Media add to pressure on victim of harassment

It is reported that one of the women alleging harassment by ex MP Jami-Lee Ross may be involved in a confidentiality agreement with the National Party. I don’t think we should rush to conclusions here.

But appears this is exactly what the media has done, without considering the impact on the victim of them flying into the issue without properly considering the situation and the rights and wishes of the victim.

If the party has suppressed the issue against the wishes of a victim then that deserves exposure and condemnation. But if the agreement was willingly made with the victim then what’s the problem with the agreement?

The victim Katrina Bungard has now revealed her identity. She says that she feels that the National Party did all they could to help at the time, and she has released a statement this morning saying that the media attention is making things worse.

Newsroom:  National officials must answer for Ross ‘cover-up’

Questions to be answered

Goodfellow is hardly being forthcoming about his role, saying only that “any issues that we were aware of that were raised, were dealt with at the time” – a statement that hardly seems adequate.

It is unclear exactly how much he knew about Ross’ behaviour, and whether there were any further complaints to him or officials on top of the one which led to the confidentiality agreement – facts which could offer mitigation.

But if Goodfellow wants the benefit of the doubt, he owes it to the party and the public to provide as thorough an explanation as possible without compromising the privacy of the woman involved.

Of course, Ross is the only one responsible for his actions, and the women’s testimony of being “nearly destroyed”, “intimidated, threatened and abused”, and “used” by the Botany MP speaks volumes.

But if this saga has taught us one thing, it is that operating in the shadows does little good for anyone.

Victims often do not like the glare of publicity driven by media rushing in without properly considering the victim’s rights and wishes.

The victim has reacted to media attention this morning. From RNZ:

 

 

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7 Comments

  1. NOEL

     /  October 19, 2018

    “She says that she feels that the National Party did all they could to help at the time, and she has released a statement this morning saying that the media attention is making things worse.”
    In house before or after Labour?

    Reply
  2. Ray

     /  October 19, 2018

    I read yesterday that it was considered that another of the complainants was a member of the media.
    It is highly unlikely that the identity of this woman is not common knowledge in Wellington circles but as is always the case the media have quite different rules in disclosing that sort of information, a “circling of the wagons” can be expected.

    Reply
  3. duperez

     /  October 19, 2018

    I am trying to work out why any person who had signed a confidentially agreement, who wasn’t known to have been involved in the doings and whose name was unknown to the nation would go public.

    I am surprised that someone doing so would then seemingly be taken aback by media attention and the situation being made worse for themselves.

    Rene from ‘Allo, ‘Allo! on seeing or hearing her first appearance would have shaken his head saying, “You silly, silly woman.’

    The motivation for any person in her position to want to poke the bad, bitey dog with a stick is easy to understand but what did the woman in this case want to achieve?

    It was like firing another bullet into Ross when he was already on the floor mortally wounded. A ricochet coming back to wound you is always a possibility.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  October 19, 2018

      Yes but this one is one who was bullied and threatened, not seduced and blackmailed.
      Melanie Reid said they were all not known to each other, and to fear he might exact revenge if he was exposed. This case was known about internally. There will be a hunt going on by the scandal-hungry media sharks to find out who they are. Jessica Mutch-McKay was really keen to find out the sordid details it showed in her questions outside the cop shop. Going public now, when others have, is a further layer of protection from him for this particular victim. Telling the media she doesn’t want any more intrusion is fair enuf.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  October 19, 2018

        Rene Artois said ‘You stupid woman; can you not see that…?’ as he was snogging with one of the waitresses and trying to make it out to be something else.

        This woman must be wishing that she hadn’t said anything now that the press are trying to make so much more of it than there actually was. How infuriating for her. It seems that they are trying to force her into the role of victim whether she wants it or not.

        Reply
  4. Tipene

     /  October 19, 2018

    Peter Goodfellow needs to tread very, very warily on this one – or Ross might just bring him into the fray on matters of family conduct.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  October 19, 2018

      If he went home do we even know for certain that Ross isn’t in hospital?

      Reply

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