I haven’t really wanted to get involved in the whole debate surrounding Richard Worth. It’s horrible and messy, and makes me feel sick every time I see fuel added to the fire. It was no surprise to see the creep Cameron Slater (Whale Oil) publish her name, but it was a surprise to see the media irresponsibly follow his lead.
TVNZ used the excuse that it turned out she was a Labour Party activist. Well, it was clear from the start that she was a Labour Party member. And if the difference between member and activist was so important, is there any reason they could not have stated that apparently new revelation without actually naming her?
David Farrar claims that TV3’s decision to publish her name was due to it already being fairly obvious who she was. I would seriously dispute that, as there is a big difference between a few keen people bothering to google it, and the whole population seeing her photograph posted all over the news. Imagine how she feels about going out in public right now, wondering if people will recognise her?
I don’t really care whether the allegations are true or not, as it is not a decision to be made by either me or the media. My issue is with the process. Attacking a complainant of sexual harassment publicly has a very high likelihood of preventing future complaints of a similar nature. Like women don’t already feel scared enough coming forward about these sorts of matters – it is estimated for example, that only around 1 in 10 cases of sexual assault are reported to the police.
The complainant never wanted this to become public, hence why it was only raised in private with the Prime Minister. It was John Key who made this story public in the first place, and he is the reason why it is still playing out messily in the media. I cannot understand why he wouldn’t just meet with her as she requested. It was an understandable request, clearly she felt she would be able to best put her case in person.
I also don’t understand why her credibility is being attacked. It is clear that there have been other similar complaints about Richard Worth (like the one the police are investigating, and the other rumours it is alleged John Key had heard), and it’s not as though this complaint was raised after the complainant knew about those cases. Those attacking her seem to accept the other story out there, so what reason is there for believing she is lying, regardless of her background?
Lastly, I find assertions that the complainant having been a nominee to be candidate in the general election makes her somehow able to deal with this sort of thing ridiculous. I don’t know the complainant very well, but I have met her a couple of times. She didn’t strike me as someone overly assertive, and even I, with all the confidence in the world have had problems stopping unwanted attention from assholes in the past.