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  • Originally posted by mvp View Post

    The moral issue, as I read it, is that it is usually the victim that does the "self-alleging" here. And arguing that someone might be wrong about what happened to themselves is incredibly invalidating. It is also an unfortunate strategy that has long been part of the defense's tool box-- "she said 'no', but she meant 'yes'"-- etc. Can we just stop doing that with victims of sex crimes, please? The strategy is no longer morally acceptable.
    You do acknowledge there can be false allegations, don't you?

    Or is everyone accused of sexual misconduct definitely guilty? If that's what you think, then I assume you would favor dispensing with criminal rape trials altogether and just automatically convicting anyone who is accused?

    Even SS has publicly acknowledged research showing that 2-10% of allegations are false. (I will try to find the citation for you). I guess they are wrong about that?

    And you may know that the Innocence Project has exonerated dozens and dozens of men falsely convicted of rape. I suppose you think that is some kind of scam too? Those men must have really done it since they were accused?

    Comment


    • Originally posted by DarkBayUnicorn View Post
      WARNING: Long essay ahead.

      I think it is interesting that Kathy, one of the few horse professionals who has actually held a job somewhat outside the horse industry, is so vocal against what amounts to a Human Resources Disciplinary
      Panel.

      SafeSport is not a criminal court -- it does not and cannot impinge upon consitutional liberties. Those found in non-compliance with the Code of Conduct do not go to jail. They are not on parole. They are free to move about, to vote, to own a gun, and so on.

      It's not a civil court -- SafeSport does not award monetary compensation to victims.

      It is, however, similar in many ways to the HR department of any large corporation. Let's call the corporation the United States Olympic Committee, and the NGBs are operational divisions within the larger corporation. The athletes and coaches are the 'employees' within the operational divisions that make up the corporation.

      At any corporation, there are codes of conduct all employees--from the mailroom to the boardroom--must adhere to, or face consequences. A minor infraction will usually result in a warning from the direct manager, and the consequences escalate if the offense is repeated. So if Joe tells an inappropriate joke in the lunchroom, he gets a verbal warning rom his supervisor (who may also involve HR). If he tells another, he gets a written warning from his supervisor and HR and sent to sensitivity training. A third might get him a 'last chance' written warning. The fourth time he tells a salty joke he may well find himself pounding the pavement with his resume in his hand.

      It doesn't matter if Joe is THE BEST employee in all other ways. He failed to uphold the code of conduct, so he is out.

      At Acme Widgets Corporation, Sam the National Sales Manager comes up behind Jenny, makes a lewd pass at her and smacks her on the bum. Jenny is distraught, and goes immediately to her manager. Now, back in the day, Sam might've got a warning, or Jenny might have been told to 'suck it up buttercup.'

      No more.

      Today, Jenny is told by her manager to go straight to HR. She tells them what happened. Sam is called in to face HR. He is put on administrative leave ASAP, and since his role is almost entirely commission based, that means he does not earn any money. HR interviews Jenny, Sam, other employees on the team, the managers, a customer who was in the office that day, even the guy who was restocking the vending machines. IT is pulled in to review all of Sam's email, his browser history, the call and text records on his company phone. All his expenses are audited.

      After gathering all this evidence, HR informs Sam that he is terminated with cause. They remind him that he agreed to abide by the code of conduct when he signed his contract. He will not receive a severance package. He will not receive a reference. This means he will struggle to find employment at the same level in a different corporation.

      Sam chooses to hire an lawyer and sue for wrongful dismissal (if his jurisdiction makes that worth pursuing). During that case, the lawyers for Acme Widgets Corporation not only present the evidence they used to terminate with cause. They contact every single solitary company Sam has ever worked for to find out what, if any, discipline was on his file there. Lo and behold, this is his second or third time he has behaved in an inapproprite manner by getting 'handsy' with female coworkers. In the worst case, he coerced sex from an intern, telling her he'd be sure she got a full time job on his team when she graduated. The other corporations paid him off to leave and swept the incidents under the rug. Only Acme Widgets had the backbone to stand up for the victim. They not only win the court case, they bring ALL of Sam's past transgressions to light as well.

      So now Sam has lost his job and his income. He has incurred legal fees. His name is MUD in the widget industry. No one will hire him. No one will buy from him.

      Do you feel sorry for him?

      Stop and ask yourself. Think hard. Do you feel sorry for Sam?

      Would you take his side if he got on social media and whined all over the place? Screamed about 'due process' and 'guilty until proven innocent' and 'constitutional rights'?

      Would you, as his friend, start petitions? Solicit funds to create pamphlets? Start a Go Fund Me so you could fly all over the country to talk with the shareholders of Acme Widgets?

      Would you rail against Acme Widgets and its HR department online, spreading falsehoods? Take the word of a misinformed copyright lawyer with an agenda over that of an employment lawyer?

      Would you continue to support him when other people known to sexually exploit, lie, cheat, and steal join in his fight? Even convicted rapists? Would you?

      Because if Acme Widgets is the USOC, USEF is the sales department and SafeSport is the HR department (and those elected representatives the Overhul group wants to speak with are the shareholders), that is precisely what the ISWG and Overhul groups are doing. They are standing with Sam. They are believing the words of a lawyer with no expertise in this area of the law. They are allowing convicted rapists and child molesters to have a voice renouncing a law that was put in place precisely to silence those MOFOs.

      Or would you tell Sam he's darned lucky to not be in jail? To count his lucky f***ing stars, shape up his behavior and find gainful employment in another field?

      Jenny represents all the nameless and faceless victims -- many, many of them minors -- who have fallen to Sam, who represents all those with a lifetime ban from SafeSport. They've lost their jobs, not their liberties. They need to shape up their behavior and find gainful employment in another field.

      It is NOT the fault of the victims that these individuals have no other employable skills. That is the fault of the so-called professionals who have failed to be professional. They have failed to abide by the code of conduct they agreed to when they became members of USEF. They have been terminated with cause.

      We are sad that Sam is not the upstanding guy we thought he was, but we accept the fact that he lost his job. And we're in various degrees of shock, outrage and disgust that Sam's friends are actually not just accepting but encouraging convicted criminals in their fight against SafeSport. They aren't even making cogent suggestions for improving the HR policies and procedures at Acme Widgets. If they were at least doing that, it would be worth listening to; in the meantime, clean house within your advocacy group.

      There's a saying here on COTH that dates back many moons: "When someone shows you who they really are, believe them."

      We see you. We believe you. We aren't happy.
      This is a really, really, really good post.
      Adversity is the stone on which I sharpen my blade.

      Comment


      • DarkBayUnicorn - thank you. Your "long essay" is easy to read and digest. Informative without adding hysteria.
        \"If you are going through hell, keep going.\" ~Churchill~

        Comment


        • For mvp, here is one article on the prevalence of false allegations. At one major university, the frequency of false allegations was 6%. (And this study was published by a Violence Against Women group, so they certainly have no incentive to exaggerate the statistics).

          https://icdv.idaho.gov/conference/ha...llegations.pdf

          NOTE: This does not mean that allegations of sexual abuse should not be taken seriously. What it does mean is that an allegation of sexual abuse is not "proof" that the abuse occurred. As fair-minded people, we want SS to have procedures that give them the best chance of finding out the truth, so that people who are truly guilty are punished and people who are truly innocent are exonerated. Can we all agree on that as a fundamental goal?

          Comment


          • Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post

            Right now, Congress wouldn't touch this with the proverbial 10 ft pole. I don't think Congress will ever touch this and I think people are nuts if they think they can convince Congress to intervene.

            Given that other sports have, as far as I can tell, accepted SafeSport actions without huge meltdowns over the horrible unfairness of it all, I think the equestrian world's temper tantrums just make us look like we're all a bunch of entitled whiners who support a culture in which sexual misconduct with minors is deeply ingrained.
            Agreed, and they certainly aren't going to pay any heed to the group as it is acting now.

            Here are some tips to help the SafeSport opposition gain some credibility, and therefore some grassroots support, before even thinking about getting in front of politicians:

            1a) Clean house. Get rid of all the convicted felons. Anyone and everyone with a lifetime sport ban that's not subject to appeal. Anyone and everyone who has ever been on the sex offenders registry. You CANNOT say "We don't support child molesters" and then count them among your most fervant and vocal proponents. And get rid of anyone and everyone who was part of killing horses for insurance. Anyone and everyone who has been found guilty of drugging horses, of fraud. Get squeaky clean so you don't look guilty by association. This MUST happen first before you'll win folks over to your side.

            1b) Stop bellyaching about everyday safeguards put in place to protect YOU from the selfsame false accusations you all claim to be rampant. All other sports and youth organizations have been doing two-deep interactions for decades. Drag your butts into the 21st Century.

            2) Get a lawyer who understands, and has experience in, representing professionals at disciplinary hearings related to ethics. You'll find these folks working with professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers, real estate agents. Even better, get someone experienced with JAMS, since that is the closest thing you can get to SafeSport. This is not the place for an ambulance chaser lawyer like Bonnie Navin. (Did y'all know that's what she is?)

            3) Using the resources from #2, learn how things work in the real world. Not the horse world. The REAL world. You'll find that you've all signed a code of conduct. You have to abide by it if you want to keep your 'job'. Learn how. Now. The rest of us -- the guys with the money to spend on nice horses -- we do it every freaking day. We cannot contemplate why you find it so hard. Start shunning all those who cannot, or will not, comply with the code of conduct (loops back to #1 rather nicely, yes?).

            4) Following on #2 and #3, really closely examine the REAL way SafeSport works in comparison to other workplace and professional organization codes of conduct. Not what you heard from Joe. Not your experience with one single complaint. The whole shebang. All the sports, not just equestrian. Understand what makes it different from both criminal (this is key) and civil proceedings. Educate all followers regarding these key points of difference. Eradicate false claims regarding the consitution, statute of limitations, etc. from your arguements and your vocabulary. They simply do not pertain to SafeSport, and the constant wailing and teeth gnashing about them makes you look incredibly ill-informed and irrational.

            5) Build consensus outside of the hunter/jumper world first, then outside of equestrian sport. Because honestly, right now, the vast bulk of the wailing and teeth gnashing is coming from H/J. Not eventing, or dressage or vaulting or breed folks. Go further and talk to figure skating, gymnastics, rowing, track, hockey. They have all had MAJOR scandals. Those scandals have generated a ton more media and public interest than anything equestrian can ever attain. Google Maple Leaf Gardens sex scandal and you'll have enough reading for a year. Go to the other sports and ask them how they're handling both the scandals and SafeSport. Ask for lessons learned. Take those lessons onboard. Yes, some might need to be adapted a bit to acknowledge things like the horse as athelete and the fact our training centers also tend to be private homes. But adapt, don't reject outright.

            6) Using #2-5, come up with RATIONAL, REASONED, EMOTION-FREE PROPOSALS FOR CHANGE. Present them to the community in a rational, reasoned, emotion-free manner. Listen to feedback from across our sport, and other sports. Listen to the counter arguements and shore up responses. Conduct both qualitative and quantitative research using knowledgeable but impartial third party facilitators.

            7) You are now ready to present your case to a lobbyist, who will tell you whether or not it's worth the considerable effort and cost involved in going up the chain to Congress. Be advised there are strict rules around lobbying that make the code of conduct that is SafeSport look like a toddler's playgroup.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by DarkBayUnicorn View Post
              WARNING: Long essay ahead.

              I think it is interesting that Kathy, one of the few horse professionals who has actually held a job somewhat outside the horse industry, is so vocal against what amounts to a Human Resources Disciplinary
              Panel.

              SafeSport is not a criminal court -- it does not and cannot impinge upon consitutional liberties. Those found in non-compliance with the Code of Conduct do not go to jail. They are not on parole. They are free to move about, to vote, to own a gun, and so on.

              It's not a civil court -- SafeSport does not award monetary compensation to victims.

              It is, however, similar in many ways to the HR department of any large corporation. Let's call the corporation the United States Olympic Committee, and the NGBs are operational divisions within the larger corporation. The athletes and coaches are the 'employees' within the operational divisions that make up the corporation.

              At any corporation, there are codes of conduct all employees--from the mailroom to the boardroom--must adhere to, or face consequences. A minor infraction will usually result in a warning from the direct manager, and the consequences escalate if the offense is repeated. So if Joe tells an inappropriate joke in the lunchroom, he gets a verbal warning rom his supervisor (who may also involve HR). If he tells another, he gets a written warning from his supervisor and HR and sent to sensitivity training. A third might get him a 'last chance' written warning. The fourth time he tells a salty joke he may well find himself pounding the pavement with his resume in his hand.

              It doesn't matter if Joe is THE BEST employee in all other ways. He failed to uphold the code of conduct, so he is out.

              At Acme Widgets Corporation, Sam the National Sales Manager comes up behind Jenny, makes a lewd pass at her and smacks her on the bum. Jenny is distraught, and goes immediately to her manager. Now, back in the day, Sam might've got a warning, or Jenny might have been told to 'suck it up buttercup.'

              No more.

              Today, Jenny is told by her manager to go straight to HR. She tells them what happened. Sam is called in to face HR. He is put on administrative leave ASAP, and since his role is almost entirely commission based, that means he does not earn any money. HR interviews Jenny, Sam, other employees on the team, the managers, a customer who was in the office that day, even the guy who was restocking the vending machines. IT is pulled in to review all of Sam's email, his browser history, the call and text records on his company phone. All his expenses are audited.

              After gathering all this evidence, HR informs Sam that he is terminated with cause. They remind him that he agreed to abide by the code of conduct when he signed his contract. He will not receive a severance package. He will not receive a reference. This means he will struggle to find employment at the same level in a different corporation.

              Sam chooses to hire an lawyer and sue for wrongful dismissal (if his jurisdiction makes that worth pursuing). During that case, the lawyers for Acme Widgets Corporation not only present the evidence they used to terminate with cause. They contact every single solitary company Sam has ever worked for to find out what, if any, discipline was on his file there. Lo and behold, this is his second or third time he has behaved in an inapproprite manner by getting 'handsy' with female coworkers. In the worst case, he coerced sex from an intern, telling her he'd be sure she got a full time job on his team when she graduated. The other corporations paid him off to leave and swept the incidents under the rug. Only Acme Widgets had the backbone to stand up for the victim. They not only win the court case, they bring ALL of Sam's past transgressions to light as well.

              So now Sam has lost his job and his income. He has incurred legal fees. His name is MUD in the widget industry. No one will hire him. No one will buy from him.

              Do you feel sorry for him?

              Stop and ask yourself. Think hard. Do you feel sorry for Sam?

              Would you take his side if he got on social media and whined all over the place? Screamed about 'due process' and 'guilty until proven innocent' and 'constitutional rights'?

              Would you, as his friend, start petitions? Solicit funds to create pamphlets? Start a Go Fund Me so you could fly all over the country to talk with the shareholders of Acme Widgets?

              Would you rail against Acme Widgets and its HR department online, spreading falsehoods? Take the word of a misinformed copyright lawyer with an agenda over that of an employment lawyer?

              Would you continue to support him when other people known to sexually exploit, lie, cheat, and steal join in his fight? Even convicted rapists? Would you?

              Because if Acme Widgets is the USOC, USEF is the sales department and SafeSport is the HR department (and those elected representatives the Overhul group wants to speak with are the shareholders), that is precisely what the ISWG and Overhul groups are doing. They are standing with Sam. They are believing the words of a lawyer with no expertise in this area of the law. They are allowing convicted rapists and child molesters to have a voice renouncing a law that was put in place precisely to silence those MOFOs.

              Or would you tell Sam he's darned lucky to not be in jail? To count his lucky f***ing stars, shape up his behavior and find gainful employment in another field?

              Jenny represents all the nameless and faceless victims -- many, many of them minors -- who have fallen to Sam, who represents all those with a lifetime ban from SafeSport. They've lost their jobs, not their liberties. They need to shape up their behavior and find gainful employment in another field.

              It is NOT the fault of the victims that these individuals have no other employable skills. That is the fault of the so-called professionals who have failed to be professional. They have failed to abide by the code of conduct they agreed to when they became members of USEF. They have been terminated with cause.

              We are sad that Sam is not the upstanding guy we thought he was, but we accept the fact that he lost his job. And we're in various degrees of shock, outrage and disgust that Sam's friends are actually not just accepting but encouraging convicted criminals in their fight against SafeSport. They aren't even making cogent suggestions for improving the HR policies and procedures at Acme Widgets. If they were at least doing that, it would be worth listening to; in the meantime, clean house within your advocacy group.

              There's a saying here on COTH that dates back many moons: "When someone shows you who they really are, believe them."

              We see you. We believe you. We aren't happy.
              This needs to be posted all over.....what an absolute excellent way to describe it to the pinheads that don’t get it! It’s exactly how it works in the corporate world and exactly how it works in the safe sport world!
              Breast cancer survivor!

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Horsegirl's Mom View Post

                You do acknowledge there can be false allegations, don't you?

                Or is everyone accused of sexual misconduct definitely guilty? If that's what you think, then I assume you would favor dispensing with criminal rape trials altogether and just automatically convicting anyone who is accused?

                Even SS has publicly acknowledged research showing that 2-10% of allegations are false. (I will try to find the citation for you). I guess they are wrong about that?

                And you may know that the Innocence Project has exonerated dozens and dozens of men falsely convicted of rape. I suppose you think that is some kind of scam too? Those men must have really done it since they were accused?
                My, but that's a broad and accusatory brush you'd tar me with!

                Note that I was speaking of the term "alleged victim." And what is the data on how many people present themselves as having been the victim of a sex crime versus those who came forward with those claims only to have them dismissed, one way or another?

                And I think it's a false dichotomy to assume that if I want credibility given to victims in the face of a history of their credibility having been badly undermined, you think I must automatically thing the inverse is true about accused perpetrators being automatically guilty.

                I don't write or think so coarsely. Check my posts on this thread to verify that claim. I don't deserve to be treated as if that were true.
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Horsegirl's Mom View Post

                  You do acknowledge there can be false allegations, don't you?

                  Or is everyone accused of sexual misconduct definitely guilty? If that's what you think, then I assume you would favor dispensing with criminal rape trials altogether and just automatically convicting anyone who is accused?

                  Even SS has publicly acknowledged research showing that 2-10% of allegations are false. (I will try to find the citation for you). I guess they are wrong about that?

                  And you may know that the Innocence Project has exonerated dozens and dozens of men falsely convicted of rape. I suppose you think that is some kind of scam too? Those men must have really done it since they were accused?
                  There is a difference between a false accusation and a wrongful conviction.

                  I am forever surprised that people worry more about the 6% of the accusations, of the less than half of assaults reported, than the exponentially larger number of victims. You can say you're also for the victims, but when women are more concerned about repercussions for their sons than their daughters, there is a wild disconnect.
                  *****
                  You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by eclipse View Post

                    This needs to be posted all over.....what an absolute excellent way to describe it to the pinheads that don’t get it! It’s exactly how it works in the corporate world and exactly how it works in the safe sport world!
                    Cheers! I hereby give permission for folks to copy and paste, use screenshots, whatever.

                    I thought a lot about it, especially after reading Kathy's latest here. And I really do think that the disconnect is that so many professionals in the horse world have never ventured into the real world. They simply don't know that the rest of us honestly don't see what the big deal is because we live with codes of conduct every day.

                    We go through criminal record, credit and background checks before every new job. We can't tell salty jokes or swear in the lunchroom. We keep our office doors open. Our meeting rooms are soundproofed for privacy, but have glass panels so one-on-one meetings are 'observable'. We don't date within the company.

                    Hell, most of us have to abide by corporate codes even when using our personal social media accounts! Some of us could lose our jobs just by posting some of the things the SafeSport opponents are posting (not to mention a certain recently banned poster's views). Think about that!

                    And I'm not even talking about those who work with minors. I'm talking run-of-the-mill people at run-of-the-mill companies across the country *and around the world.* And almost all the professional sports leagues have some pretty strict codes of conduct. NHL, MLB and NFL players get suspended all the time for domestic violence, for example, long before their case comes to trial (if it ever does).

                    I think there may also be an aspect wherein horse professionals are accustomed to being the expert authority on all things horsey, and they get to boss around clients who are more educated, more worldly and more affluent than they are most of the time. Now they are being exposed as not being experts in all things, and it is scary. They are being asked to change, and that's scary. They are (many at least) control freaks who perceive their control is being taken away.

                    Instead of raililng and wailing, why not sit down with those educated and worldly clients from the corporate world and ASK us about corporate codes of conduct, two-deep interaction with minors and so on? We won't think any less of your equine expertise. We *might* think a lot more of your professionalism.

                    Just leave the tackroom door open.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Horsegirl's Mom View Post

                      You do acknowledge there can be false allegations, don't you?

                      Or is everyone accused of sexual misconduct definitely guilty? If that's what you think, then I assume you would favor dispensing with criminal rape trials altogether and just automatically convicting anyone who is accused?

                      Even SS has publicly acknowledged research showing that 2-10% of allegations are false. (I will try to find the citation for you). I guess they are wrong about that?

                      And you may know that the Innocence Project has exonerated dozens and dozens of men falsely convicted of rape. I suppose you think that is some kind of scam too? Those men must have really done it since they were accused?
                      In many of the Innocence Project cases, the rape *did* occur. But the wrong man was convicted. Not the same thing at all.
                      "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                      ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

                      Comment


                      • GM's appeal process timeline should be up by mid-September, Correct? Will be an interesting 2 weeks

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by mvp View Post

                          The moral issue, as I read it, is that it is usually the victim that does the "self-alleging" here. And arguing that someone might be wrong about what happened to themselves is incredibly invalidating. It is also an unfortunate strategy that has long been part of the defense's tool box-- "she said 'no', but she meant 'yes'"-- etc. Can we just stop doing that with victims of sex crimes, please? The strategy is no longer morally acceptable.
                          Horsegirl’s Mom posted an extremely thoughtful and useful post and included the sentence:

                          “So it is legitimate for us to discuss what meets the standard of “fair and reasonable” to the accused and the alleged victim.”

                          The context was a requested discussion of specific SafeSport procedures leading up to an adjudication.

                          The moral reprehensibility of using the phrase “alleged victim” depends on the context. In the context in which she used it, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the use of the phrase.

                          If a child, or adult, comes to you saying they were assaulted, obviously you don’t ask “and where did this alleged assault take place?” Duh. If you want to bash anyone who refers to Hilary Ridland as an “alleged victim”, get in line.

                          But it all depends on the context. There are very, very, very few words in the English language which are repugnant regardless of context. Frankly, I can only think of one.

                          Suppose Horsegirl’s Mom had tried to make her completely legitimate point with the same sentence but replaced “accused” with “abuser” and “alleged victim” with “victim”. Does the sentence still make sense as part of a discussion of procedures that are supposed to determine whether the “accused” is in fact an “abuser” or not? No, it doesn’t.

                          SafeSport cannot simply assume that a reporter is in fact a victim without corroborating witnesses and evidence. If they were to do so, the ISWG people would be correct in saying that the accused is “presumed guilty” and must prove himself innocent. To be credible, the SafeSport process needs to be “fair” by some metric, and whatever else is included in the “fairness”, I think you need to start with a presumption of innocence.

                          Before you jump on someone for being morally suspect, is it too much to ask that you look at the use of the phrase “alleged victim” in context?

                          Personally, I don’t see how we can discuss fair and effective SafeSport procedures with using the distinction between “alleged victim” and “victim”. In context, of course.

                          Comment


                          • DarkBayUnicorn It's relatively early, at least out here on the left coast, but I’m pretty sure you won the internet today. 👏
                            The Evil Chem Prof

                            Comment


                            • DarkBayUnicorn, thanks for the great posts.

                              I have to say that, as a person who lives and works in the real world and whose children participated in various youth sports and activities, I'm completely out of patience with the people who come on here complaining about SafeSport and belong to Safe Sport Overhul[sic] and ISWG. I've reached the point where all I can think when I read their posts is "What is wrong with you people?"

                              On another subject, a link to an August 23 COTH podcast on SafeSport showed up on my Facebook feed this morning. It may already have been shared here, but I don't recall seeing it, so here it is:

                              https://www.chronofhorse.com/article...s93OgFoi0q8BbM
                              "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                              that's even remotely true."

                              Homer Simpson

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by mvp View Post

                                My, but that's a broad and accusatory brush you'd tar me with!

                                Note that I was speaking of the term "alleged victim." And what is the data on how many people present themselves as having been the victim of a sex crime versus those who came forward with those claims only to have them dismissed, one way or another?

                                And I think it's a false dichotomy to assume that if I want credibility given to victims in the face of a history of their credibility having been badly undermined, you think I must automatically thing the inverse is true about accused perpetrators being automatically guilty.

                                I don't write or think so coarsely. Check my posts on this thread to verify that claim. I don't deserve to be treated as if that were true.
                                If you read the study I presented, they defined false claims extremely narrowly. It does not include cases where the charge was simply dismissed for some other reason.

                                If you acknowledge that not all allegations are true, then why are you averse to using the term "alleged victim" until the allegations are proven true? Why do you jump to the conclusion that the reporting party is, in fact, a victim?

                                I practice in the field of elder abuse law. I can tell you it is standard for judges to order that the victim must be called "alleged victim" throughout the trial. Once we get to the punitive damages phase (i.e., the jury has found that the abuse occurred, and is fixing extraordinary punishment for the conduct above and beyond regular damages), then we can use the term "victim."

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by YankeeDuchess View Post

                                  Horsegirl’s Mom posted an extremely thoughtful and useful post and included the sentence:

                                  “So it is legitimate for us to discuss what meets the standard of “fair and reasonable” to the accused and the alleged victim.”

                                  The context was a requested discussion of specific SafeSport procedures leading up to an adjudication.

                                  The moral reprehensibility of using the phrase “alleged victim” depends on the context. In the context in which she used it, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the use of the phrase.

                                  If a child, or adult, comes to you saying they were assaulted, obviously you don’t ask “and where did this alleged assault take place?” Duh. If you want to bash anyone who refers to Hilary Ridland as an “alleged victim”, get in line.

                                  But it all depends on the context. There are very, very, very few words in the English language which are repugnant regardless of context. Frankly, I can only think of one.

                                  Suppose Horsegirl’s Mom had tried to make her completely legitimate point with the same sentence but replaced “accused” with “abuser” and “alleged victim” with “victim”. Does the sentence still make sense as part of a discussion of procedures that are supposed to determine whether the “accused” is in fact an “abuser” or not? No, it doesn’t.

                                  SafeSport cannot simply assume that a reporter is in fact a victim without corroborating witnesses and evidence. If they were to do so, the ISWG people would be correct in saying that the accused is “presumed guilty” and must prove himself innocent. To be credible, the SafeSport process needs to be “fair” by some metric, and whatever else is included in the “fairness”, I think you need to start with a presumption of innocence.

                                  Before you jump on someone for being morally suspect, is it too much to ask that you look at the use of the phrase “alleged victim” in context?

                                  Personally, I don’t see how we can discuss fair and effective SafeSport procedures with using the distinction between “alleged victim” and “victim”. In context, of course.
                                  I bow down to you, Yankee Duchess. I don't know who you are but your posts are the most intelligent and thoughtful I've read recently in this discussion.

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by Horsegirl's Mom View Post

                                    I practice in the field of elder abuse law. I can tell you it is standard for judges to order that the victim must be called "alleged victim" throughout the trial. Once we get to the punitive damages phase (i.e., the jury has found that the abuse occurred, and is fixing extraordinary punishment for the conduct above and beyond regular damages), then we can use the term "victim."
                                    Just popping into the semantics sideline for a moment. Using the word "alleged" is absolutely and fully considered best practice in journalism as well. It's how media outlets can report on crimes, investigations and court cases without facing a gazillion defamation suits.

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by DarkBayUnicorn View Post

                                      Agreed, and they certainly aren't going to pay any heed to the group as it is acting now.

                                      Here are some tips to help the SafeSport opposition gain some credibility, and therefore some grassroots support, before even thinking about getting in front of politicians:

                                      1a) Clean house. Get rid of all the convicted felons. Anyone and everyone with a lifetime sport ban that's not subject to appeal. Anyone and everyone who has ever been on the sex offenders registry. You CANNOT say "We don't support child molesters" and then count them among your most fervant and vocal proponents. And get rid of anyone and everyone who was part of killing horses for insurance. Anyone and everyone who has been found guilty of drugging horses, of fraud. Get squeaky clean so you don't look guilty by association. This MUST happen first before you'll win folks over to your side.

                                      1b) Stop bellyaching about everyday safeguards put in place to protect YOU from the selfsame false accusations you all claim to be rampant. All other sports and youth organizations have been doing two-deep interactions for decades. Drag your butts into the 21st Century.

                                      2) Get a lawyer who understands, and has experience in, representing professionals at disciplinary hearings related to ethics. You'll find these folks working with professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers, real estate agents. Even better, get someone experienced with JAMS, since that is the closest thing you can get to SafeSport. This is not the place for an ambulance chaser lawyer like Bonnie Navin. (Did y'all know that's what she is?)

                                      3) Using the resources from #2, learn how things work in the real world. Not the horse world. The REAL world. You'll find that you've all signed a code of conduct. You have to abide by it if you want to keep your 'job'. Learn how. Now. The rest of us -- the guys with the money to spend on nice horses -- we do it every freaking day. We cannot contemplate why you find it so hard. Start shunning all those who cannot, or will not, comply with the code of conduct (loops back to #1 rather nicely, yes?).

                                      4) Following on #2 and #3, really closely examine the REAL way SafeSport works in comparison to other workplace and professional organization codes of conduct. Not what you heard from Joe. Not your experience with one single complaint. The whole shebang. All the sports, not just equestrian. Understand what makes it different from both criminal (this is key) and civil proceedings. Educate all followers regarding these key points of difference. Eradicate false claims regarding the consitution, statute of limitations, etc. from your arguements and your vocabulary. They simply do not pertain to SafeSport, and the constant wailing and teeth gnashing about them makes you look incredibly ill-informed and irrational.

                                      5) Build consensus outside of the hunter/jumper world first, then outside of equestrian sport. Because honestly, right now, the vast bulk of the wailing and teeth gnashing is coming from H/J. Not eventing, or dressage or vaulting or breed folks. Go further and talk to figure skating, gymnastics, rowing, track, hockey. They have all had MAJOR scandals. Those scandals have generated a ton more media and public interest than anything equestrian can ever attain. Google Maple Leaf Gardens sex scandal and you'll have enough reading for a year. Go to the other sports and ask them how they're handling both the scandals and SafeSport. Ask for lessons learned. Take those lessons onboard. Yes, some might need to be adapted a bit to acknowledge things like the horse as athelete and the fact our training centers also tend to be private homes. But adapt, don't reject outright.

                                      6) Using #2-5, come up with RATIONAL, REASONED, EMOTION-FREE PROPOSALS FOR CHANGE. Present them to the community in a rational, reasoned, emotion-free manner. Listen to feedback from across our sport, and other sports. Listen to the counter arguements and shore up responses. Conduct both qualitative and quantitative research using knowledgeable but impartial third party facilitators.

                                      7) You are now ready to present your case to a lobbyist, who will tell you whether or not it's worth the considerable effort and cost involved in going up the chain to Congress. Be advised there are strict rules around lobbying that make the code of conduct that is SafeSport look like a toddler's playgroup.
                                      I think this post literally “says it all” with respect to Kathy Hobstetter and SafeSport Overhaul. Every time she or someone from the group posts, can we just respond “Post 2765”?

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by Midge View Post


                                        I am forever surprised that people worry more about the 6% of the accusations, of the less than half of assaults reported, than the exponentially larger number of victims. You can say you're also for the victims, but when women are more concerned about repercussions for their sons than their daughters, there is a wild disconnect.
                                        Some of us are capable of worrying about all of these things. Of course we want all abusers punished. And of course we don't want innocent people punished.

                                        There. See how easy that is? The difficult thing is calibrating the procedures to try to achieve maximum good on all measures: (1) all abusive conduct reported; (2) all abusers punished; and (3) no innocent people punished.

                                        That is the point of this discussion--how to strike the procedural balance to achieve all 3 objectives as best we can. At one extreme, we could throw all men out of USEF. That would probably cut down sexual abuse a huge amount, and it would ensure that virtually all abusers and potential abusers are punished. But I assume (I hope!) most of us would say, "No, that's too extreme. That punishes too many innocent people." So we are back to the difficult task of designing procedures that strike the right balance of protecting victims and potential victims, while not punishing innocent people.

                                        Some people might think that SS has done a great job with its procedures--and that's a valid opinion. Other people want more elaborate procedures to make sure that the key evidence comes to light. Personally, I have some concerns about the "procedural shortcuts" SS has taken (like no discovery), but I haven't reached a final conclusion.

                                        The most interesting thing about the Lopez decision is that the arbitrator was clearly dissatisfied with the quality of the evidence SS presented. Apparently, SS had no live witnesses who would testify under oath; they only presented hearsay accounts from the SS investigator. I'm not surprised that a judge would not credit such "evidence." By all accounts, Lopez was definitely an abuser, so we should all be concerned if SS can't (or doesn't) put together the type of evidence that a judge (i.e., the JAMS arbitrators) expects to see.

                                        Comment


                                        • Another excellent post from DarkBayUnicorn, but I would add a point

                                          8} Get rid of all the Exclamation points in your presentation.

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