Beyond Belief: Police Files on Rape

  • Jan Jordan


In the year 2000, many of the New Zealand public were outraged at publicity that a historic charge of rape had been made against then Cabinet Minister Dover Samuels. Others were sceptical, and believed their perspective was supported by the police’s decision that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the accused, who was loudly proclaiming his innocence. Samuels admitted that he had been sexually involved with a teenage girl in his care, and helped her to obtain an abortion, but disputed that he had raped her. In a speech made to his Parliamentary colleagues, Samuels proclaimed:

I find the offence of rape or sexual abuse of women and children abhorrent and repugnant. There is only one offence more abhorrent, repugnant or contemptible, and that is for a person or persons to fabricate the allegation of rape knowing that the person being accused is completely innocent. (Quoted in The Dominion, 26 July 2000)

According to this view, and consistent with the material outlined in previous chapters, a woman lying is perceived as more reprehensible than a man raping. Subsequent media reports alleged that Samuels had been ‘cleared’ of wrongdoing, and the strong impression given portrayed the politician as an innocent man who had been wrongfully accused (e.g., The Age, 8 August 2000).


Sexual Assault Police Officer Sexual Violation Taxi Driver Rape Victim 
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Copyright information

© Jan Jordan 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Jordan
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of CriminologyVictoria University of WellingtonNew Zealand

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