I believe in freedom of information, and I believe that everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence.
That is the preface to a brief rant I am about to share about the whole wikileaks palaver.
I blame the new morning presenter on 702, who keeps alluding his opinion that Julian Assange is innocent of whatever he is being accused of in Sweden. Even though he hasn’t been accused of anything. So, yes, it isn’t fair to comment on a case until both sides have been revealed, and even then, it is possible for the truth to still be elusive – but still, you need both sides of a story to form an opinion. And the only people that have been talking publicly (that I have heard) in Australia, have been lawyers for Assange, who vociferously state that the sex was consensual, and therefore extrapolate that there can be no case to answer.
But think for a minute about consent. Just because you agree to have sex with someone with a condom, does that mean you also agree to have sex without a condom?
If you agree to sex at 1am while you are awake, does that imply consent at 5am while you are asleep?
I don’t presume to know the facts of this case, but I do think that the women making the complaint against Assange deserve the same presumption of innocence that he seems to be getting in the Australian media.
And every time you say that a rape charge “can’t be proven”, or it’s just “he said, she said”, you’re telling another victim of rape that it isn’t a good idea to report a rape. You’re telling women that the rights of a man to have sex are more important than the rights of a woman to say no.
Is that the message you want to give your daughter? Your sister? Your self?
It’s been said far more eloquently elsewhere, for example – here.