In light of the “Elmo Scandal,” I find myself questioning the appropriateness of mentioning rape victims names. As I’ve learned in Communication Law class, It’s unethical to run rape victims names because victimizes the one who was raped three times. Once by the rapist, another by the police questioning, and last by having to relive it when they see and read about it in the media. (There are two other significant reasons why it’s unethical for rape victims to be named in the media, but this one stood out to me the most.)
Rape, as I can imagine, is a very traumatizing experience. I completely agree that it’s unethical to run rape victims names in the media, regardless of the “news worthiness.” In the “Elmo Scandal” two “victims” have come forward, accusing puppeteer and voice of Elmo, Kevin Clash, of sexual relationships and seducing years ago when they were underage.
One “victim” has already recanted his story. The other is suing for $5 million in damages. Being that these incidents alledgly happened nine plus years ago, it seems to me that the accusers have come out to reveal their stories for its newsworthiness and financial gain.
Is it still inappropriate to mention rape victims names when they want to tell their stories? I don’t think so. But I think when doing so news outlets need to check the validity of such accusations. Kevin Clash is a public figure. Such a scandal could cause the Sesame Street brand that he represents lots of money and fans.
When rape is such a traumitizing and sensitive situation, why would one want to purposely put themselves in the media, having to relive it??? It’s a question I cannot answer because I have not experienced. However, the first accuser has already recanted his story. His story is invalid and makes me question the validity of other accusers. Are they doing it for the money???