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Diversity in Modern Society



Great stuff Mike. Is there moves underway to address training issues, to make this role part of the curriculum for new nurses & doctors and to catch up existing staff? I would imagine there’s still a gulf between someone saying ‘you can talk to me’ and having someone available trained in coaching LGBT individuals, answering their questions and helping them deal with potential issues.


Yup; we have basic education and training as part of the overall model, we’re working with Health Education England around a specific central training package and, in paediatrics, we’ve significantly enhanced the training requirement around LGBT+ issues for all paediatricians-in-training that they have to have be competent in before they can become a consultant.

Still lots to do, but one of the reasons we’ve adopted this model is because it retains a very clear emphasis that staff must actively choose to sign up to wear a badge, and before they get one they have to affirm they’ve done the basic education, and acknowledge that wearing one is a responsibility.

Oh, and a key emphasis of this project is that NOT every member of staff is expected to be able to answer every question or solve every problem - what they ARE obliged to do though is listen without judgment and then to help the person find the help they do need.

As our pilot is part of the Children’s Hospital, it’s also very heavily embedded into our safeguarding protocols.


Well, not quite.

As Andrew has been trying to point out, victims coming forward and accusing their attacker do so by overcoming every instinct to prevent further harm from themselves, and their own shame (as blaming yourself is something victims often do automatically). That’s why it is far more likely that the victims will never come forward than that that someone accuses an innocent. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, just that it is less likely than the other option.

But it is still one person against another person’s statement, and I think this is not enough for us to really have any opinion at all on the matter. I agree with you there.

Which is why I pointed out towards @milstar that in the case of Luc Besson, multiple women have come forward to accuse him. That several people manage to fight through the shame and self-preservation instincts and expose themselves to this, people who are unrelated and talk about similar experiences - it is very unlikely indeed that the person they are talking about is innocent, at this point. As it turned out in cases like Bill Cosby or Harvey Weinstein, where at this point we can be reasonably sure of their guilt.

Which is why the accusations haven’t had any impact whatsoever on many of the people on that list or their carreers. Again, as long as that doesn’t happen, I don’t see the witch-hunt.

See, a perp has, after his spouse reported him to cops, to do a two days in jail and will face kick of their mutual crib and is denied to approach his spouse, just on one phone call. Needless to say, many men are displeased with this law.

I am sure many are. However, one has to wonder about the reasons why such a law was created?


Oh and particularly if you’re in the UK (or have UK connections) and you think the project is worth supporting, sharing on social media would be ace :slight_smile: … we’re very close to a critical tipping point in terms of getting this spreading across the whole NHS now.


I am asking the same thing.


Well, I do have a theory. I think it is to counter the usual dynamic that allows women to choose only between being abused further and being homeless and going to a women’s shelter, because what else are they going to do while the law decides whether they have been attacked or not?

Keep living with the guy who has beaten them up? Yes, in many cases. Or, alternatively: go to a women’s shelter.

This problem is exacarbated by the fact that
a) there are often children involved and
b) the women do not always have work and money of their own but often financially rely on their husband, because that is often still the situation especially in more traditional, rural areas - so they cannot afford alternative housing for themselves and the kids, while the man may well be in a better position to rent a room for the time until things have been made legally clear.

I am not talking theoretical cases, this is what keeps happening in a great number of cases, and I expect this is why the law you are talking about has been enacted.

To give an example:

Fifteen years ago, when Lynn fled her abusive partner with her six-month-old baby, she was housed in a homeless shelter because there was no space at a women’s refuge. When she arrived, staff asked her where her possessions were, allotted her a single knife, fork and spoon and begrudgingly dragged a dirty cot out of the garage. The cot was crawling with spiders and riddled with their eggs. Crying, Lynn taped bin bags over the infested mattress to lay her child down.

But she was lucky. Ten days later, a space at a women’s refuge became available. The first question she asked on arrival was: “I don’t suppose you’ve got any sanitary towels?”
Lynn’s partner was well-off, but he had complete control over her finances and she had left with nothing. Refuge staff provided her with essential items.


Today, Lynn’s story might have been different.

Jen recently fled her partner after he raped and abused her, but there was no refuge space available for her, despite the fact she was at high risk and had two young children. When she applied to the council, “they gave me a form and said they wouldn’t consider us homeless unless we could prove it”, she says. But it hadn’t been safe to salvage anything when she had left. “My children didn’t even have shoes on their feet. We were literally running for our lives.” Without identity documents or bank statements, she was left in limbo.
Eventually, with the help of an independent domestic violence adviser from Women’s Aid and a crime reference number from the police, a different council placed Jen and her children in a mixed-sex hostel. She describes the place as “squalid, horrific and traumatising”. There were rats and mice. The front door had no lock and was open 24 hours a day. More often than not, there was only cold water. And, perhaps worst of all, there “seemed no vetting process of who it was appropriate to house with who. So there were lots of men walking around with tags and obvious alcohol or substance abuse issues.” Given the prevalence of domestic violence, Jen was painfully aware that it was highly likely she might be living with men who had themselves been perpetrators.

“We were intimidated and threatened,” she says. “It’s incredibly traumatising and absolutely impossible to recover in that situation. I frequently thought that I would be better off returning to my abuser, because at least that abuse was predictable. At least I’d be able to cook for my children and wash their clothes. At least they would have beds.”


Well we disagree here. I don’t think more people giving similar stories about someone makes it “more likely” someone did something.

Anyone can make up a bunch of bull and turn it into a convincing sob story. I think this is a pernicious mechanism.


…that seems to be a very unusual stance to take.

If I steal your money and you accuse me of doing it while I deny it, it’s one word against another man’s word.

If someone else also accuses me of taking their money, as well, it seems rather more likely that I am the kind of person who will steal other people’s money.

It seems to me like a lot of our legal system is based upon more than one person giving testimony, and that the usual perspective is that any story becomes more likely when it is corroborated by multiple sources?


Multiple testimonies is the standard for a conviction, but we also live in an age where targeting the rich and powerful with false accusations has become routine. Part of the legal process is to evaluate the credibility of each accusation. In a court of law that happens. In the court of public opinion it doesn’t really happen.

I would agree that where there’s smoke there’s fire is a true statement 90% of the time. I think it takes alot for several people to make something up about a person and then stick by it, but then it takes alot to commit any crime in general and yet we’re still sending people to prison.

Put this a different way. If Millar had someone claim he stole their idea, some random he’d never met, we wouldn’t believe it. If three people made the same claim would we suddenly start to believe it? What about 10 people? Or is Mark still afforded for his accusers to make their case and to defend himself, and only be found guilty with clear evidence.

Clear evidence is a high price to pay, and yes it means some guilty people walk free. But at the same time clear evidence really is the only way for the process to work. To be fair this very discussion and where the boundaries exist has been happening since the beginning of civilization.


I am not under the impression that the legal system and truth always go together.

There are many ways in which testimonies can be misleading. Also there can be many reasons to lie. Do you think that there are any situations conceivable where people might want to ruin others reputations, or lives? Or is everybody so moral that nobody would ever be tempted to do that? You say if more people tell similar stories the possibility they’re lying might be smaller, but I don’t think you can credibly place some value of probability on someone telling the truth or lying.


Well the good news is that, the way things are going, there’ll be video evidence of everything sooner than later, so the point will be moot =P


Of course someone should be found guilty based on evidence - establishing motive usually forms part of that evidence. In a hypothetical crime like this the motive would be financial compensation. That doesn’t apply to cases of assault once they’re made public (sure, there are instances where a payoff might be used to prevent formal complaints).

Again you’re at odds with yourself - you’ve stressed the supposed high prevalence of the law declaring innocent people guilty; of course there are cases where the law declares guilty people innocent (particularly with sexual assault because as mentioned without corroboration or physical evidence it’s hard to prove) - and that’s ignoring the vast majority of sexual assaults that are unreported. It’s not something people like to talk about but if you were ever in a position to ask people in your family and among your friends will either have been victims themselves or personally know someone who was.

Why though? What’s wrong with that rule (especially if it applies across genders)?

You seem to have a very low opinion of people, one I don’t share (I think most people are good) - but your low opinion again is weighted in one direction on this issue; that a significant number of people will lie about having been assaulted compared to the number of people who commit assaults and never suffer any consequence.


Any proof of that?


In the US roughly 1 in 3 people get arrested once in their lives. That’s quite high, but that’s also not convicted. So it depends on what you mean by good.


It’s easy enough to make an argument for why one person might lie about another. It’s much more difficult to make an argument for why 5, 10, 20 unconnected people would tell the same lie about a particular person.


Regardless, wether the majority of people are good or not, I don’t think that should have any influence on wether to believe an accusation. Or multiple accusations. When I said “most people can make up some bullshit” I didn’t really mean that I think the majority of people would consciously set out to ruin someone’s life, more that it’s not difficult to lie.

You could turn the “most people are good” argument around and say it is a reason to believe the denial of the accused. Most people are good, so why would the accused lie by denying he committed a crime? And if most people are good, why would anyone steal or rape or murder in the first place? However some people still do. So it’s not helpful in determining truth.


Not hard proof; I think if >50% of humans were actively malicious we wouldn’t have a society. I can’t see how we’d all still be alive if one in two people were evil.


In the case of Bill Cosby for example I’m sure there’s a civil lawsuit and cash judgement that’s going to happen following his conviction. I’d guess there’s $3-5 million in payouts to each victim.

Not that I’d suggest Cosby is innocent or doesn’t deserve it. We just need to stop pretending there’s not life changing money on the line when it comes to these allegations against the rich and famous.


Cosby’s a great example. You had dozens of women telling the same story over the course of decades, most of whom never got a dime or even filed a lawsuit. And if simply getting a payout is the motivation, why aren’t there the same number men lining up to accuse celebrities, male or female, of assaulting them in order to get a payday?