Friday 24th June was the 2nd MVC, a hybrid event was held featuring Prof Amos Guiora, author of “Armies of Enablers” and Mary Monagle. Amos was kind enough to permit questions taken on notice and we have created a digest for you to review.
Amos has invited additional questions to be emailed to him at email@example.com
In your opinion, should we put equal emphasis on changing culture, trauma informed responses and building child safety as well as legislative reform? If so, why?
Yes and the two go together……legislative reform—-while critical—-depends on concerted educational undertakings addressing issues such as culture change, child safety, and more appropriate-sensitive responses in the face of trauma. The (unfortunate) all but instinctual response to reports of sexual assault is to dismiss the accusation and thereby to denigrate the survivor. THAT is an issue that demands our fullest attention, whether amongst law enforcement, hospital staffs, or counselling services. Therefore, there is a need for a two-front approach of legislation and education; devoid of a unified effort of the two, neither can be successful. The underlying premises of accountability and transparency demand such an approach.
You spoke about enablers abandoning Survivors in favour of the Institution. This really resonated for many Survivors in the room because it seems to happen repeatedly throughout their journeys. How important is it, in your view, to reform the justice system (from police to prosecution) to be better equipped to respond to the needs of Survivors?
In many ways, this is THE core question; time after time survivors share with me the walls (plural) of institutional complicity which they are forced to confront. The realization that the institution they loved/were devoted to—and assumed that was mutual—prioritizes itself over them is devastating. This
Is true whether the institution is the Catholic Church, a university, a school, or a sports team. To change the culture of institutional complicity and an enabling culture requires holding institutional actors accountable hence the need to criminalize enablers and bystanders; absent that, there will be no change.
In Victoria we have concealment legislation that passed a couple of years ago. What options would there be for enablers to be charged under these laws?
If the reference is to this, https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/concealment then am not sure I see the connection BUT only too happy to have discussions on this if pushes the ball forward.
In the US (I don’t know about Australia), there are laws protecting whistle-blowers BUT that is insufficient as there is a need to educate the public regarding BOTH the importance and vulnerability of whistle blowers.
As an example, in the past few days I have interacted with two fathers (in USA) whose children were victims (one murdered, the other heavily drugged); their voices are particularly powerful and important in protecting whistle-blowers.
Am firm believer in bottom-up approach focusing on particular legislators in conjunction with active media campaign.
Crimes Amendment (Protection of Children) Bill 2014 https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/publications/research-papers/download/36-research-papers/13767-2014-7-crimes-amendment-protection-of-children-bill-20141
Failure to Disclose – Victorian Department of Justice: https://www.justice.vic.gov.au/safer-communities/protecting-children-and-families/failure-to-disclose-offence
Sea of Destruction: Legal and Social Forces Enabling Sexual Abuse of Children, 55 Texas Tech L.R. __ 2022 (Forthcoming), https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4044087
Failing to Protect the Vulnerable: The Dangers of Institutional Complicity and Enablers, 2022 U. Ill. L. Rev 139, 2022, https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3827517
Bystander Legislation: He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother (with Jessie Dyer), (2020). 29 Kan. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 291;https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3684902
Sexual Assault Enablers, Institutional Complicity, and the Crime of Omission, Submission to the Victorian Parliament Legislative Council Social and Legal Committee, https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3866918
Armies of Enablers, https://armiesofenablers.com/
Crime of Complicity, http://crimeofcomplicity.com
Failure to Disclose – Victorian Department of Justice (PDF)