I like to think I wake up with the freedom of knowing what sort of people are in my way of harm. I like to think that I have the freedom of knowing what sort of people are moving amongst me in my way of life. Mostly, I like to think all of this because this city – Melbourne – and this country as a whole, is one that cherishes freedom and endeavours in the prospect of letting the public know what needs to be known. If you’re Derryn Hinch, then you have a whole lot of knowing that the unknown cannot be known.
Last July, Hinch was placed on a ‘gag order’ house arrest for five months, after he broadcasted the names of sex offenders during his show on 3AW. The arrest saw the talkback host silenced from social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, and unable to associate with anything outside of his own apartment, excluding that of officials who payed Hinch random visits for breath testing.
I’m all for the suppression and protection of names and personal information in certain circumstances, especially if the subjects are worthy of being hidden from the Australian public. But if those who are being cloaked behind the government, are prowling sex offenders, thirsty for another vulnerable child to feed on in our suburbia, then perhaps it is time the Australian laws were given the once-over.
What really has me scratching my head, is the Australian Institute of Criminology, who willing to defend sex offenders and predators.
“It is also important to recognise that not all child sex offenders feel driven or compelled to sexually abuse children.” – Australian Institute of Criminology
Go for your life, if you accidentally happen to stumble upon a child in the street, and accidentally become a little bit too touchy, then we will let you go. No worries, mate. We know your intentions were good. Right?
Furthermore, the AIC follow their statement with attempting to ease parents’ concerns that perhaps their child will meet a toey stranger out the front of their local playground. Fear no more parents, according to the AIC, 94% of children in Australia who are sexually abused, are sexually abused by someone they know, or by a member of their family.
With Derryn Hinch’s comeback to talkback radio last night, he was quick to tell the Australian public that his fight will not end in the campaign to bring sex offenders to justice, and to alter what he calls “the obscenely bad law”. Good on him. If it takes a few house arrests and social media silencing to do the job, then maybe we are all best to get on the Hinch train. At least with all of us on board, we are likely to make an impact on ridding sexual abuse in Australia, or at least bring those that are involved to the public forefront.
With that, I leave you with the thought of your average stroll down the street, or your short walk down to the milk bar. How many people do you pass on your way? How many are being bear-hugged by Australian law? You can’t tell, but you can suspect. No candy tastes good from any stranger.
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