Louise Nicholas says sexual violence education for Chiefs key to prevention

Rape survivor Louise Nicholas said the Chiefs apologised to everyone except the stripper. PHOTO/Michael Craig
Rape survivor Louise Nicholas said the Chiefs apologised to everyone except the stripper. PHOTO/Michael Craig

Victim advocate Louise Nicholas thinks the stripper scandal was avoidable "with a capital A".

The rape survivor has blasted New Zealand Rugby's formal warning to the Chiefs as contradictory.

She told the Herald that she was confused when NZR said the Chiefs' actions were entirely inappropriate but then stated the allegations couldn't be substantiated.

"On one hand they're saying naughty, on the other they're saying we can't substantiate these allegations.

"I'm seeing this as double-Dutched."

Nicholas thinks the Chiefs should at least be apologising to the stripper.

"They said sorry to everybody but the woman who was involved. That sucks big time ... I felt that was bad on their part.

"I'm really, really feeling for her."

Education is the key to prevention and rehabilitation said Nicholas. She believes the Chiefs should have to go through an anti-sexual violence course. If they were more educated this wouldn't have happened, she said.

"[Sexual violence education] should be a part of the rugby union who have a responsibility to support young guys coming through and help people understand how to respond to inappropriate behaviour.

"If this was the case this wouldn't have happened."

Nicholas said the team's "absolutely disgusting" behaviour has brought the whole rugby union into disrepute.

"The players need to step up what happened on the night wasn't good. We've let our team, fans, sponsors and the rugby union down. They need to think 'what can we do to be better in the future'.

Nicholas also believes the investigator should have been an impartial third party, rather than an New Zealand Rugby lawyer.

"What experience has he got in investigating sexual violence?

"They should have brought in an independent, impartial person. An ex-detective perhaps who understands the way to investigate situations like this.

"Then if they came up with the same result then that's OK because it's from some person who was impartial."

Louise Nicholas is a New Zealand campaigner for the rights of women who have been victims of sexual violence. In 1993 she alleged that several policemen had raped her in 1984 and obstructed evidence in the subsequent trials for rape.

- NZ Herald

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