Should you go to the media?

Getting justice can be a long slow road, that sometimes feels like it’s never going to end. For many people, it never does. Their cases are stalled, their investigations halt, and people feel helpless.

Even in my case, people had been to the police before, and nothing had happened. It wasn’t till Woman’s Day and A  Current Affair spoke of my story, that justice was eventually found. It wasn’t easy going public, but eventually it led to a court case, Robert was found guilty, and there was a glimmer of hope that if I could take down such a high profile pedophile, maybe others could do the same with their perpetrators. heydad_WD-article

So it’s logical for others to also contact the media hoping they will be able to do the same for them. I think if you’re strong enough to go through it publicly, and do whatever you need to do to take your perp down, then go for it. There’s a few things you need to know before you contact the media though. I’ve had several people message me, very disappointed by the response they got, or lack of a response from the media. I want people to have the right expectations, so they’re not let down again.ACA interview

I’m not going to insult anyone by saying my case was no different. We all know that being a former actress, people were going to be more interested in my case. I wasn’t so sure when I first signed up for Woman’s Day, but it soon became obvious I was delusional thinking I was just a has been nobody was interested in. Hindsight, of course my story was going to be a big one. But being famous isn’t going to be the difference between me and you getting your story on TV. The biggest hurdle when it comes to media is that they need at least three people to back up a story before they can air it. Without three people corroborating a story, it leaves a network open to defamation and lawsuits, something a media outlet won’t risk. There are ethical standards they must meet, and even I had to sign a bunch of legal paperwork before any of my stuff was aired. Other people backed up my story, and we could proceed. There was a lot of nervousness, because it wasn’t just Robert we were going against. His partner, Robyn, was highly regarded in the industry, and an attack on Robert was also an attack on Robyn. Point is, when you go to the media, make sure you have at least two other people who are willing to back up your story. If you have any photographic evidence, written evidence, anything at all, make sure you let them know. They are powerless to help you without it. Unfortunately, they need as much evidence as the police do…

So I’m not saying don’t go to the media. I think the media is there for all of us to use, not just former child actors like me. But just go in with realistic expectations, so that you’re not disappointed if they can’t help you.

derryn hinch

Make sure you’re prepared for what can happen if your story does get aired. Every pedophile with internet access will attack you. All the social media trolls will attack you. You can never make it go away. Once it’s out there, it’s out. You might find it helps to bring forward other victims and witnesses, but it can also go against you if there ever is an actual court case resulting from it. Still not saying don’t do it, but I want you to be prepared for all the possibilities. – I wasn’t.

Late edit: It’s really hard for the media to deal with minors, or even people who are now adults, but were minors when the abuse occurred. It’s illegal to name a child victim, even as a parent. Remember how my name was all over the place, and then it disappeared? Once Robert was charged, I was officially a victim, and they had to suppress my name. There’s all kinds of legal minefields when it comes to kids. Each and every case is different, and it will depend on whether the reporter thinks they can do your story justice with what you have available. No reporter wants to make your case more difficult, which can happen if not done right.


Witch Hunt or Fourth Estate?

Media Coverage of Child Abuse

This week I’ve noticed there’s a lot of coverage of child abuse cases. While the fact that so many kids are being abused makes me sad, I’m thrilled that it’s now making front page news. Over the last couple of years, it’s become more and more acceptable to talk about it, to cover it. To acknowledge that it happens.

We’ve come a long way in the last 2.5 years. When I went public with my story, people were furious. He wasn’t named, and I was told to name and shame or STFU. Then, he was named, and people were furious. Couldn’t win either way. At least he’s alive to defend himself…. (Looking forward to that!) The last few weeks, nobody seems to have any problem with Jimmy Savile being named, even though he’s dead and can’t refute the claims. I wonder if people are ok with it because we’ve come that far in the last couple years we now actually believe girls when they speak up, or if it’s because he’s just so obviously creepy there’s no doubt, or if it’s because he’s dead and doesn’t have to live with a possible tarnished rep.

No matter, I’m thrilled to see the media covering abuse. I’m so glad I was a part of that. I hope there’s lots more cases where people can use that medium to get justice, when they’re not being listened to in other avenues. I don’t think it needs to be just famous people either. Regular people should have the ability to be heard too. People might call it a media witch hunt, but if nobody will listen to you, or worse, it’s getting repeatedly swept under the carpet, the media can be an important tool. When you’ve been silenced for so long, seeing your words everywhere can be very powerful and healing.

Plus, I bet if a kid told their predator they were going to tell not only their parents, but the newspaper, it’d stop pretty quick….


Election 2012

Douchebaggery in Political Elections

The 2012 Election campaign is in full swing in the US. While there are in fact FOURTEEN people currently running for President of the United States, the media would have you believe there was only TWO people running – Obama and Romney.

I run in all kinds of circles, but most of my friends are big Ron Paul supporters. He ran in the last election as a Libertarian. Everyone loved him, but they all considered a Libertarian vote a wasted vote, so they voted Republican. This time, Ron Paul is running as a Republican, but the media has done their best to ignore his existence. They still want the American public to believe there’s only two options, Obama and Romney. Of course, by focusing on those two exclusively, they’re assuring they’re the only two people who get any votes on election day. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy.

What’s even more troubling to me than the media bias and their clear intent on creating the next President, is the actual candidates themselves.

I consider being a politician to be a job, or for some people, a profession. Now, most people when they apply for a job, write up a resume, a nice cover letter, they may do a few rounds of interviews. The better the job, the more interviews you’ll probably have to do. Some jobs you’ll have to do background checks, maybe a credit check. They’ll talk to your past employers, ask for references, you know the drill. Throughout this whole process, the candidate is talking about themselves. They talk about why THEY should be hired. They’ll tell potential employers why they are right for the job, what skill they have, why they are the best candidate. At no time do they talk about other potential employees.

Why can’t political elections work the same way? The Presidential position is a job. Their employer is the people of the United States. They’re asking us to give them the job. So just once I’d like to hear a Presidential Candidate talk about why I should vote for them, and not why I shouldn’t vote for the other guy. It seems like candidates have no good points of their own. They never tell me good things about themselves. All they do is tell me bad points about the other people, and the reason I should vote for them is because they’re less of a douchebag than the other guy.

This appears to be pretty universal. Politicians everywhere seem to have descended into this schoolyard mudslinging match of making everyone else look like idiots and liars, while not really saying anything special about themselves, except, I’m better, cause he sucks.

The US President also has the additional responsibility of being the Commander in Chief of the US Military. I personally think if you’re going to be the highest ranking guy in charge of a military, you should have some kind of military experience. At the very least, you should at least respect the men and women who are willing to sacrifice their lives when you decide you’re not adult enough to work shit out diplomatically and decide to declare war.

Now that I’m a US Citizen and I’m allowed to vote, and I have already done so in the Primaries, you can bet I won’t be voting for Obama or Romney. I’m not going to give my vote to someone just because they’re not as bad as the other guy. I’ll be giving my vote to someone who actually talk about themselves, and how they can make America a better place for Americans.

I invite all Americans to actually do some research on the 14 candidates. Don’t base your vote on what CNN or FoxNews tells you. Find out for yourself what the politicians are running for. What their intentions are. Who they care about. Make an informed decision. If you like someone, go out and vote for them. You don’t have to stick to the two who are paying the news to show their faces. If everyone voted for who they liked, instead of thinking of it as a “wasted vote” we might surprise some people and shake up the establishment.