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Peter Ellis Home Page - Media Releases
April 3 2007

New police procedure for sexual assault victims concern.
Media Release

New interview techniques being trialled by Wellington police for rape and sexual assault complainants was recently reported. Such techniques are to be applauded if the quality of the information received is better, and the process is less stressful for the complainant.

There are however two concerns says spokesperson Paula Weir. The first is that the police continue to refer to rape complainants as "victims". The police should be very aware that in many cases the accused is the victim, and not the complainant.  False allegations do occur.   This sort of mistake is inexcusable for police who should know better than to prejudge investigations.

The police procedure to never interview complainants straight away is also misguided.  The best time to interview a complainant without contaminating evidence is as soon as possible. While immediate interviews may not be appropriate in many cases, there is no reason to delay interviews as a matter of policy. Of particular concern is the assumption that counselling prior to police interview is a good idea. Counsellors may indeed be very helpful for victims of sexual assault.  There are, unfortunately, very few counsellors with the appropriate skills and understanding to help the growing number of women who are, wittingly or unwittingly, fabricating an allegation.; "Seeking justice for Peter Ellis and other victims, both past and present, of the New Zealand sex abuse moral panic"