INDEPENDENT NEWS

Drug Rape Trust Appalled By Article

Published: Fri 23 Sep 2005 09:18 AM
The New Zealand Drug Rape Trust
The NZ Drug Rape Trust considers the article “Diary of a drug rapist” in the Otago University Students Association’s (OUSA) publication Critic highly offensive and lacking in any ethical stance or justification. It is irresponsible journalism at its worst. It would appear that the Critic publication team lacks an effective and informed ethical stance. This article carries no social benefit. It is inexcusable and indefensible.
We believe the University of Otago bears some responsibility for this article and its availability via their website. Furthermore, University management should have provided a more robust publication policy for the Students’ Association and guided them more effectively in the ethics of publishing.
It is no defence for the editor of Critic to justify the article on the basis of shock-tactic-journalism, nor on the basis of the difficulty of her decision to publish. Her own offence at the article should have indicated to her that the article is offensive. Defending the article as educational, informative or awareness-raising for women in danger of drug rape is fatuous, because the information presented in the article lacks both clinical clarity and positive informative power.
Articles such as this one forget that real people, both male and female, have been the victims of drug assisted rape and journalism of this type increases their suffering. Critic’s editor should be more aware that articles like this, especially in its tone and content, have the potential to re-victimise victims of drug assisted rapes. This article has the potential to do significantly more harm than good.
The New Zealand Drug Rape Trust will be laying formal complaints with the Chancellor of Otago University; the Film & Literature Classifications Office and are in discussions with legal advisors and the New Zealand Police on any other options for redress that may also be available.

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