She Was A Six Year Old Victim

23 Mar

‘Was it in any way your fault?’

‘You weren’t provocative?’ 

‘My god they were having a good time with you.’

These are words spoken by John Laws on his radio programme when a woman phoned in to say she had been sexually abused by male relatives when she was six years old. To call him a dinosaur, he is 77, is to insult dinosaurs. To call him ignorant when there is so much information available about this type of assault of a child is ludicrous. Therefore, he must be one or all of the following: malicious; stupid; salacious; so self-centered he can think of nothing but ‘his’ ratings and/or his pleasure. The first question I asked when I heard/read about all of this, because I do not listen to him and would not even if he was on in the State of Victoria, was: Is he a child molester?’ I cannot imagine an adult, any adult, asking these questions, especially of the victim, otherwise. Let it be known, I have no knowledge of whether he is or isn’t. 
Later, the woman was asked if she was upset by Laws’ questions and she apparently said no. I’d like to say that this is not unusual. Victims can be so defensive about being victimised that they will deny they were when they clearly are. This is partly habit developed from the initial abuse but also a form of protection and a way not to acknowledge vulnerability. I cannot know if any of these are the case for this woman because I do not know her. I do, however, know what it is to be a victim of sexual abuse by a male family member and it was not only but also at 6 years of age. I know I have often claimed not to be a victim of something someone has said or done to me as an adult but it was more about protecting me and attempting to project an image of toughness and capability which I did not feel. In the land of a victim’s psychology, this protects somewhat from those who might target you just because you are a victim. 
There was and is no sensible reason for John Laws to ask these questions of the victim, and apparently she was quite upset by the victimisation she experienced as a child. He was apparently insensitive to her distress or just did not care. I’m inclined to think the latter. It would fit my perceptions of him. He is an arrogant, self-centred man who thinks the sun shines from his own arse and believes he has golden tonsils not just in resonance but in utterance. He uses a gold microphone, real gold, for fuck sake. I find that pathetic but that’s a different issue to what I’m addressing here.
He is yet another ugly face of what is/was and fast becoming the stale ‘white bread’ of middle-class male  privilege. Many, many of these men when called out or exposed as the anachronism they have become loudly scream the words ‘bullies’ and ‘terrorists’ especially at the Fifth Estate and social media in general. They are not used to being challenged let alone ridiculed as they so deserve. 
‘Are you unattractive?’
I don’t know the context of why Laws asked this question but I deplore it and him for uttering it. What relevance does her outward appearance have to anything, then or now? None. If it demonstrates unattractiveness it is of Laws himself, and of his character. 
Laws deserves lambasting, and he deserves some form of sanction whether from his radio producers, his sponsors, by those involved in the mental health and recovery of victims of childhood sexual assault, all victims and by the general public at large. He deserves it from all those sources, in fact. In this day and age, it is unforgivable for someone in John Laws privileged position to spout such vile words at all, let alone directly at a victim. 
His comment, ‘My god they were having a good time with you,’ is the most despicable of all. No doubt, they were having a good time, sick and perverted as it was, but it can be said, unequivocally, the victim was not and has had to deal with the consequences of their ‘good time’ her entire life. That he has been  defensive about this is more evidence of the low character of the man.
I am both disgusted and furious that this happened and the very least John Laws could do would be to sincerely apologise to the woman, and any other victim who heard or learned of his comments and were injured by them. Not a Clayton’s apology, ‘If she is upset blah blah blah’ but a genuine, heartfelt apology. After all, no-one is too old to learn something new. It’s time for Laws to learn this. 
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