Today I am truly disgusted with New Zealand's justice system. If we cared more for the victims of attacks, we would have justice serving them and not the attacker, we would believe that justice is relevant only to the actions committed, not by who the people are who committed them, or what their future prospects are.
A human being must be held responsible for the actions they have committed and therefore deal with the consequences of those actions – did nobody teach this to the Judge who presided over Filipo’s case? To allow a human being to get away with four assault charges on four other human beings is quite simply not asking the perpetrator to be responsible for their actions, and thus not to truly deal with the consequences of those actions. It is extremely shameful to see Losi Filipo “say” that he he is remorseful yet commit to no actions that would be evidence of remorse – does Filipo have enough guts to step down from playing rugby for the same length of time that his victim is unable to play rugby? Even more shameful that he has not expressed this so called remorse himself in public as far as I'm aware, and had a spokesperson to do it for him. Is this the example of our great rugby players - cowardice?
Let me ask some other questions:
- Will Losi Filipo's contract with the Wellington Lions pay compensation for any surgery, therapy, etc., of the victims?
- If Losi Filipo is truly remorseful will he volunteer to give back to the victims what he took away in whatever way is suitable?
A question for New Zealanders:
- Will we stand by and do nothing as our Judge's make exceptions for celebrities and sports stars?
These victims are brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters – they could be family to any one of us. If we allow the Justice System to continue committing miscarriages of justice, then we allow the potential for further assaults to be committed without any consequence.
Are we going to ask the Judge to step down from duty because s/he has not served the interest of the victims first, the community second, and the aggressor third by demanding that they receive the full force of the law and deal with the consequences of their actions?
Does the NZ Rugby Union care only for money and ratings to allow an aggressive abuser to continue playing with the audience of many young and impressionable children and teens watching?
What are we the parents, educators, and caregivers to children and youth supposed to say when it is clear that if you are a sports star, you can get away with brutal assaults on other New Zealanders?
I would like some answers please, because I don't know what to do. I don't know what I can do. And I certainly don't know how to tell students to be responsible and deal with the consequences of their actions, when case after case is presented where perpetrators of assault don't have to do the same.