Ex-MP sued for libel after revealing name of sexual harasser

Former Green Party MP Sigrid "Sigi" Maurer is being sued after having published Facebook messages she received from a man who harassed her. 

Christine Tragler
Christine Tragler Der Standard, Austria
Source: Der Standard
Ex-MP sued for libel after revealing name of sexual harasser - NewsMavens
Sigrid Maurer. Twitter

Why this story matters:

The pervasive presence of sexism in Austrian society has been made clear by Sigrid Maurer's trial.

On September 4, she had to stand before the Austrian Regional Criminal court for having revealed the name of a beer shop owner from whom she received sexually degrading messages in person and online.

Maurer lives near the shop, and was often subjected to sexual comments when she walked by. 

Andreas Reichenbacher, lawyer for the beer shop owner, asked Maurer why she didn't walk on the other side of the street if she felt uncomfortable.

He then emphasized the fact that Maurer had walked in front of the beer shop even though she was uneasy -- implying that she was at least partially responsible for the events.

"This is a classic perpetrator-victim conversion," says Sigi Maurer's lawyer, Maria Windhager. Sigi Maurer adds: "We live in 2018. I did not want to put up with that."

I agree. It's 2018. Women shouldn't have to cross the street to avoid misbehaving men. Women and men must be able to use public space equally. Full stop. Basta.

Details from the story:

  • In May, former Green politician Sigrid "Sigi" Maurer received Facebook messages with highly obscene requests for oral and anal sex.
  • Maurer then published the messages on Facebook, including the name of the sender.
  • Since she made public these private messages, she could now have to pay a 60,000 euros penalty for libel and damages to the man who harassed her.
  • If Maurer loses the case, she will also have to pay the court costs of the man who sent her obscene messages.
  • One of the man's lawyers, Adrian Hollaender, argued throughout the case that Maurer violated the privacy of his client in a blatant manner.
  • The conclusion of the trial was postponed to October 9 so that additional witnesses could be interrogated.
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