The NZ government literally had a cyber stalking bill about to go through parliament on the same day that this story broke
On Tuesday, a new bill was introduced to parliament which proposes a three-year prison sentence for posting material online with an “intent to cause harm” as well as other measures to stop cyber bullying.
“No longer is bullying confined to the classroom or playground — the digital age has meant tormenters can harass their target anywhere, at any time and the trails of abuse remain in cyberspace forever,” Justice Minister Judith Collins said in a statement.
“The Harmful Digital Communications Bill sends a strong message to those who continue to harass and harm others.”
Said government needs to drum up some public interest in the bill so there’s a quick dig around to find a human interest story to give the bill some relevance and ensure it sails through.
Someone knows someone whose kids know someone on Facebook involved in an online teen sex club in West Auckland, boasting about their sexploits on a Facebook page called Roast Busters (Roasting being a female having sex with more than one male at the same time). Parents have complained to police but have been told there’s nothing that can be done.
But now there’s a solution. Cue the new cyber stalking bill. it’ll sort out nasty little problems like Roast Busters. Press publishes story, PM expresses outrage, job done.
But then gnarly questions start being asked. If police knew about Roast Busters 2 years ago why wasn’t it closed down and the males prosecuted for rape ? Think fast! ..er because no-one made an official complaint. Then the news leaks out that two of the boys involved have influential dads. Accusations about police cover-ups start to fly around. No-one saw that one coming.
The alleged perps go to ground. The public sharpen up their pitchforks and female associates of the group start talking to the media (but not to the police?). They say that group sex among 13-15 year olds is gross but that’s what the kids in West Auckland are doing these days.
Meanwhile, a very necessary debate about New Zealand’s rape culture begins to grow. The story gains international attention. Teen Sex Parties, Rape Clubs, Social Media, Rape Culture: These are important issues that won’t go away until they’ve been dealt with properly.
Two radio hosts grill a female friend of one of the alleged victims, asking her deeply personal questions about her virginity and underage drinking. National outrage ensues. Victim blaming and misogynistic attitudes to rape are exposed, things get nasty. Hosts apologise if they’ve offended her. But the damage is done and the offense is out there.
Then a 15 year old victim of the group comes forward and tells TV news she made an official complaint to the police about being raped when she was 13. Her parents and family, being very supportive of her at the time, took her to the police to make a statement. But the police grilled her about her choice of clothes and the length of her skirt, she was given dolls to re-enact the sex act and the boys were interviewed. He said/she said. The case was dropped. She almost killed herself.
Police say they will now re-visit her case, an inquiry will be held into the way in which her complaint was investigated. This was the day after the police said they were unable to take action because none of the victims came forward to make an official complaint. So talk of cover-ups start again but it looks more like bad communications within the police who simply weren’t prepared for the story to break and unfold in the way it did.
- More Social Media Commentary on Roast Busters and Rape Cultures (e2nz.org)
- Top cop grilled over Roast Busters (nzherald.co.nz)
- Roast Busters: Marshall admits failings (nzherald.co.nz)
- Thousands set for ‘Roast Busters’ protests around NZ (stuff.co.nz)
- Friends of Roast Busters speak out (stuff.co.nz)
- New Zealand Teen Rape Club Is The Worst Thing You’ll Read About Today (jezebel.com)
- Thousands Protest Rape Culture In New Zealand, Saying It’s Become ‘A National Health Crisis’ (thinkprogress.org)
- Police Told New Zealand Gang Rape Victim She Was Asking For It (jezebel.com)