Tracey Spicer to name sex predators

October 18, 2017

Tracey Spicer, former Network Ten and Sky newsreader has revealed on Twitter she is going to blow the whistle on at least two well known sexual harassers within the Australian media industry. She has also criticized the way Australia has responded to cases of harassment and assault in the past, and said she want to do something about it. “Interesting that punishment often seems swift in the US corporate, media and entertainment space, but not in Australia,” she wrote.“In fact, in many Australian media companies, offenders are simply shifted to another site, Catholic Church style. Or, actually, promoted.“Currently, I am investigating two long term offenders in our media industry. Please, contact me privately to tell your stories.” There’s no doubt sexual abuse is a topic of extremes that has been elevated by the Harvey Weinstein scandal that has rocked Hollywood. We are never short of people keen to voice their disgust at offenders and their sympathy with victims and thats why Tracey Spicer move is welcomed by your blogger. Some would argue that the bigger problem is the substantive responses are few and far between. Instead, policy-making in Australia is highly volatile, as media-driven figures like Tracey Spicer seek to trump the problem with naming and shaming.In Australia, sex offenders have to be convicted first but over the years its clear sentencing options has failed to increase rates of prosecution even though the number of offenders is rising. Even when convicted, many offenders do not receive effective treatment in prison when their sentences aren’t long enough, or when the treatment of violent sex offenders are prioritized over non violent offenders.One can only hope that sexual offenders in Australian media industry will be stopped with Tracey Spicer revelations and authorities will keep a close watch on suspected and known sex offenders.With respect to the rising number of suicides and premature deaths of people who were sexually assaulted or raped, there’s need to combat this problem head on. More suicides and premature deaths have been reported in the past decade as well as cases of offenders fleeing Australia to escape prosecution.

The consequences of these crimes are immense, as are the social and economic costs.Such issues need to be dealt with and victims as well as their families find justice.Prosecutions are needed. Progress has been painfully slow in the fight against sex offenders. Tracey Spicer has also lamented the protection and secrecy that greeted powerful predators in the local industry.”Interesting that punishment often seems swift in the US corporate, media and entertainment space, but not in Australia,” she tweeted. “In fact, in many Australian media companies, offenders are simply shifted to another site, Catholic Church style. Or, actually, promoted … ,” she wrote.I fully support Tracey Spicer plans for we need to have a world where such behavior isn’t condoned. A decade ago, I lost a female friend who committed suicide that was preventable after she was repeatedly abused by her employer in Cairns. The agencies should have done more to help the girl under such pressure but despite her reporting the matter to relevant authorities nothing much was done. After all, she was an aboriginal girl and history is there for everyone to see how sexual offenders from the majority race has for centuries been committing their offenses without being punished. For the case of my friend, she had taken several overdoses in the three months prior to her death. The victim family got some legal assistance and court review raised important questions for the Australian criminal justice system about how support for victims of sexual abuse could be improved especially among the aboriginal communities. Tracey Spicer knows that such cases emphasize that the system is failing to support individuals when they approach authorities with allegations of sexual abuse, and that this lack of support can continue as cases go through the courts. The bravery of Tracey Spicer in disclosing the abuse and sexual exploitation that occurred in Australian media will be a game changer. Confronting those sex predators by naming and shaming them can and should never be underestimated. If similar tragedies are to be avoided in future, the expected disclosure by Tracey Spicer must be acted upon. And when it comes to the Australian public blame game around sexual abuse, perhaps there’s need to think the consequences, too.

Contador Harrison