About treacl - Tony Anstatt

CI, Edu, Design

Seek Support from outside the circle!

As frightening as it may be, it’s becoming highly publicised that ‘support is available from the … church/club/school/Institution‘. BEWARE: These may be another example of ‘bight the hand that feeds you‘. Also, that numerous wrongdoers of CSA were often involved as ‘Counsellor’, ‘Supporter’, ‘Family-liaison’ & so forth.

It has been found that experts in the fields of CSA Counselling+Support are available on both the CARC, knowmore & NationalRedressScheme sites. Often, these discussions & meetings are a much needed step in a victim’s recovery.

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Survivors and Solicitors

Survivors of child sexual abuse, who courageously gave evidence to The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, are now torn between applying for compensation through the Redress Scheme and/or launching legal proceedings against the perpetrating organisations. Neither pathway is easy and neither has a guaranteed outcome. Historical child sexual abuse cases are notoriously difficult…
— Read on notforgotten.tv/2018/10/27/survivors-and-solicitors/

Acknowledge the legal process will trigger trauma symptoms

Gather a support team

Commit to a rigorous self-care plan

Engaging a solicitor

Key points to remember when working with a solicitor

MANAGING COMMUNICATION

Supporting Survivors

LEGAL SUPPORT

EMERGENCY CONTACTS

Redress: the setting right of that which is morally wrong

August 9, 2018. Anne

Through the Redress Scheme, those who have been sexually abused in Australian institutions now have the opportunity to obtain financial compensation, counselling and a personal apology for the horror they endured. But don’t for one minute think it will be an easy process.

On 14 September 2015 the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released its Redress and Civil Litigation Report. After receiving submissions from more than 250 individuals and institutions, the 589-page report made 99 recommendations. There was an enormous financial cost to the Australian public for the Royal Commission so we should listen to what the Royal Commission had to say.

Here are some of the most significant recommendations regarding the Redress Scheme and what’s happened so far:

A national redress scheme for the estimated 60,000 likely claimants be established and commence accepting applications from survivors no later than 1 July 2017.

The Redress Scheme started on 1 July 2018, just a year late.  While everyone can start the application process, my understanding is that some State legislation needs to catch up. Applications from Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia can be received but they can’t yet be assessed.

The major perpetrators of institutional child sexual abuse (the Catholic, Anglican and Uniting churches, Salvation Army, Scouts and YMCA) have agreed to join the scheme.  However, the current lack of legislation in some States creates a loophole, so let’s hope those non-government institutions don’t use it to opt out.

The redress scheme to be independent of the offending institutions.

The applications for redress will be assessed by Independent Decision Makers, but we don’t know who they are. The Redress Scheme assures applicants that the Independent Decision Makers have no connection with participating institutions.  Does this mean there will be no Catholic, Anglican or Uniting Church parishioners?  No ex or current members of the Salvation Army, Scouts or the YMCA?  How can the assessment process be transparent if the Independent Decision Makers are not named?

Appropriate redress for survivors would include a financial payment up to $200,000.

The payment through the National Redress Scheme has been reduced to a maximum of $150,000.

$150,000 is a paltry amount for the impact of child sexual abuse on your life.  It would go nowhere near compensating Ms Forgotten Australian for her lack of ability to sustain full-time employment throughout her life, without taking into account her suffering.  The average redress payment is expected to be $76,000 and many will get less than that.

Applicants may receive a greater payout if they pursue compensation through the court process but the burden of proof will be greater in the court system than through the Redress Scheme.  However, the burden of engaging in the court process is likely to be more adversarial and stressful than the Redress Scheme. It’s challenging for survivors to provide the detailed particulars (time, date, location etc) often required for the court process, particularly if the child sexual abuse occurred many years ago and occurred multiple times.

The Redress Scheme is of significant benefit for the perpetrating institutions as payouts are likely to be less than through the legal process, and they won’t be tied up and financing legal processes for years.

A person should be eligible to apply to a redress scheme for redress if he or she was sexually abused as a child in an institutional context and the sexual abuse occurred, or the first incidence of the sexual abuse occurred, before the cut-off date.

That is unless you’re in prison.  If you are currently incarcerated you cant apply, you can do so when you’ve been released. If you’re out of gaol, but you’ve served more than a 5-year term then probably no redress for you, unless you are able to prove how rehabilitated you are.

Now I don’t want to get into an argument about prisoners getting money but here’s what infuriates me. The Royal Commission visited 60 prisons to take statements from prisoners who had been sexually abused in institutions.  They did this because there is such a clear understanding that child sexual abuse derails peoples lives to such an extent they are over-represented in the prison system.

I provided counselling to prisoners who had attended private sessions with the Royal Commission.  Their accounts of the sadistic child sexual abuse perpetrated against them were horrendous.  For some, the Royal Commission was the first time they had disclosed the abuse and the process of disclosing was traumatic.

Of the, 6,875 survivors and/or their family and friends who attended private sessions between May 2013 and May 2017 to share their experiences of child sexual abuse in Australian institutions, 713 (10.4 per cent) were in prison at the time of their private session.

On average, survivors in prison were aged 11.3 years when they were first sexually abused in an institutional context, though many said they experienced physical and sexual abuse prior to this, often within the family. The majority were sexually abused on multiple occasions (86.7 per cent). Most said they were sexually abused by a single person (53.7 per cent), and almost three-quarters for a duration of one year or less (71.5 per cent).

Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse: Final Report – Private Sessions

So the Redress Scheme seems to be saying to prisoners “thanks for telling us what happened to you, we know that it stuffed your life up, but too bad, no Redress for you or your family”.  Surely prisoners could apply and, if successful, any payout placed in trust.

Oh… and if you’re not an Australian citizen or permanent resident you also can’t apply.  So too bad if you came to Australia, went to school here, got sexually abused as a child at school and then went home!  No redress for you either.

A redress scheme should rely primarily on completion of a written application form.

Sounds easy, but filling out that 44-page document is complex.  Some survivors believed that their statement to the Royal Commission would have been sufficient as an application. It’s agonising to document a detailed account of child sexual abuse and then send it off to be assessed, by an unknown party. Once again survivors are placed in the role of having to prove what happened to them.

There are supports available to help people with the application process.  You can access them here: Redress Support Services.  I would encourage anyone completing the application to be supported by family, friends and/or the support services offered.

Counselling and psychological care should be supported through redress in accordance with the following principles:

  • Counselling and psychological care should be available throughout a survivor’s life.
  • Counselling and psychological care should be available on an episodic basis.
  • Survivors should be allowed flexibility and choice in relation to counselling and psychological care.
  • There should be no fixed limits on the counselling and psychological care provided to a survivor.
  • Without limiting survivor choice, counselling and psychological care should be provided by practitioners with appropriate capabilities to work with clients with complex trauma.
  • Treating practitioners should be required to conduct ongoing assessment and review to ensure treatment is necessary and effective. If those who fund counselling and psychological care through redress have concerns about services provided by a particular practitioner, they should negotiate a process of external review with that practitioner and the survivor. Any process of assessment and review should be designed to ensure it causes no harm to the survivor.
  • Counselling and psychological care should be provided to a survivor’s family members if necessary for the survivor’s treatment.

New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory have free counselling services as part of the redress offer.  Counselling services in Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia have not yet been finalised. Applicants living where States are not offering free counselling services will receive a payment of $5,000 to cover counselling.  That’s about 25 sessions throughout a lifetime.  That may not be sufficient to address complex trauma.

Some final thoughts….

We now have a situation where some child abuse survivors may feel abandoned by the Redress Scheme.  If you were in an institution and were viciously beaten and neglected, but not sexually abused you are now “unlucky” because you can’t access the Redress Scheme. The Royal Commission didn’t just uncover child sexual abuse, it also uncovered systemic physical and emotional abuse and neglect in institutions and yet these non sexually abused survivors have no access to the Redress Scheme.

I’m not sure the Redress Scheme sets right that which is morally wrong.

What are your thoughts regarding the Redress Scheme?

https://notforgotten.tv/2018/08/09/redress-the-setting-right-of-that-which-is-morally-wrong/

Childhood abuse never ended for thousands of Australian adults

PHOTO After surviving years of abuse at the hands of her family, Sarah has started a family of her own. ABC NEWS: TRACEY SHELTON

Sarah is living proof that “life after hell” is possible. 

For more than 20 years she says she endured beatings, rape and degradation at the hands of her family.

She tells of being locked in sheds, made to eat from a dog’s bowl and left tied to a tree naked and alone in the bush.

Her abusers spanned three generations and included her grandfather, father and some of her brothers. She has scars across her body.

“This is from a whipper snipper,” she says, pointing to a deep gouge of scar tissue wrapped around the back of her ankle. Higher up is another she says was caused by her father’s axe.


Family violence support services:


But Sarah survived.

Now she is speaking out in the hope of empowering others trapped in abusive situations. 

“There is life after hell, but you need to learn how to believe in yourself,” she says.

A reality for many Australian adults

As confronting as Sarah’s case may be, she is not alone. 

While most people assume child abuse ends at adulthood, it can bring control, fear and manipulation that can last a lifetime.

Incestuous abuse into adulthood affects roughly 1 in 700 Australians, according to research by psychiatrist Warwick Middleton — one of the world’s leading experts in trauma and dissociation. If that estimate is accurate, tens of thousands of Australian adults like Sarah are being abused by family members into their 20s or even up to their 50s.

PHOTO Warwick Middleton is one of the world’s leading experts in trauma and dissociation. ABCNEWS Tracey Shelton

“It’s a mechanism of ongoing conditioning that utilises every human’s innate attachment dynamics, and where fear and shame are used prominently to ensure silence — particularly shame,” says Professor Middleton, an academic at the University of Queensland and a former president of the International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation.

He has personally identified almost 50 cases among his patients, yet there was no literature or studies on this kind of abuse when he began publishing his findings.

Hidden in ‘happy’ families, successful careers

Sydney criminologist Michael Salter has found similar patterns in his own research. He said cases of incest are “fairly likely” to continue into adulthood, but this extreme form of domestic abuse is unrecognised within our health and legal systems.

“It’s unlikely that these men are going to respect the age of consent,” says Mr Salter, who is an associate professor of criminology at Western Sydney University. “It doesn’t make sense that they would be saying, ‘Oh you’re 18 now so I’m not going to abuse you anymore’. We’re just not having a sensible conversation about it.”

The ABC spoke with 16 men and women who described being abused from childhood into adulthood.

They said their abusers included fathers, step-fathers, mothers, grandparents, siblings and uncles.

Medical and police reports, threatening messages and photos of the abuse supported these accounts. Some family members also confirmed their stories.

PHOTO Sarah’s father often recorded the abuse. This image is the first in a series of five she discovered in the family home.

Sarah says her father and his friends photographed some of her abuse. One image shows her beaten and bloodied with a broken sternum at five. In another photo (pictured here), she cowers as her father approaches with a clenched fist.

Most victims described their families as “well-respected” and outwardly “normal-looking”, yet for many the abuse continued well after their marriage and the birth of their own children, as they navigated successful careers. 

“You see a lot of upper-income women who are medical practitioners, barristers, physiatrists — high functioning in their day-to-day lives — being horrifically abused on the weekends by their family,” Mr Salter says.

Helen, a highly successful medical professional, says she hid sexual abuse by her father for decades.

“They didn’t see the struggle within,” she says. 

A mental ‘escape’

Professor Middleton describes abuse by a parent as “soul destroying”. In order to survive psychologically, a child will often dissociate from the abuse.

Compartmentalising memories and feelings can be an effective coping strategy for a child dependent on their abuser, says Pam Stavropoulos, head of research at the Blue Knot Foundation, a national organisation that works with the adult survivors of childhood trauma.

‘I learnt to disappear’

Like a “shattered glass”, three women discuss the myths and challenges of living with Dissociative Identity Disorder.

The extreme and long-lasting nature of ongoing abuse can result in dissociative identity disorder, which on the one hand can shield a victim from being fully aware of the extent of the abuse but can also leave them powerless to break away, Ms Stavropoulos says.

Claire*, 33, describes her dissociation as both her greatest ally and her worst enemy.

“You feel like you’ve keep it so secret that you’ve fooled the world and you’ve fooled yourself,” she says.

In her family, women — her mother and grandmother — have been the primary physical and sexual abusers and she says some of her abuse is ongoing.

“In a way you have freedom, but at the same time you are trapped in a nightmare,” she says.

‘It’s like he’s melted into my flesh’

For many, the attachment to an abuser can be so strong, they lose their own sense of identity.

Kitty, who was abused by her father for more than five decades until his recent death, says she did everything her family said to try to win their love.

“I thought I was some kind of monster because I still love my father,” she says. “It’s like he’s melted into my flesh. I can feel him. He is always here.”

Raquel’s rage grew from her family’s dark past

Four years into my relationship with my new partner, I realised I was continuing a cycle of abuse. I am a survivor of family sexual abuse who was raised by a child molesterer, and I was releasing my rage on the closest person to me, writes Raquel O’Brien.

Mr Salter says the conditioning is difficult to undo, and often leaves a victim vulnerable to “opportunistic abuse” and violent relationships.

“If the primary deep emotional bond that you forge is in the context of pain and fear then that is how you know that you matter,” he says. “It’s how you know that you are being seen by someone.”

Many of those the ABC spoke with were also abused by neighbours or within the church or school system. Others married violent men.

“They don’t have the boundaries that people normally develop,” Mr Salter says, adding that parental abuse could leave them “completely blind to obvious dodgy behaviour because that’s what’s normal for them”.

‘You believe they own your body’

Professor Middleton said premature exposure to sex confuses the mind and the body and leaves a child vulnerable to involuntary sexual responses that perpetrators will frequently manipulate to fuel a sense of shame, convincing them they “want” or “enjoy” the abuse.

For Emma*, violent sexual assaults and beatings at home began when she was five and are continuing more than 40 years later.

“When you are naked, beaten, humiliated and showing physical signs of arousal, it really messes with your head. It messes with your sexuality,” she says.

“Your sense of what is OK and what isn’t becomes really confused. You come to believe that they literally own you and own your body. That you don’t deserve better than this.”

A medical report viewed by ABC shows Emma required a blood transfusion last month after sustaining significant internal tissue damage from a sharp object. The report stated Emma had a history of “multiple similar assaults”.

She said medical staff do want you to get help and sometimes offered to call police.

“What they don’t understand is that for me police are not necessarily a safe option,” she says.

As a teenager she had tried to report to the police, but was sent back home to face the consequences.

She said a “lack of understanding about the dynamics of abuse and the effects of trauma” mean victims rarely get the response and help they need.

While Emma has been unable to escape the abuse, she has made many sacrifices to shelter her children from it. But they still suffer emotionally, she says.

“It makes it hard for anyone who cares about you having to watch you hurt over and over again.”

Incest after marriage and kids

For Graham, it was devastating to find out his wife Cheryl* was being sexually abused by both her parents 10 years into their marriage.

“I had no idea it was going on,” he says, of the abuse that continued even after the birth of their children. “The fight between wanting to kill [her father] and knowing it’s wrong wasn’t fun. I don’t think people know what stress is unless they’ve been faced with something like that.”

With Graham’s support, the family cut contact with his in-laws. He says the fallout of this abuse ripples through society impacting everyone around both the abused and the abuser.

Mr Salter urges anyone suffering abuse to reach out for help, and for those around them to be supportive and non-judgemental.

“You can get out — don’t take no for an answer. Keep fighting until you find someone who is going to help you keep fighting,” he says.

A new life

Sarah met Professor Middleton after a suicide attempt at 14, but it took many years for her to trust and accept that things could change.

“I just couldn’t grasp I was free. It didn’t matter what anyone did,” she says. 

“I still felt overall that my family was in control of me and at any moment they could kill me.”

Through therapy with Professor Middleton — who she spoke of as the only father figure she has ever known — and the support of her friends and partner, Sarah finally broke away from her abusive family to start a new life of her own.

“You need people to help you through it. In the same way that it took other people to cause you the pain, it takes new people to replace them and help you give yourself another go,” she says.

“If I can give hope to one other person out there, then all my years of pain will not have been for nothing.”

*name changed to protect identity

https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-01/family-sex-abuse-survivor-took-rage-out-on-partner/10155992

More institutions join the National Redress Scheme

This newsletter includes an update on institutions as they finalise arrangements to be able to participate in the National Redress Scheme. 

For more information or to find support services, visit the National Redress Scheme website or call 1800 737 377 Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm (local time), excluding public holidays.

State and Territory update

The Western Australia government has completed the final steps to join the National Redress Scheme (the Scheme) and formally commenced on 1 January  2019. This means that applications relating to institutions that are the responsibility of the Western Australia government may progress.

All State and Territory governments have joined the Scheme with the exception of the South Australia government, which is expected to join in February. 

Enquiries about the progress of applications already lodged with the Scheme can be made by calling 1800 737 377 Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm (local time), excluding public holidays.

Institution update

More institutions have undertaken the steps to formally join the National Redress Scheme. They are listed below. Some institutions are joining the Scheme in stages, for example by Order, Diocese, States and Groups. The Scheme is working closely with institutions, supporting and encouraging them to join as soon as possible. 

Six more Catholic Dioceses have joined, represented by Australian Catholic Redress Limited. They are:

·         Archdiocese of Perth

·         Chaldean Eparchy of St Thomas

·         Diocese of Bunbury

·         Diocese of Broome

·         Diocese of Geraldton

·         Melkite Catholic Eparchy

Three more Catholic Religious Orders have also joined the Scheme. They are:

·         Marist Fathers Australian Province

·         Sisters of Mercy Brisbane

·         Sylvesterine Benedictine Monks

For more information about which sites are covered by these institutions, visit the Scheme’s website. There is also a full list of institutions that have joined the Scheme at: www.nationalredress.gov.au/institutions/joined-scheme
 

Where do I get support?

Redress Support Services are available to help people understand the Scheme, provide emotional support and guide people through the application process. A list of support services is available on the website.

Those who need immediate emotional support can contact: 

Find out more

You can call the National Redress Scheme on 1800 737 377 Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm (local time), excluding public holidays. You can also visit the website at www.nationalredress.gov.au.

At least 231 children abused at Catholic boys’ choir run by Pope Benedict’s brother

AT LEAST 231 children at a famous Catholic boys’ choir in Germany were victims of physical abuse, a lawyer commissioned to investigate the scandal said today.

The Domspatzen, a 1,000-year-old choir in Regensburg, Bavaria, was dragged into the massive sexual abuse scandal plaguing the Catholic Church in 2010, when allegations of assaults that took place several decades ago went public.

The choir was run by Pope Benedict’s elder brother, Georg Ratzinger, from 1964 to 1994 when most of the claimed abuses took place.

Ratzinger has said that the alleged sexual abuse was “never discussed” in the time that he ran the choir attached to the boarding school.

Lawyer Ulrich Weber, who had been commissioned by the diocese to look into the cases, said at a press conference today that his research, which included 70 interviews with victims, uncovered abuse that took place from 1945 to the early 1990s.

“I have here 231 reports of physical abuse,” he said, announcing a figure far higher than had previously been assumed.

These ranged from sexual assault to rape, severe beatings and food deprivation, said Weber.

The reported cases of sexual abuse in Regensburg were mostly concentrated in the period of the mid to end 1970s.

Weber added that “50 victims spoke of ten perpetrators”.

The director and composer Franz Wittenbrink, a former pupil of the boarding school, had told Der Spiegel magazine in 2010 that there was a “system of sadistic punishments connected to sexual pleasure”.

Several other German institutions have also been engulfed by the ongoing clerical abuse scandal, including an elite Jesuit school in Berlin which had admitted to systematic sexual abuse of pupils by two priests in the 1970s and 1980s.

Most of the priests concerned are not expected to face criminal charges however, because the alleged crimes took place too long ago.

However, there had been calls for a change in the law and for the church to pay compensation to victims.

In February last year, the Regensburg diocese had said there were 72 victims of abuse, and had offered  compensation of €2,500 each.

 © AFP 2015

Retrieved from https://www.thejournal.ie/regensburg-domspatzen-ratzinger-benedict-choir-child-abuse-scandal-2538826-Jan2016/

Realising & Speaking about your Abuse (CSA)

During listening to a recent Audio recording of ‘What is Child sexual abuse & neglect’, it was realised that in my process of meeting with Counsellors & Therapists re: Brain Injury – I’d also been speaking about my CSA history. I highly recommend any CSA Survivour to meet with someone & organise regular meetings with Counsellors-Psychologists. I already had theses Appointments arranged, yet anyone else should make use of them.