This week in Sydney a 14 year old girl was left violated after being used as part of a 2Day FM radio stunt. What follows is a media statement prepared by Melinda Tankard Reist and Kids Free 2B Kids. I am very happy to add my support to this.
Background Reading –
Child advocates call for protections for children in the media.
The lie detector radio stunt on 2Day FM involving a 14-year-old girl who revealed she had been raped at age 12, was a gross violation of her human rights.
The girl, Rachel, was strapped to a lie detector test, to be interrogated about school, drugs and her sexual experience by Austereo’s Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O and the girl’s mother.
Rachel was deliberately subjected to fear and distress. Her protests that she was scared and that it wasn’t fair were ignored.
It is the height of irresponsibility to hook any child up to a lie detector test. This is compounded when the intention is to expose a girl to a live outing of her sexual experience.
Regardless of any excuses about lack of advance knowledge that the girl had been raped, there is little doubt the aim was to publicly shame the child.
A young girl’s sexual experience is not relevant or appropriate for the entertainment of anyone.
Dragging a child onto the media stage to be interrogated with a lie detector about her sexuality is a horrific invasion of her rights. There is a well founded legal assumption of vulnerability and a need for protection of children at this age, which the station has ignored.
This form of public outing and humiliation is abhorrent and must be condemned. There needs to be a penalty.
What took place in the radio studio was child abuse and should be acknowledged as such. Increasing desensitisation to the needs of children needs to stop.
This program should be axed.
We call for a national strategy for the prevention of child abuse and exploitation, including in the media.
The Hon Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC, Former Justice of the Family Court and Founding Patron, Children’s Rights International
Tim Costello, CEO, World Vision Australia
Steve Biddulph, psychologist and author
Professor Louise Newman, Director, Monash University Centre for Developmental Psychiatry & Psychology
Maggie Hamilton, teacher, author, What’s happening to our girls?
Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, Adolescent psychologist
Barbara Biggins, The Australian Council on Children and the Media
Professor Elizabeth Handsley, Professor of Law, Flinders University
Clive Hamilton, AM, Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics
Noni Hazlehurst, AM, Actress, child advocate
Julie Gale, Director, Kids Free 2B Kids
Dannielle Miller, CEO, Enlighten Education and author The Butterfly Effect
Dr Renate Klein, women and girls health activist
Melinda Tankard Reist, Editor Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls (forthcoming)
Carla Meurs, Co-ordinator, Solving the Jigsaw
July 20, 2009
Media Enquires: Julie Gale: 0412922253, Melinda Tankard Reist: 0414305378
I urge all my blog readers to complain directly to the radio station ( there is a contact form on their web site: www.2dayfm.com.au) and to vote with your feet – switch that radio station off!