I’m all in favour of the Me Too movement. I think it’s about time that women stand up for themselves and demand equality. I don’t think any woman should be abused.
We need to create a world in which powerful people no longer can abuse women with impunity.
But this has to be done in the right way. Some people abuse the system. Many innocent people have been destroyed because of false accusations.
I think every person who comes forward claiming they have been abused should be taken seriously but not automatically believed. I think there is a need for the reported incidents to be fully investigated. If there is evidence of abuse then the abusers should be prosecuted.
But the people accused have rights too.
While the women (or men), who are claiming they have been abused should be taken seriously, the men (or women) who are accused should not be presumed guilty.
I believe that the balance is not right.
Accusers should not automatically be believed – taking them all seriously and investigating is one thing, believing them 100% is something else. Some people make malicious accusations for a variety of reasons.
The accused should not be thrown into the glare of publicity without substantial evidence.
All too often the aim is to put the name out into the public domain in order to flush out other people who might have been abused to substantiate the accusations. To me this is horrendous. Once the spotlight falls on someone the pressures become enormous. They are already being punished without a shred of evidence – particularly if there is a hint of paedophilia. That mud sticks! Some people never recover.
How many completely innocent people have been dragged through the courts for years? Have been put through unimaginable stress with little or no evidence that they have done anything wrong? The effect on their lives, their relationships, their partners, friends, their careers, their reputation and their financial stability is enormous.
Before somebody is put through such an horrendous ordeal there needs to be sufficient evidence to justify it.
Was there sufficient evidence to put Roy Harper, Cliff Richard, Dave Lee Travis and many others through this mill? I think not!
Yes we need to deal with the Jimmy Saville’s and Harvey Weinstein but I would much rather some of the lesser offenders went free rather than innocent people had their lives pulled apart.
A classic example is the Brett Kavanaugh business. He is an obnoxious man whose attitude to women was deplorable. He seemed to me to be someone who should never have been put forward for that role. But had he committed a crime? Could the testimony against him be substantiated? Surely we can’t convict a person based on opinion? We must surely have to have evidence.
I think the police need to investigate every single case brought forward. Historical sex cases are extremely difficult to prove. But I do not believe anybody should be taken to court without good evidence. Ideally these crimes should have been dealt with at the time when the evidence was available.
I think that what is most essential is that we create a climate where abuse is not tolerated and matters are properly dealt with as they arise. Women (or men) should not ever be subjected to abuse. Those in power should never be able to carry out their abuse with impunity.
But we must remember that those accused have rights too and there are people who make false accusations and appear credible. Those people should never be hung out to dry without good evidence.
Hopefully the times have changed for the better. Me Too needs to keep up the pressure for equality and an end to abuse. These abusers in our society can no longer get away with it. But lets get the balance right!