THE chief executive of a domestic abuse charity has penned an open letter to the people behind a Facebook page after it posted a photograph of a woman online.
Shonagh Dillon, from Aurora New Dawn based in Havant, said people behind Spotted Portsmouth posted an image ‘of a woman whose skirt had ridden up whilst she stood chatting on a night out’.
Next time you are sent a photo for the purposes of public shaming please pause before you click the share buttonShonagh Dillon
The post has subsequently been deleted by the administrators of the Facebook page.
But Ms Dillon said the post led to ‘public shaming, bullying and vilification of a woman who did nothing other than stand talking to people on a pavement, outside a bar, without realising that her dress wasn’t quite playing along.’
Ms Dillon added the comments were linked to a culture that constantly criticises women which ultimately contributes toward rape victims believing they are at fault after being attacked.
In her letter she added: ‘It is time to stop. If people are offended it is for good reason.
‘Next time you are sent a photo for the purposes of public shaming please pause before you click the share button.
‘You have no idea who the subject of the photo is, you have no idea who their family, kids and friends are.
‘You have absolutely no idea about the state of their mental health.’
But a statement from someone behind the Spotted Portsmouth page, which has more than 27,000 likes, launched a blistering attack on the feminist charity which helps rape victims, children and victims of domestic violence.
The statement was signed by ‘M A Goldman’ who gave their position as ‘editor’ but did not reveal their full name.
It said: ‘Whilst we feel it is beneath us to respond to this ridiculous and somewhat offensive nonsense we feel it relevant to point out that neither person in the photos Aurora’s letter refers to have contacted us to ask for either picture to be removed.’
The statement called the charity ‘insignificant’, a ‘politically-motivated clique’, ‘elitist’ and ‘self-appointed guardians of morality, sneering at working-class people’.
In response, Ms Dillon said that 85,000 women a year are raped or sexually assaulted in the UK.
‘I would hardly call that insignificant,’ she added.
Goldman’s statement added that the page, which accepts submissions from the public, condemns ‘all forms of bullying and sexual violence’ and said Aurora was ‘man-hating’.
A petition on the website change.org calling on Spotted Portsmouth to stop publishing photos to shame people has so far attracted more than 460 signatures.