Personal Bias

posted October 6th, 2014, 2:01 am


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November 9th, 2013, 6:33 am

GreenKrog

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No, I didn't use the word. And I won't use it till the end of the chapter. I hate that word. I try so much not to hate any more, I try to fill my life with love and hope, but sometimes hate creeps back in to me.

Look, we all know what I am talking about without me using that word. And you can all talk about it as much as you want right now, but I am not going to give an opinion on any of this until the end of the chapter (9 pages).

Though I will say, I have absolutely no idea what Dan could have discussed with Vic that this is suddenly kosher.

And wow am I cold and dizzy.

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October 6th, 2014, 9:28 am

stickygirl

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It's just a word, but everything about it makes me react strongly too. What I hate though, is when people are too embarrassed to use the word - they'll use 'assaulted' or something that avoids the truth. I know that isn't your reason here, but 'it' happens more commonly than is realised because people don't talk about it. I want to say more, but I'm getting angry already - not with you, just asdhjkl

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October 6th, 2014, 10:09 am

CuteDress&TwinPonytails

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" What, some girl accuses him and that makes him guilty ? "

* Unfortunately, an accusation against an innocent person is almost as effective as a sentence against a obviously guilty person. Such is human nature. It's the rare person that can judge another person or another event without having that kind of 'built in' prejudice influence their understanding. Annie seems to be the right kind of person, willing to forgo adverse judgement based on a mere accusation. But we all have our own
" personal bias ", as we are only human.

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October 6th, 2014, 4:35 pm

GreenKrog

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@CuteDress&TwinPonytails: Annie gets accused of a lot of stuff from people. Look at the horrible things her 'mother' has said to her, right? None of it is true, but that doesn't stop it from having that slur and hurt being thrown around.
Having it based on mere accusation doesn't mean it isn't valid. Vic comes from an affluent family, perhaps he had a good defense lawyer. On the other hand, without proof, it is just, as Annie put it, "someone accuses him and that makes him guilty". Such is the nature of why it is so hard to deal with this particular type of crime. There is a lot of issue with post-incident cognition bias as well - even if there was a real occurrence, was it really what happened? Or just how she felt happened, as a matter of regret or whatever?

Oops.. I didn't mean to talk about it, I was going to withhold till the end of the chapter. But yes, Annie reserves judgement like any rational person should.

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October 6th, 2014, 11:18 am

Siva (Guest)

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The word you all are not using is rape.

Avoiding the word doesn't do any favours, even if it upsets people.

Avoiding the word is a kind of denial; I understand that that's where some people are, and that is fine. You'll get past it when you're ready.

And in the very first comment, we see that the word angers as well. Also a valid place to be.

This pattern has been described in this comic.

But it only refers to the past, as such.

Some of us might be thinking, "What an I do to make rape less likely to happen in the future?"

That is a good question to ask yourself! And answers - even ones that don't go beyong brainstorming - are empowering. :)

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October 7th, 2014, 2:44 pm

stickygirl

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@Siva: "Might be thinking?" I think about it everyday and how to avoid it. How can I make it less likely? Avoid all men or just the rapists? Tricky to tell who they are.

Educating men would be a start - those sons, fathers and husbands. Educating and prosecuting the media for trivialising it would be good too.

If the word (was) being avoided here, it's because the word causes emotional triggering in some people - it causes them panic attacks. GK has first hand knowledge of triggering and is not the sort to suggest that those people should man-up or 'get past it', because that is victim blaming. We are well aware of what the word is and very much aware of what it means - to us - every day.

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November 13th, 2014, 6:58 pm

Siva (Guest)

I'm sorry

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@stickygirl: You're right.

I wasn't trying to be insensitive. Far from it!

The thing is, one can't control what someone else thinks, or how someone else feels. Not really.

One can only control one's own state of mind. Even when that same person's body is not under his or her personal control.

I'm not blaming the victim. I'm not even blaming the person who's still the victim, long after the situation ended. Or, I hope I'm not!

I want to encourage the victim to take back his or her life. Not today? Fine. But eventually, I hope.

edit: I re-read the above and the phrase, 'the person who's stil the victim, long after the situation ended,' drew my attention. I'm not altering it from the above, because it's a good case-in-point. One can argue, and be correct, that for those with panic attacks (and I DO have those), it's extremely difficult for a stressful situation of any sort to be 'over.' One can also argue, and be correct, that time moves forward. Part of my recovery was to focus more on the latter, less on the former, because "Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're there."

However, "It's hard to fight an enemy who has an outpost in your head." And I know this! So it's 100% my fault that my comment and my original reply in this comment were written by me while I didn't completely bear that in mind.

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October 6th, 2014, 1:17 pm

Dew (Guest)

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Rape just sounds stupid. The word itself, not the action. Thats why i dont use it. Its not worth the effort, to me, to get all huffy if someone uses it. I just really couldn't give less of a shit anymore. Lucky reaction, I guess?

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October 6th, 2014, 3:12 pm

Siva (Guest)

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@Dew: All words sound stupid, if you think about them long enough.

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October 7th, 2014, 2:45 am

mittfh

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Sexual assault (of all kinds, not just involuntary intercourse) is always going to be tricky to deal with in law, as the issues involved can be very emotive and provoke instinctive gut reactions.

On the one hand, victims are often so distressed and ashamed that they wait until well after the incident before it - in some cases days (probably washing / scrubbing themselves thoroughly afterwards - which may be of minor psychological benefit but forensically disastrous), in other cases years or decades (c.f. Operation Yewtree). It doesn't help when some police employees can be sceptical of the claims, lawyers for the defence are employed to cast as much doubt on the victim's version of events as possible - and are prone to making statements to the effect of "she was asking for it!" - e.g. wearing skimpy clothing (i.e. standard clubbing gear), drinking, chatting to the accused, accepting his invite back to her place, or even in some cases claiming "No means yes!" (it's shocking how many entries from the Dictionary of Lame Excuses not only get rolled out in courts but accepted by them), and the tabloid (sensationalist / gutter) press gleefully report on all the potential victim's misdemeanours while dismissing the potential abuser's other misdemeanours as acceptable / expected behaviour (not to mention apparently believing that once a bloke gets sexually excited it's absolutely impossible for him to think rationally and he becomes a slave to primal urges - thus placing the onus on the people he desires to stop him getting excited in the first place. [Head, meet desk. Repeatedly.])

Conversely, the huge media attention such cases generate, the lack of evidence involved, and the potential to destroy the lives and careers of the accused, can lead to the creation of false allegations by those with a grudge against the defendent (hence why in the UK, those working with children on a professional basis are advised never to be in a situation where they're alone with a child and, particularly for males, never to give children lits in their car anywhere for any reason). Even if allegations are proved malicious, the time taken to investigate can cause permanent damage to the defendent's career (being unofficially blacklisted from the profession, as even if there was no possibility whatsoever of them having done the assault, there's likely to be a substantially increased potential for future allegations - especially these days when it's easy to research someone's history).

It's a very tricky line to walk down - if the potential victim's a child, pre-trial processes in particular are likely to favour them and adopt a "guilty until proven innocent" approach (or even "guilty even after proven innocent"), as for quite sensible reasons if someone with a duty of care over children is accused of endangering them, it's prudent to remove them from their role while investigations take place. Of course, particularly in schools, even if there's a media blackout / anonymity, the grapevine quickly ensures the entire community (and leaders in the profession) know who's been removed from their role and why.

Conversely, if the potential victim's an adult, the system's likely to take the opposite approach - painting the potential abuser as angelic and the potential victim as demonic. There's a presumption of innocence on the part of the potential abuser and a presumption of guilt on the part of the potential victim.

Both approaches are misguided (to say the least), but given how emotive the cases can be, it's likely to be very tricky to remove emotions and gut reactions from the equation.

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October 7th, 2014, 2:55 am

GreenKrog

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGMi0UtvTIc

@mittfh: This is too important to pass on, I found it a few weeks ago and it sheds a lot of light on the situation.

@CuteDress&TwinPonytails: I meant to find that video earlier but I was at work and.. working, for some reason.

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October 7th, 2014, 7:54 am

stickygirl

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@mittfh: I wanted to quote some facts about false allegations but it's probably better to link to this article. Please read it because it deals with rape myths in particular
https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/lisa-longstaff/rape-victims-prosecuted-for-false-rape -allegations

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October 7th, 2014, 2:54 pm

mittfh

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@greengrog @stickygirl It's likely that the vast majority by far of sexual abuse allegations are genuine (although involuntary intercourse is the main type everyone focuses on, there are various other forms), and to a large extent the concerns children had back in the 1970s and 1980s which prevented them reporting the assaults (or being regarded as the criminal themselves - either because they were children, the behaviour was considered acceptable within the perpetrator's job type at the time or because the abuse didn't tally with the adult community's perception of them via their public persona) are still cropping up today. Even politicians (most notably in the US) are only too keen to jump on the "blame the victim" bandwagon with stupid comments such as if the victim shows any signs of pleasure whatsoever or if it results in a pregnancy it was consensual (could someone please take them to a remedial human biology class? Failing that, give them a LART [Luser Attitude Readjustment Technique - e.g. a 2x4] in the vain hope it will knock some sense into their skulls)

With allegations involving schools, the picture's more complicated. DoE research indicates around a third of allegations against teachers are substantiated, 19% unfounded (no evidence or proper basis supporting the allegation), 2% deemed malicious and the remainder classified as either unsubstantiated (not implying guilt or innocence) or unknown.

Worryingly, separate research indicates that around half the allegations of sexual abuse in schools involve other children as the perpetrators, while a different survey indicates two thirds of contact sexual abuse experienced by children was perpetrated by another child.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/183532/DFE-RR1 92.pdf
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/more-than-300-rapes-reported-in-schools-in-pa st-three-years-9686793.html
http://www.lanternproject.org.uk/statistics-on-child-sexual-abuse/

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