Louise Nicholas is a hero. She didn't get the justice she sought, but if she hadn't gone public Brad Shipton and Bob Schollum would never have been convicted. She didn't just fight back for herself she used her experience of abuse, oppression and injustice to try and make things better for all women. As she said:
When I look back over the injustices that have occurred, finally now after 20 years I have got the opportunity to perhaps right those wrongs. And I think I have done it. I know that. They might have been acquitted but that means nothing to me because I think a lot more has been achieved from it."The woman in the current case is a hero.
The woman in the Mt Mauganui case is a hero.
Donna Johnson, who was raped by Brad Shipton and gone public because the police won't prosecute, is a hero.
There are other heros right now. There are many people who knew and loved these women, and believed them. But in my mind, and I'm sure many others, Ross Nicholas has stood for them all. His heroism has been obvious, even though he has kept in the background.
I also want to pay respect to the individuals within our various institutions who have believed these women. As institutions the police, the courts and the media have let these women down again and again, they're not set up to be on our side. But there were indivduals within these institutions who fought for these women. I'd like to pay particular tribute to the twelve jurors in the first trial, and the jurors in the other trials who believed what these women had to say, but weren't given the evidence to convict.
(with credit to Amanda for a starting point).