Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pauses as he speaks during a town hall, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016, in Virginia Beach, Va. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pauses as he speaks during a town hall, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016, in Virginia Beach, Va. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

True Trump tragedy is the sexual assault victims: professor

A Queensland expert on domestic and family violence says the true tragedy of the Trump scandal is represented by the 9.7 million women who tweeted about their experiences of sexual harassment and sexual assault over a 14-hour period.

"Many of these were graphic accounts," says Associate Professor Annabel Taylor, who is the director of the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research based at CQUniversity Mackay City Campus.

"Trump's campaign headline about putting Hilary in jail is farcical given the revelations about Mr Trump's stated predilection for abusing his power and status in order to sexually grope women whom he finds attractive," Assoc Prof Taylor says.

She says the Twittersphere response to Kelly Oxford's invitation to report abuse should concern women and men everywhere in that it reveals the extent to which girls and women have been exposed to behaviour ranging from sexual innuendo to outright sexual violence.

"Here in Australia we have some indication of the problem from the 2012 ABS data which indicates that one in five Australian women had experienced sexual violence over their lifetime," Assoc Prof Taylor says.

"However, given the reluctance of girls and women to come forward with their experience and given the immediate response in the US to Kelly Oxford's invitation, it is highly likely that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

"What this news should do is to challenge all of us to thinking about the ways in which subtle and not-so-subtle representations of women may feed an underlying rape culture that allows some men to think that this behaviour is OK.

"Unfortunately, all too often male sporting stars in Australia have been pulled up for their own online and public sexual antics and these don't appear to be abating."

Assoc Prof Taylor says the concern has to be about the underlying attitudes towards women and girls illustrated by these behaviours.

"At what point do we say this is enough - that we value our mothers, sisters, daughters enough to say this is not OK and that no one whatever their status or privilege should be allowed to treat women as second-class citizens in their own countries, without fundamental rights to protection and safety. "



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