Not guilty does not mean innocent – the andrew lovett case and other things

Every time i hear about someone being acquitted of a crime like rape i am absolutely filled with rage, yet at the same time my rage is tempered with the sobering statistics that the case at hand would be one of only a handful of reported cases that makes it through to trial let alone result in a conviction. The cynic in me is not surprised that andrew lovett was accquitted. But at the same time i cannot help but think about the system in which these crimes are tried, the way evidence is presented, and the way witnesses are treated.

I sent an email this morning to someone who’s anguish at going through trial is to the point where she questions if she can proceed. My own case was a case of historical childhood sexual abuse that due to the ten years it took me to come forward, there wasnt enough evidence to proceed. But this blog is not about me.

In the andrew lovett case consent was the question posed to the jury. The defence claimed that the complainanant consented to having sex with lovett believing he was someone else. The fact that the victim was intoxicated and recently amnended victorian law clearly states that intoxication impairs consent appears not to have made mention in both the media coverage of this trial or the way the jury were approached. But. One of the key flaws in the way sex crimes are tried is the idea of beyond reasonable doubt, the burden of proof being on the prosecution to prove a crime occurred. This works for every other set of crimes, but not these. It leads to dirty defence tactics, selective evidence and a variety of other things that make victims, often rightly so, believe that the system protects the alleged perpetrators rather than themselves. At almost every stage of proceedings a victim is forced to recount her story often in detail. This does not happen for the other side.

No one’s high profile identity (andrew lovett was a footballer) should protect them or afford them media coverage that could potentially sully the victims reputation.

To whoever this victim was – you are not alone. Your bravery on reporting this crime should be comended, along with your ability to see it through. I hope you are able to rebuild your life and reclaim your dignity. Not guilty does not mean innocent.

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writers I admire part 3 – bronwyn lovell

bronwyn is a dear friend and someone who i admire the hell out of. I can’t remember where and when I first met her but her poems are magical, image filled writing that I adore. She has a smile that lights up the room and a stage presence that does even more so.  Her poems have been an absolute revelation to those around her in Melbourne and everywhere she goes.

Bronywn was the first australian woman to represent at the 2011 words of women poetry slam in Ohio. She also had a founding role in the Melbourne Centre for Poetics and Justice and is an Australian Poetry Centre Cafe Poet. She has two publications “Ballooning and other Mishaps” and “Journeys” both can be found in Melbourne’s sticky institute (zining heaven, get there, like, now) or from the author herself.  They are worth the read.

 The Australian Poetry Centre reviewed a feature of Bronywn’s at a local melbourne reading and likened it to the first time he had watched the movie “Amelie” and I am in total agreeance. There is an unexplainable aura about this woman, the way she writes, performs and lives.

if you’re interested in her work and aren’t in Melbourne checkout her website www.bronwynlovell.com

if you are in Melbourne Bron’s next performance is at Kinfolk Cafe on the 23rd of July 5-6pm.

here’s a tiny little bit of the magic of Bronwyn

Victory Street

In the absence of ocean
she runs deep baths
and pours water into cups.
Watching the tea leaves swirl,
she wills the current to wash away her grief.

She shuts the bathroom door 
behind her so the steam 
can envelop her body
and mist the mirror,
blurring her image
till she is no longer 
sad or alone.

“I’m in here, Nanna!” she calls.

She pretends her grandmother
still lives in this house.
Always in another room,
watching the telly,
boiling the kettle,
watering the garden,
just out of sight.

on being “different”

i am a freak.. a weirdo… an outcast…. i have never fit in anywhere..

i have red and black hair… i am part boy part girl, i kiss whoever will kiss me. 

i write poetry for a living even though i am dislexic

i don’t dress according to any fashion standards. i make my own.

i have an eyebrow ring and a tattoo of my favourite band

i ride my bike that is painted rainbow even though it is bent and broken from an accident.

I have depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder and sometimes they fuck up my life. sometimes they live along side me and i’m ok with them.

I am not conventional.   society sets conventions for how we live, and some of us don’t meet them. Some of us are artists, accordion players and human statues, piano players and cabaret singers, writers or labeled “disabled” because their bodies don’t work as they should or our minds don’t work as they should.  Many of the beautiful people i meet are depressed because they believe society rejects them.  I accept each and every one of you, how you are, where you are, who you are.  The mould was set to be broken, and one day we will set it.   Those who have suits, 9-5 jobs will want to wear red hair and be tattooed.

don’t believe you are any less because you are viewed as less.

i fucking love you. whoever you are.

[Flash 10 is required to watch video.]renderVideo(“video_player_7386857110”,’http://poetry101.tumblr.com/video_file/7386857110/tumblr_lo0y6o9dgc1qglfw9′,500,667,’orientation=portraitx26amp;portrait=truex26amp;w={500}x26amp;poster=http%3A%2F%2Fmedia.tumblr.com%2Ftumblr_lo0y6o9dgc1qglfw9_r1_frame1.jpg,http%3A%2F%2Fmedia.tumblr.com%2Ftumblr_lo0y6o9dgc1qglfw9_r1_frame2.jpg,http%3A%2F%2Fmedia.tumblr.com%2Ftumblr_lo0y6o9dgc1qglfw9_r1_frame3.jpg,http%3A%2F%2Fmedia.tumblr.com%2Ftumblr_lo0y6o9dgc1qglfw9_r1_frame4.jpg,http%3A%2F%2Fmedia.tumblr.com%2Ftumblr_lo0y6o9dgc1qglfw9_r1_frame5.jpg’)

Me doing a cover version of tara hardy’s peace andjustice poem. Poetry for eyes ears and soul