George Pell’s interview with police in Rome revealed as court releases video

VIDEO: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE WARNING: Pell describes allegations against him as “deranged falsehood” (ABC News)

A video recording of George Pell’s interview by police has been released by a Melbourne court as the man who was once Australia’s most powerful Catholic spent his first day behind bars.

Key points:

  • The 45-minute video shows Pell being interviewed by police in Rome in 2016
  • Pell was charged with child sex offences eight months after the police interview
  • The video was played to the court during Pell’s two trials last year but has only been released now

Pell, 77, was transported to the Melbourne Assessment Prison late yesterday after his bail was revoked at the end of his plea hearing in the County Court.

He will be sentenced in a fortnight after being convicted of five child sexual offences including sexual penetration of a child under 16 and four counts of committing an indecent act with a child.

Inside the Pell abuse trial

Inside the Pell abuse trial

How one man’s testimony brought down George Pell, a giant in the Catholic Church, and Australia’s most senior cleric.

The court has now released a video recording of Pell’s interview by police at an airport hotel in Rome in October 2016, eight months before he was charged with child sex offences.

The 45-minute video was played to the court during Pell’s two trials last year, as he unsuccessfully fought charges relating to the sexual abuse of two choirboys.

He did not give evidence during the trial and so the police interview was the only time the jurors heard from the accused man himself.

It depicts Pell, flanked by a lawyer, sitting across a table from Victoria Police Detective Sergeant Christopher Reed who put the allegations to the senior Vatican official for the first time.

Pell responded by describing them as “absolute and disgraceful rubbish” and claimed they were the “product of fantasy”… <cont.>

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-28/cardinal-george-pell-police-interview-video-released/10857418

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George Pell’s ripple effect

Driven by the realisations of the Catholic Church’s mischievous use of their “crimen sollicitationis“, Australian Cardinal Pell’s guilt to multiple charges of Child Sexual Abuse is having an immense impact. Beyond solely Catholic Churches, Religions in general hid behind the veil of ‘blessed impunity’. This has now been ripped away, in both recorded phallacies of Pell’s innocence and Charges through a Court system.

Searing Testimony Heard at Vatican Sex Abuse Summit

Pope Francis has warned bishops that the Catholic faithful are demanding more than just condemnation of clergy sex abuse but concrete action to respond to the scandal.

Feb 21, 2019.

Sex abuse survivor Alessandro Battaglia, right, is hugged by survivor and founding member of the ECA (Ending Clergy Abuse), Denise Buchanan, during a twilight vigil prayer near Castle Sant’ Angelo, in Rome, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. Pope Francis opened a landmark sex abuse prevention summit Thursday by warning senior Catholic figures that the faithful are demanding concrete action against predator priests and not just words of condemnation. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sex abuse survivor Alessandro Battaglia, right, is hugged by survivor and founding member of the ECA (Ending Clergy Abuse), Denise Buchanan, during a twilight vigil prayer near Castle Sant’ Angelo, in Rome, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. Pope Francis opened a landmark sex abuse prevention summit Thursday by warning senior Catholic figures that the faithful are demanding concrete action against predator priests and not just words of condemnation. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


BY NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The day began with an African woman telling an extraordinary gathering of Catholic leaders that her priestly rapist forced her to have three abortions over a dozen years after he started violating her at age 15. It ended with a Colombian cardinal warning them they could all face prison if they let such crimes go unpunished.

In between, Pope Francis began charting a new course for the Catholic Church to confront the “evil” of clergy sexual abuse and cover-up, a scandal that has consumed his papacy and threatens the credibility of the Catholic hierarchy at large.

Opening a first-ever Vatican summit on preventing abuse, Francis warned 190 bishops and religious superiors on Thursday that their flocks were demanding concrete action, not just words, to punish predator priests and keep children safe. He offered them 21 proposals to consider going forward, some of them obvious and easy to adopt, others requiring new laws.

But his main point in summoning the Catholic hierarchy to the Vatican for a four-day tutorial was to impress upon them that clergy sex abuse is not confined to the United States or Ireland, but is a global scourge that requires a concerted, global response.

“Listen to the cry of the young, who want justice,” Francis told the gathering. “The holy people of God are watching and expect not just simple and obvious condemnations, but efficient and concrete measures to be established.”

More than 30 years after the scandal first erupted in Ireland and Australia, and 20 years after it hit the U.S., bishops and Catholic officials in many parts of Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia still either deny that clergy sex abuse exists in their regions or play down the problem.

Francis, the first Latin American pope, called the summit after he himself botched a well-known sex abuse cover-up case in Chile last year and the scandal reignited in the U.S.

The tone for the high stakes summit was set at the start, with victims from five continents — Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and North America — telling the bishops of the trauma of their abuse and the additional pain the church’s indifference caused them.

“You are the physicians of the soul and yet, with rare exceptions, you have been transformed — in some cases — into murderers of the soul, into murderers of the faith,” Chilean survivor Juan Carlos Cruz told the bishops in his videotaped testimony.

Other survivors were not identified, including the woman from Africa who said she was so young and trusting when her priest started raping her that she didn’t even know she was being abused.

“He gave me everything I wanted when I accepted to have sex; otherwise he would beat me,” she told the bishops. “I got pregnant three times and he made me have an abortion three times, quite simply because he did not want to use condoms or contraceptives.”

Manila Cardinal Luis Tagle choked up as he responded to their testimony.

In a moving meditation that followed the video testimony, Tagle told his brother bishops that the wounds they had inflicted on the faithful through their negligence and indifference to the sufferings of their flock recalled the wounds of Christ on the cross.

He demanded bishops and superiors no longer turn a blind eye to the harm caused by clergy who rape and molest the young.

“Our lack of response to the suffering of victims, yes even to the point of rejecting them and covering up the scandal to protect perpetrators and the institution, has injured our people,” Tagle said. The result, he said, had left a “deep wound in our relationship with those we are sent to serve.”

After he offered the bishops a vision of what a bishop should be, the Vatican’s onetime sex crimes prosecutor told them what a bishop should do. Archbishop Charles Scicluna delivered a step-by-step lesson Thursday on how to conduct an abuse investigation under canon law, repeatedly citing the example of Pope Benedict XVI, who turned the Vatican around on the issue two decades ago.

Calling for a conversion from a culture of silence to a “culture of disclosure,” Scicluna told bishops they should cooperate with civil law enforcement investigations and announce decisions about predators to their communities once cases have been decided.

He said victims had the right to seek damages from the church and that bishops should consider using lay experts to help guide them during abuse investigations.

The people of God “should come to know us as friends of their safety and that of their children and youth,” he said. “We will protect them at all cost. We will lay down our lives for the flocks entrusted to us.”

Finally, Scicluna warned them that it was a “grave sin” to withhold information from the Vatican about candidates for bishops — a reference to the recent scandal of the now-defrocked former American cardinal, Theodore McCarrick. It was apparently an open secret in some church circles that McCarrick slept with young seminarians. He was defrocked last week by Francis after a Vatican trial found credible reports that he abused minors as well as adults.

Francis, for his part, offered a path of reform going forward, handing out the 21 proposals for the church to consider.

He called for specific protocols to handle accusations against bishops, in yet another reference to the McCarrick scandal. He suggested protocols to govern the transfers of seminarians or priests to prevent predators from moving freely to unsuspecting communities.

One idea called for raising the minimum age for marriage to 16 while another suggested a basic handbook showing bishops how to investigate cases.

In the final speech of the day, Colombian Cardinal Rubén Salazar Gómez warned his brother bishops that they could face not only canonical sanctions but also imprisonment for a cover-up if they failed to properly deal with allegations.

Abuse and cover-up, he said, “is the distortion of the meaning of ministry, which converts it into a means to impose force, to violate the conscience and the bodies of the weakest.

Abuse survivors have turned out in droves in Rome to demand accountability and transparency from church leaders and assert that the time of sex abuse cover-ups is over.

“The question is this: Why should the church be allowed to handle the pedophile question? The question of pedophilia is not a question of religion, it is (a question of) crime,” Francesco Zanardi, head of the main victims advocacy group in Italy Rete L’Abuso, or Abuse Network, told a news conference in the Italian parliament.

Hours before the Vatican summit opened, activists in Poland pulled down a statue of a priest accused of sexually abusing minors. They said the stunt was to protest the failure of the Polish Catholic Church in resolving the problem of clergy sex abuse.

Video showed three men attaching a rope around the statue of the late Monsignor Henryk Jankowski in the northern city of Gdansk and pulling it to the ground in the dark. They then placed children’s underwear in one of the statue’s hands and a white lace church vestment worn by altar boys on the statue’s body. Jankowski is accused of molesting boys.

The private broadcaster TVN24 reported the three men were arrested.

Jankowski, who died in 2010, rose to prominence in the 1980s through his support for the pro-democracy Solidarity movement against Poland’s communist regime. World leaders including President George H.W. Bush and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher visited his church to recognize his anti-communist activity.

___

More AP coverage of clergy sex abuse at https://www.apnews.com/Sexualabusebyclergy

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Retrieved: https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2019-02-21/pope-opens-sex-abuse-summit-amid-outcry-from-survivors

Red Flags – (running together with Child Sexual Abuse)

Red Flags

http://avoicereclaimed.com/2019/01/13/red-flags/
— Read on avoicereclaimed.com/2019/01/13/red-flags/

It can be difficult, at the outset of a relationship, to predict whether a prospective partner will become abusive.  However, there are certain danger signals which, in combination, should not be ignored.  These involve embarrassment/criticism, control/manipulation, isolation, blame, threats, and violence.

Here is a list of “red flags” [1][2]:

Embarrassment/Criticism

• A partner who regularly disparages your friends, family, ideas, and goals.

• A partner who deliberately embarrasses and insults you.  Such a partner may humiliate you in public, or criticize you viciously in private.  He or she may attack your looks or your parenting skills, as a means of undermining your confidence.

Control/Manipulation

• A partner who prevents you from making decisions. This interference may, at first, be as simple as telling you what you can and cannot wear to work.

• A partner who is extremely jealous and possessive.  Such a partner continually tracks where you go, whom you meet, and what you do.  He or she may expect to you check in, throughout the day, and spend every moment of your free time with him/her.

• A partner with a hair-trigger temper. You walk on eggshells to keep the peace.

• A partner who takes your money or refuses to provide you necessary income for expenses.

• A partner who plays “mind games” to make you feel guilty.  Such a partner may, for instance, threaten to commit suicide if you leave him or her.

• A partner who pressures you to have sex, or to engage in a type of sexual activity with which you are not comfortable.

• A partner who prevents you from using birth control.

• A partner who pressures you to use drugs or alcohol.

Isolation

• A partner who discourages or prevents you from seeing friends and family.  Such a partner may begin by fielding the phone calls intended for you, then distort or fail to relay the messages left for you.

• A partner who prevents you from going to work or school.

Blame

• A partner who refuses to take responsibility for his/her own actions and failures.

• A partner who blames you for his/her drug or alcohol abuse (and even his/her boss’ behavior).

• A partner who pretends the abuse is not taking place or blames you for it.

Threats

• A partner who glares at you in a threatening manner, or acts in a way that frightens you.  Such a partner may, for instance, brandish a gun or knife in your presence.  He or she may drive at a dangerously high speed with you in the vehicle, despite your pleas to stop.

• A partner who threatens to hurt or kill your pets.

• A partner who threatens to hurt or kill your children, or take custody of them away from you.

• A partner who threatens to hurt or kill you.

Violence

• A partner who destroys your property.  This may take the form of slashing your clothes or harming a pet.

• A partner who shoves, slaps, chokes, punches, or hits you or your children with an object.

• A partner who attempts to prevent you from pressing criminal charges for abuse.

The tragic fact is that domestic abuse ends in death, in all too many cases.  Forewarned is forearmed.

[1]  National Domestic Violence Hotline, “Know the Red Flags of Abuse”,  https://www.thehotline.org/2012/09/11/red-flags-of-abuse/.

[2]  New Hope for Women, “Red Flags for Domestic Abuse”, http://www.newhopeforwomen.org/red-flags-for-domestic-abuse.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: https://alawyersprayers.com

Brisbane ex-principal’s role in Anglican Diocese response to child abuse probed

EXCLUSIVE BY ALEXANDRA BLUCHER, ABC INVESTIGATIONS

PHOTO 

A royal commission found Gilbert Case was told two of his staff were abusing children.

AAP: DAN PELED

The former principal of one of Queensland’s most prestigious Anglican schools is understood to be one of the main subjects of a police investigation into the handling of child sex abuse complaints in the 1990s.

Key points:

  • Qld police have ramped up an investigation into the Anglican Diocese’s handling of child abuse complaints in the 1990s
  • The ex-headmaster of St Paul’s School in Brisbane and former governor-general Peter Hollingworth are both main subjects in the new investigation
  • Dr Hollingworth says police have told him they are not seeking to interview him

New witnesses have spoken to police, with both Brisbane’s St Paul’s School former headmaster Gilbert Case and former governor-general Peter Hollingworth understood to be the main subjects of the investigation.

Dr Hollingworth and Mr Case are being looked at due to their positions of authority in the 1990s, as part of a wider investigation into the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane’s response to child sexual abuse complaints at the time.

The revelation comes as Queensland police swell the ranks of the team tasked with investigating the diocese, growing from one detective to up to six officers since June.

Police are also examining allegations about the handling of complaints that were not heard at the child sexual abuse royal commission.

Child abuse protection advocate Kelvin Johnston said he thought the investigation was being broadened.

“A lot of it has to do with … not reporting it [abuse],” Mr Johnston said.

“They should go straight to the police when they hear about them.

“Not doing that is just protecting a brand and that’s not good enough when you’ve got children’s lives and wellbeing at stake.”

There are no allegations of child sexual abuse being committed by Dr Hollingworth or Mr Case.

Fresh investigation follows royal commission findings

Mr Case was the headmaster of prestigious Anglican Diocese-owned St Paul’s School in Brisbane between 1979 and 2000.

The royal commission found during this time, Mr Case was told two staff members at the school — music teacher Gregory Robert Knight and counsellor Kevin Lynch — were sexually abusing boys.

Mr Case denied to the royal commission that he was told in a meeting with two of Mr Lynch’s victims about the offending.

He did not report the allegations to the police and gave Knight a reference in 1984 for a new teaching job in Darwin.

Knight and Mr Lynch were subsequently charged with child sex offences. Knight was convicted and Lynch killed himself while on bail.

Mr Case was later promoted to the role of executive director of the Anglican Schools Office by a panel on which Dr Hollingworth was a member.

The royal commission found Dr Hollingworth knew of a claim Mr Case “failed to respond” to a child sexual abuse allegation at the time of the promotion, but Dr Hollingworth denied this.

Mr Case’s lawyers have been contacted for comment but did not respond.

Abuse survivors speak to police

Dr Hollingworth was Archbishop during the 1990s and later resigned as governor-general in 2003 over his handling of abuse complaints.

The ABC can reveal at least two child sexual abuse survivors who have raised concerns about Dr Hollingworth’s handling of their complaints have recently spoken to the police.

Beth Heinrich gave her account of a sexual relationship with an Anglican priest from the age of 15.

She says Dr Hollingworth heard her speak of this relationship at a failed mediation session with the clergyman in 1995 where he was an observer.

She told the ABC the detective visited her last month where she lives in Victoria.

“He was interested in what had occurred between Hollingworth and myself and documentation that I had to prove my story,” Ms Heinrich said.

The royal commission also found Dr Hollingworth made a “serious error of judgement” when he was Archbishop, by allowing paedophile priest John Elliot to continue in the ministry after finding out he had earlier abused two young boys from the same family.

One of these survivors also confirmed to the ABC he had recently spoken to police.

Police not seeking interview: Hollingworth

Lawyer for Dr Hollingworth, Bill Doogue said his client was not being investigated, and the royal commission and previous enquiries had never suggested Dr Hollingworth had committed any offences.

“I rang the Queensland Police and they told me that they were not seeking to interview Dr Hollingworth,” Mr Doogue said.

The lawyer said there was no legislation mandating the reporting of child sex abuse in the 1990s in Queensland.

Mr Doogue said his client only found out about the abuse committed by John Elliot when the survivor was in his mid-twenties.

“Dr Hollingworth made the priest go and confess … which he did,” Mr Doogue said.

“At any point after that the family could have gone to the police … which the victim did in fact do a couple of years later.”

Mr Doogue also said when Dr Hollingworth was invited to be part of a mediation between Ms Heinrich and the clergyman she accused of abusing her, the clergyman was at that point denying the allegations.

Calls for state-wide team

Queensland State Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said the Queensland Government needed to create a specialist statewide taskforce that investigated historical cases of child sexual abuse, like that which exists in NSW.

“We understand that police resources are already stretched and regional child-protection units do not have the allocation of detectives needed to fully investigate some of these historical abuse claims,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“Many stretch back decades and contacting witnesses can be very challenging.”

Mrs Frecklington wrote to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in June asking for more resources after advocates raised concerns about police resourcing with her and the Premier.

Mr Johnston said a special taskforce to investigate historical cases was essential.

“That’s what has got to happen, and if it doesn’t then the Queensland Government is negligent,” Mr Johnston said.

The Premier has been contacted for comment.

The child sexual abuse royal commission has made close to 700 referrals relating to all institutions to the Queensland Police Service (QPS) for investigation.

There were 371 complaints of child sexual abuse to the royal commission against the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane alone, the highest of any diocese in Australia.

QPS said all referrals had been “assessed and appropriately managed within current resources”, with all investigations conducted by the Sexual Crimes Unit and regional child-protection units.

“The QPS is continuing to review allegations concerning the handling of complaints of child sexual abuse by the Anglican diocese,” the Queensland Police Service said in a statement.

“The investigation is appropriately resourced.”

Retrieved: https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-18/brisbane-ex-principal-role-anglican-diocese-response-child-abuse/10376578?pfmredir=sm

The plot thickens …

Having re-watched a favourite TV Series (Da Vinci Demons), attention was drawn to something that’s now screaming out louder and loader. Despite the appalling deception, tomfoolery & murders committed in the times of Leonardo Da Vinci (15th Cen.) in this staged re-enactment, the common powers possessed by the Catholic Church was always taken for granted. Social dynamics included a default framework of the church’s primary inclusion in the basic ecosystem. Australia’s recent mis-focus on Captain Cook, ahead of Captain Flinders & Bungaree. Each summarises how History has been remembered, not genuinely proven.

Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse had been the Initial national confrontation, followed by numerous other global countries addressing this common issue. Catholic Vatican’s Pope (Francis) has at least begun publicly addressing this issue, after Millenia of denials-hiding evidence-moving wrongdoers & almost a century of rewritten Papal Orders advocating sins being hidden. As mammoth an issue this is, what’s becoming apparent is the immensity of addressing it. The lives of these children is paramount, as is the resulting residual impacts these Sexual Abuses has had. Postings such as these help share some of these factual truths.

As numerous bodies of Surviving Victims, Medical, Commercial & Community bodies provide help, News reports in the Journalism of individual to broad scale cases & each country offering their own nuances of interpreting & reacting to these ordeals – the immensity of this understanding also risks being ‘swept under the carpet‘ as CSA had been, to grow to what it had. Together, we need to openly address this publicly, openly, transparently & suitably as possible. Groups such as this RoyalCommBBC are only getting started on our mission & via your simply sharing these posts about your contacts – another Survivour may remember things & get suitable help, pictures may remind a family of an unsolved mystery or News of someone being caught out for inappropriate behaviour triggers off flashbacks leading to arrest. We hope this helps out open up our lives.

Cardinal Pell | The Washington Post

From Grant Torta’s LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6478981186290049024

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

Suspicion becoming FACT

Although mainstream media promote most NEWS releases, with ‘surprise-denial-regret’, any acknowledgement of Child Sexual Abuse is taken with expectations by CSA Survivours & those who work in the field. Even the Catholic Church’s Hierarchy are now admitting there is a problem, which needs to be solved.

More & more CSA Survivours are being brought to awareness that those close to them may not change their POV, yet with the gradual International flow, parallel with MeToo Movements Equality may be coming more into balance(?). Alike earlier ‘pendulum’ posts, preparation for counter-swings to Racism-Sexism-Instabilities will always occur. Staying connected, with those who truly know, understand & share with you is most important.

Safe and happy childhood … ?!

If “all children deserve a safe and happy childhood”, as the Letters Patent began Australia’s recent CARC (Child Abuse Royal Commission) – how far along this journey are Survivors, Family-Friends, Institutions & Perpetrators? While some fairytales have more possibility of ‘safe & happy’ endings, reality is that multiple Victims are losing their chance to experience any Compensation &/or Redress from the Institutions & Perpetrators responsible. Perhaps this extension of time is part of the calculated risk of Predators targeting the Vulnerable … ‘don’t worry, they’ll be dead/unable/incapacitated before we need to worry about things’ may frequently be thought.

Back to the returning of our youth’s lost safety and happiness of childhood – this is a far greater accomplishment of “trust, intimacy, agency & sexuality” that many Victims have not fully experienced. I hope for more Messages-Posts-Questions-Discussions around these 4 broad points!