Over the years many of us have come into contact with media coverage highlighting a perpetrator of sexual assault or abuse who appears to be entitled. By privilege we mean “a right or immunity granted as an advantage or favor especially to some and not others”. The groups in this case are the rich and/or famous and the benefits are defined simply as avoiding the consequences distributed to the average citizen by the judicial system.
Some famous cases include Bill Clinton, William Kennedy Smith, Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya, Kobe Bryant, and the Archdiocese of Boston. The list goes on and on. Why should someone with power and status in society get a free walk? Some people may be thinking that some of these people were proven innocent. While we were not there to find out exactly what happened, we can all agree that people in positions of power have always had wiggle room within the law.
In last month’s post we briefly talked about blaming the victim, and how often it happens in our society. How much more berated and ridiculed do you think a survivor will be if their perpetrator has a perceived status in our society? One of the first things people will say is that the survivor is lying just to get money or attention. What about justice? Doesn’t that survivor deserve just as much of a fair trial as the victim of any other crime? Society’s view of the perpetrator should not have any influence on the outcome of the conviction.
What kind of judging goes on in your mind? Does a person with a so called “clean” image get passed over? How about the public apology?