Last week I was a guest on BBC Radio 4’s The Moral Maze and I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Portillo. Sadly Michael didn’t get to interview me on the show but I did enjoy his quip at the end of the programme.
He was “impressed” that I knew Ched Evans was in denial.
It would have been nice to explain what I had meant when talking about denial on the show. But that’s okay. These radio shows are short and someone has to get the last word in.
The next day Michael made a reference to The Birmingham 6 whilst talking about the Ched Evans case on the BBC’s This Week.
And that was the final straw.
It’s very frustrating to see our column inches, airwaves, and screen time filled with opinions about sexual abuse that have the potential to be so harmful. I suspect many people who were listening to the Moral Maze last week would have been reaching for the off switch – yet another debate about celebrities*, yet another bit of air time dedicated to the idea that violent rape is ‘worse’, and all from a programme that had to make an apology for its remarks about the victim in its trailer.
Of course I would love to have had the chance to respond to Michael’s comments on This Week through the media. But I don’t get to command the kind of media attention that Michael does.
So I’ve taken a leaf out of Ched Evans’ book and I’ve produced a video.
This special edition of ‘Sexual abuse. The questions you’ve never had the chance to ask’ is dedicated to Michael Portillo whose words would have been a beacon of hope to the thousands of convicted sex offenders who would like to believe in their own innocence.
I’m a huge fan of justice Michael. I’ve no interest in someone being falsely accused or imprisoned for a crime they did not commit. But perhaps your ability to reach audiences throughout the country could be better used talking about justice in relation to the many rapists who have not been convicted, rather than the few who have.
We need to start having a better level of conversation about sexual abuse in the media. If you, or anyone else who gets to talk to the country about sexual abuse would ever like to have a conversation about the psychology of sexual abuse I’d be very happy to make that happen.
In the meantime this video is from me to you with love (no inverted commas)
Problems watching the video? Click here to watch it on YouTube
* Fact check: people who are not in the public eye can also be perpetrators and victims of sex offences