Our nation was built upon the notion that one is innocent until proven guilty. However, in cases of sexual assault, extra-marital affairs, child pornography, sexting, or a long hike along the Appalachian Trail, when the abuser is caught on camera or digitally recorded, and that broadcast is publicly distributed, the court of public opinion weighs in immediately. The person being accused of any wrongdoing has only minutes to develop and give their defense. If they don’t, or they respond in a way to shift the blame, any legal outcome almost becomes irrelevant.
If the alleged perpetrator is a male, it does not help their case if the person defending them is a woman, or if a woman serves as his spokesperson. If alleged perpetrator is indeed innocent and unjustly accused of any wrongdoing, the best spokesperson is the accused, who can immediately put any rumor or misspoken fact to rest, or correct any error made. If there is any question as to the accused innocence, then the only person speaking for the accused should be their lawyer.
In any crisis, it is vital to get ahead of the issue, to directly address the issue, correct the record and move forward and away from the issue as quickly as possible.
On the other hand,
- Start avoiding the issue, and people will peg you as guilty.
- Try to change the subject, and you will still be perceived as guilty.
- Blame someone else, and you will still be seen as guilty.
The only way to deal with serious issues, such as a sex crime is to deal with it directly and deal with it yourself.