used to push a sexual violence bill. The statistics, she says, are mainly based on a 2019 Justice Ministry “Attrition and Progression Report.” She wrote:

This report says that only 11% of “perpetrators” who are reported to the Police by “victims” are convicted, but is based on the erroneous assumption that all allegations are valid. Figures for these “victimisations” include all cases in which the police were unable to act (for example no perpetrator was identified or insufficient evidence to prosecute), but absurdly also those which the police deemed actually “not to be a crime” and those where the accuser recanted. Even verdicts of not guilty are included, where juries had actually found police allegations to be unsubstantiated. The report therefore flies in the face of the presumption of innocence (a basic tenet of justice), not to mention good science.'

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