Concerns for Brian after John Laws reduces caller to tears

John Laws reduced an 80-year-old caller to tears on radio this morning after the elderly man called to talk about being sexually assaulted as a child.

It’s not the first time the veteran jock has found himself in trouble when discussing sexual assault with callers, suggesting to a female listener in 2013, women who dress provocatively were “rape bait”.

This morning’s call on 2SM in which ‘Brian’ revealed his ordeal at the hands of a male attacker has angered Dr. Cathy Kezelman, President of ASCA (Adults Surviving Child Abuse) who is “disappointed” at the level of ignorance shown by Laws,  

“Even though it’s a long time ago, it can still have enormous impact on many aspects of daily life and you can’t get over it.”

During the call Laws suggested ‘Brian’, “…go to the pub and have a lemonade for God’s sake.”

Dr. Kezelman says announcers need to be educated around the effects of sexual assault, “It is not appropriate for uninformed announcers to assume they are providing wise advice on an area which is very sensitive and which for survivors takes enormous courage to speak, let alone to a broad radio audience”.

Dr. Kezelman adds, “Announcers who receive these calls can do best by listening, hearing, validating and being empathic”,  finally provide information for the caller encouraging them to seek professional support.

Laws wrapped up the call with ‘Brian’ this morning by asking the elderly man to thank him for him having on the radio.

“I am very angry that a courageous man reaching out in such a public way can be belittled and mocked, rather than understood and supported and then badgered into saying thank you for the verbal assault”, says Dr. Kezelman.

Celebrity reporter Peter Ford has tweeted that he called the John Laws talkback line following the call and while he wasn’t put to air they “assured me they have arranged professional help for the caller”.

After ‘Brian’s’ call Braveheart’s Hettie Johnson called to criticise Laws for the call, in the end hanging up on him.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or family violence, call ASCA on 1300 657 380

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