Sexual Assault Must Be Taken Seriously, But Not Tried In A Kangaroo Court

Sexual assault is a serious crime. It is not some form of salacious entertainment on social media, nor should it be used to score political points, which is exactly what is happening now with the current “sex pest” hysteria.

People who prey on others are sick and depraved. It is not a trait inherent to masculinity, as some on the identitarian Left absurdly claim, and Hollywood is not rife with paedophilia, as vengeful Trump supporters would like to believe.

Right now, there is a frenzy of finger pointing going on and a lot of accusations flying around, with many in politics and the media using sex crimes as a weapon with which to bludgeon their political opponents. When someone comes forward with these kinds of allegations they must be taken seriously, but I also strongly believe that the person/s they name should be afforded the presumption of innocence. No one should lose their jobs on the basis of an accusation without a proper investigation being carried out first.

No one should lose their jobs on the basis of an accusation.

I can totally understand why someone might be reluctant to go to the authorities about being sexually assaulted: shame, fear and confusion can keep people silent for years. And they are not always listened to even when they do. Look at what happened with the grooming scandals in Rochdale and Rotherham where the victims were completely failed by the police and social services. Sometimes, going public might be the only solution.

But that doesn’t mean someone should be tried and convicted by mobs on social media. The proper judicial procedures and processes must be followed.

It is so easy to look back at the Salem Witch Trials or the Spanish Inquisition and think we are so much more enlightened. Well, think again.


Candice Holdsworth

Candice Holdsworth is the founder and editor of Imagine Athena. It is mythologised that she sprang fully formed from its pages. Candice has an MSc in Political Philosophy from the London School of Economics, and thus can be most commonly found discussing ideas and culture. Her writing can also be found on Thought Leader and On Netflix Now. Follow her on Twitter @CandiceCarrie and Instagram @candicecholdsworth