An Auckland University law and ethics expert says it’s very important for the victims of sexual crimes to have ways of airing their accusations.
Professor Tim Dare's comments come following the case of Anihera Black, who has accused her dead husband Te Awanui Black of being a paedophile.
In a widely viewed Facebook post over the weekend, she urged her husband’s victims to come forward and seek help.
Professor Dare told Mark Sainsbury on RadioLIVE that talking with police and presenting evidence is the best course of action in cases like this, but social media exposure also encourages victims to come forward.
She could have gone to police with whatever evidence she's got.
“One point to make is that, it no doubt, is a good thing that people speak out, you do want accountability and you want to make sure that victims have support.
“If you think back to the English media scandals of a couple of years ago, people got away with it for a long time, and it’s no doubt a good thing that it eventually came out.”
Tim Dare says the police need to be in the loop.
“In this case there was a route for [Anihera Black] to raise these concerns - she could have gone to police with whatever evidence she’s got and asked them to look in to it.”
Police now have spoken Anihera Black who claims her now dead husband was a paedophile.
Police have now interviewed Ms Black and are seeking further information in regards to the allegations to determine what further action is taken.
Professor Dare says proving a case against a dead man is difficult, and people will believe what they want to believe.
“If in six months, if no one has come forward, then the people who have chosen to believe the accusations will believe them, they will just think no one came forward, but of course there are victims.”
Police say anyone who wishes to come forward can be sure they can speak in confidence. They are urged to either call their local station or to contact the Adult Sexual Assault team at ASA@police.govt.nz.
Mr Black was a prominent leader among iwi in Tauranga and died nearly two years ago at the age of 48.
Listen to the full interview with Professor Tim Dare above.
Morning Talk with Mark Sainsbury, 9am - 12pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.