Consummate attention seeker Clementine Ford names with absolute certainty, as if an eyewitness, the supposed perpetrator of an assault on a young woman:
I received a number of emails about this last night. A 19 year old woman was beaten by her boyfriend on Friday night (graphic pictures attached). He left her face bloody and chipped her front tooth. I have been in touch with Ellie and Ashlee who have said Justin Torro (the man who assaulted Ashlee) told police she fell down the stairs (use a better DV cliche Justin).
Ford’s warning that graphic photos follow is useless since the photos are immediately below on her home page – nothing like a female face supposedly bloodied by an evil male to rouse the emotions of compassionate lefties.
To continue riding the indignation wave, Ford follows-up with a Daily Life column in which Fairfax editors seek to avoid the danger inherent in naming and shaming:
News broke this week of a young Sydney woman turned away by NSW Police after being allegedly assaulted by her boyfriend. Ashlee Savins was at her home in St Mary’s last Friday night when Justin Toro (who does not live with her) allegedly punched her in the face twice and struck her in the side of the head.
Police did not turn the woman away; later in the article there’s this:
Ashlee Savins did not ask for Justin Toro to punch her twice in the face, leaving her bloodied and with a broken tooth, just as I did not ask to ever be made aware of the existence of Durian Rider and his repulsive, ignorant views. And yet here we are.
Yes, here we are: a relatively defenceless Justin Torro being worked over by someone with a much bigger online presence. Coincidentally, Fairfax yesterday published an article advising against naming and shaming:
Several heads of domestic violence support programs on Tuesday counselled victims that public allegations can carry legal and physical risks. But they also acknowledged many women feel they have no other choice.
“It’s very dangerous,” Gillian Cohen, the general manager of Domestic Violence Service Management NSW, said. “I would not advise people to do it.”
Ms Cohen said social media activity could be used by volatile perpetrators to track down their victims. She also said perpetrators could sue victims for defamation.
Last year, the West Australian District Court ordered a woman to pay her ex-partner $12,500 after she accused him on Facebook of being abusive. The judge found Robyn Greeuw was an unreliable witness, “prepared to say or write whatever she thinks will suit her case”.
Neither Ford’s original Facebook post nor the subsequent Daily Life column should have gone online carrying the content they do.
- The described circumstances of the “assault” are at this point nothing more than hearsay.
- The police did not “turn away” Ashlee Savins.
- There was no need to name any of the parties.
- Justin Torro is innocent until proven guilty.
- Having been named, Torro could well be in danger, several of Ford’s Facebook lynch mob expressing a desire to “sort him out”.
- Ford has sensationalised what is really a minor story so as to draw attention to herself, thereby adding to her revenue stream.
This is not a one-off from Ford who Tweeted in a Majak Daw thread, prior to his acquittal for rape:
Is she keeps it up, Ford will surely be a lawyers’ feast… with a huge following of idiots.