Whistleblowing on the web: “The popular opinion goes a very, very, very quickly”

Dénonciation sur le web: «L’opinion populaire s’emballe très, très, très rapidement»

The wave of denunciations of abuse, harassment and sexual violence on social networks, especially on Instagram, to react, the criminalist Danielle Roy, who is sad to see people no longer trust the judicial system.

“We decided we lived in a democratic country, to live in a democracy, there is rule of law. It is important that these rules are followed. We don’t want to live in a society where people do justice themselves”, explained to Me Roy interview on the airwaves of LCN.

The facts must be presented before a court and judged by a magistrate to confirm the guilt of an individual. “It is necessary to test the evidence.”

“What is happening in this moment, it is of denunciations on the public square. People are shot down in flames while the means to defend themselves are less or not likely. One can always respond, but we can’t cross-examine. The popular opinion goes a very, very, very quickly,” she continued.

Difficult process

Several victims have chosen to denounce on the social networks, because the judicial process has failed for several, or because they do not want to go through such an ordeal.

Me Danielle Roy admits bluntly: the judicial process is “never easy”. “Whether it be for a witness, a complainant or a victim, the process is not easy. However, the system has put a lot of resources in place, in the last years, to accompany the complainants of sexual assault. They are well accompanied”, she assured.

On the other hand, to circumvent the justice system opens the door to more abuse. “Those who believe they are unfairly targeted, they will have the right to revenge them too? It makes no sense!”

Defamation

To Me, Roy finds that in some cases, the authors of denunciations on the web could be prosecuted for libel.

“It destroys reputations, careers, families. The courts are there to supervise. Any form of sexual assault is unfortunate, and should be denounced, but they are not all punished the same way. We will not punish in the same way a sexual assault with a knife under the throat in an alley in an attack where they put the hand on the thigh. No question of trivialising, but the two deserve the same fate? I do not believe.”

She insists, saying that a large proportion of the records of sexual assault, once brought before the tribunal, give inconclusive results.

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