Thursday, 17 December 2015

New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key

We expect leadership from our politicians. On occasions we do not get it.  However, when it is the leader of a Western democracy that demonstrates appalling standards it is totally unacceptable.  New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key, has shown a disregard for the feelings of rape victims and for community standards on two occasions recently.

Last Wednesday John Key was appearing on The Rock radio station on Wednesday, 16th December 2015 when he was asked to enter a cage and pick up a bar of soap.  The caused great amusement amongst the radio station's staff. It was not even a thinly disguised reference to rape in prisons but just a stunt aimed at invoking laughter at the station.   For the victims of prison rape this is disrespectful and shows no understanding of the trauma that sexual assault can cause.

This has not been the first incident with Mr Key in relation to sexual assault and his demonstrated lack of understanding surround this issue. He silenced women members of parliament when they spoke out about their own experiences. He had the women who talked about personal experiences thrown out of parliament.  This along with the prison joke and cutting funding to rape crisis centres in New Zealand leaves  us wondering whether he needs a quick course in the effects and consequences of sexual assault.  We would be more than happy to provide this training.

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