Some coverage of Humphries’ sentencing gives little thought to victims

25 October 2017

Labour Party spokesperson on Equality, Councillor Deirdre Kingston, has expressed concern at the leniency of the sentencing of Tom Humphries and has criticised some of the coverage of the Tom Humphries sentencing as being insensitive to the victims of sexual crime. 

Councillor Kingston said:

“The leniency of Tom Humphries’ sentence and the subsequent coverage show we have a lot to learn in this country when it comes to sexual violence and its impact on victims.

“Little thought was given to the victim yesterday newspapers and broadcasters were profiling Tom Humphries as a “national figure.”

“What stood out for me in the coverage was that the Judge noted the victim suffered from feelings of guilt, shame and self-hatred and lost her passion for GAA. This may well stay with her for much longer after Tom Humphries is released from prison.

“There is such a need to understand the experience of victims of sexual grooming, violence and assault, to listen to their experiences and to put in place structures to ensure they feel supported by the State. That is why it is crucial that the Government commissions a second Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland Report.

“Without such a study to determine the real level of sexual abuse and violence it will be impossible to properly plan for the investment needed in frontline services, and most importantly, really understand what kind of support victims need.

“As a society we need to be very careful in our language and we need to keep the victims of the crime, and victims around the country who may be emotionally impacted by the coverage of such crimes, at the forefront of our minds when talking about these issues.”

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