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

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Former Mildura detective Denis Ryan pens a fresh chapter

FORMER Mildura detective Denis Ryan has released an updated ­version of his book Unholy Trinity with a new chapter.

Unholy Trinity documents Mr Ryan’s story as a young detective in Mildura in the 1960s who tried to bring paedophile priest Monsignor John Day to justice, only to be blocked by the Catholic Church and the police force. 

He was forced out of Victoria Police in 1972 without receiving his pension, which led to a 46-year battle for justice, which he won in May last year when he received compensation from the State Government.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Tuesday’s Sunraysia Daily 8-1-2019. To subscribe to our Digital Edition Click here

Former Mildura cop Denis Ryan has updated his book about his fight to bring a paedophile priest to justice. 

pens-a-fresh-chapter/?cs=1511http://www.sunraysiadaily.com.au/story/5839870/former-mildura-detective-denis-ryan-

Undeniable: The advocates and agitators who fought for justice

As the royal commission into child abuse prepares to report back to government this week, we highlight the courageous individuals who took on powerful institutions to help expose a national shame.

By Paul Kennedy

Updated 12 Dec 2017, 9:47pm

Chrissie Foster, a tireless advocate for survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church.

PHOTO: Chrissie Foster became a tireless advocate for survivors after her daughters were abused. (ABC News: Danielle Bonica)

Chrissie Foster: A family’s fight

Suburban Melbourne parents Chrissie and Anthony Foster learned in the 1990s that two of their daughters, Emma and Katie, were raped by their local priest, Father Kevin O’Donnell.

Emma began harming herself after the trauma forced upon her. Teenage Katie got drunk to avoid her haunting memories and was hit by a car, leaving her permanently disabled.

So began Chrissie and Anthony’s harrowing, tireless fight for justice.

After the priest was sentenced to jail, the church — through its Melbourne Response scheme — offered Emma a $50,000 payment that would require her to sign away future legal rights. The Fosters thought this grossly unfair, sued the church and eventually settled for a sum many times larger than the initial offer.

In 2008, Emma died of an overdose.

The Fosters became public figures and challenged the church’s attitudes and legal strategies.

In 2010, Chrissie published her family story in a book, Hell on the Way to Heaven.

A year later, the Victorian Government launched a parliamentary inquiry into the way religious and other institutions handled cases of child sexual abuse. The Fosters gave damning evidence against the church hierarchy.

A national campaign then led the Gillard government to announce the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The Foster story was at the forefront of the royal commission’s public hearing into the Melbourne Response. Chrissie gave evidence, supported by Anthony on the stand.

In 2017, Anthony died after collapsing in a car park. He was given a state funeral. Speakers included the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, and royal commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan.

Despite her grief, Chrissie is dedicated to continue fighting injustice so survivors and their families may receive proper compensation through redress and common law. She is also a devoted and passionate advocate for better child protection.

Denis Ryan: A country policeman ignored

It was 1956 and Denis Ryan was a young policeman on patrol in St Kilda. One night, he and his partner came across a drunken priest caught pants-down in a car with prostitutes.

The clergyman was taken into custody but was later released by another policeman.

Denis was told, “You don’t charge priests”. He also learned there were members of Victoria Police who actively protected the church from scandal.

Denis Ryan stares through his glasses, while sitting on a brown couch.

PHOTO: Denis Ryan’s career as a police officer was ruined by the so-called “Catholic Mafia” in Victoria Police. (ABC RN: Jeremy Story Carter)

Years later, Denis was transferred to the regional Victorian city of Mildura, where he came across the same priest he had arrested in St Kilda.

The priest was Monsignor John Day, a violent and sadistic man. A teacher and a nun told the policeman that Monsignor Day was committing crimes against children.

Denis investigated and compiled a list of victims; he sought to have the priest charged, but was prevented by senior police, including his immediate superior, Sergeant Jim Barritt — who was a close friend of Monsignor Day.

Denis wrote to the Bishop of Ballarat, Ronald Mulkearns, but received no help. Bishop Mulkearns told him that Sergeant Barritt had already cleared Monsignor Day of any allegations.

The church and police officials’ protection of Monsignor Day did two things: it was forced Denis out of the job he loved, and gave a green light to other paedophile priests in the vast Ballarat Diocese.

Denis, who still lives in Mildura, gave evidence to the royal commission and was supported by former Victoria Police chief commissioner Mick Miller.

The force officially apologised to him in 2016, but he has still not been properly compensated for his ruined career.

In his final speech last month before handing down recommendations, Justice McClellan explained how police in Victoria and NSW actively protected church officials, when their highest priority should have been protecting children.

Paul Tatchell: A boy who fought back

After Monsignor Day was allowed to go free, criminal clergy in the Ballarat Diocese became emboldened.

St Alipius Primary School was ruled by four paedophiles, all working there at the same time. They included the notorious Gerald Ridsdale, and a violent sex offender called Brother Ted Dowlan, who ran one of the boarding houses at St Patrick’s College. He later changed his name to Ted Bales.

Br Dowlan, whose bedroom was attached to the Year 7 students’ dormitory, beat and raped children at will.

Paul Tatchell, who was abused by Brother Ted Dowlan as a boy at school in Ballarat.

PHOTO: Paul Tatchell was expelled from school after reporting his abuse to his headmaster. (ABC News: Danielle Bonica)

One night, he raped a boy called Paul Tatchell, who fought back. After being attacked in Br Dowlan’s room, Paul began punching the clergyman.

Leaving the Brother crying on the floor, Paul ran from the room and tried to call his parents for help, but the school’s headmaster and other staff locked him in a closet until morning.

Paul was then expelled. The church leadership did not report Br Dowlan to police. He remained a free man until Paul and other victims came forward to make police statements in the early 1990s.

He watched from the back of a courtroom as the law finally punished his attacker.

Paul gave evidence at the royal commission. So did the school headmaster, Brother Paul Nangle, who claimed he never knew Br Dowlan was a sex offender.

But the evidence was overwhelming. Paul went into the army, and then into business. He now owns a newspaper, and was recently elected Mayor of Moorabool Shire, east of Ballarat, for the third time.

He does not consider himself a “victim” and says he does not suffer the same type of post-traumatic stress as other former boarders — perhaps because he punched back, and could not be controlled like others.

As part of his interview for the ABC documentary Undeniable, Paul went back to the room where he was raped for the first time.

He will never return to that building.

Joanne McCarthy: Uncovering devastating secrets

In 2006, Newcastle Herald reporter Joanne McCarthy received a phone call that set her on a path to becoming one of Australia’s finest investigative journalists.

The voice at the other end of the line asked her why a priest who had been convicted of child sexual assault was not being written about in the newspaper.

Joanne looked into it, and found the tip-off to be accurate, but on questioning church authorities, she immediately detected they were lying.

Newcastle Herald journalist Joanne McCarthy

PHOTO: Joanne McCarthy won Australian journalism’s highest honour for her coverage. (ABC: Undeniable)

For children, the Newcastle-Maitland region had been a dangerous place for decades. The cover-up of crimes was effective and unrelenting.

But Joanne’s work began unravelling the truth. She would go on to write more than a thousand stories on clergy sex abuse and institutional cover-ups within both the Catholic and Anglican churches.

In 2012, John Pirona, a fireman and victim of clergy sex abuse, disappeared after leaving a note that read “too much pain”. Joanne and the Herald covered the story and later reported on John’s death by suicide.

On the night of John’s funeral, Joanne decided enough was enough and wrote an editorial calling for a royal commission.

Her work, along with that of courageous Lateline journalist Suzanne Smith, led to senior NSW detective Peter Fox deciding to speak out on the issue.

Soon after, then-prime minister Julia Gillard ordered the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

In the final moments of her prime ministership, she wrote a letter of endorsement for Joanne’s work in changing Australia forever.

Joanne was awarded Australian journalism’s highest honour, the Gold Walkley.

The reporter who took that phone call 11 years ago is still investigating and writing. She believes there is much work to do in delivering justice to survivors and better protection to children in all states and territories.

Rob Walsh: ‘No more suicides’

The royal commission would not have been possible without the revelations in Ballarat.

In the years preceding the inquiry, Rob Walsh was one of the survivors who helped publicise the consequences of abuse, by working with police to expose a tragically nigh number of suicides in the city.

While dealing with his own acute trauma, he supported others — and still is.

Rob Walsh fought back against an abusive Catholic priest when he was a boy in Ballarat.

PHOTO: Rob Walsh says it’s a battle for many survivors to make it through each day. (ABC: Undeniable)

Rob says the Catholic Church and other institutions should pay struggling victims’ ongoing medical costs so they can survive beyond the royal commission.

He says cash payouts are not enough.

“I firmly believe that they should be given rights to disability pensions,” he says. “They would be far better off. People think these guys are after millions and millions of dollars. They’re not.”

Ballarat survivors have endured many days of stressful royal commission public hearings. Some even travelled to Rome for a special sitting.

Listening to stories of abuse and cover-up from dozens of witnesses, including the negligent Bishop Mulkearns and the jailed Ridsdale, caused more suffering through anxiety.

It’s been hard, if we’re talking about the burden. I think the burden is heavier now because we now know more about the abuse, and the cover-up,” Rob says.

According to Rob, the Catholic Church should be forced to help victims of sexually abusive clergy in practical ways.

Exposing a national shame

The key moments that led to one of Australia’s most shocking inquiries.

“I’d like to see this gold card introduced. I’d like to see these victims cared for. And I think they’ve earned the right to be cared for. They’ve earned the respect to be cared for.

“It is a daily battle — I’m not the only victim who would say that. The rent’s still got to be paid. We’ve all got those bills, the gas and electricity bills.”

Survivors’ lawyer Judy Courtin says the trauma is so difficult to deal with on its own, but “to have to deal with the day to day pressures of life makes it a hundred times worse”.

“It’s those day to day responsibilities of bills, health cover, and so on. Not waiting in queues or waiting for months to see a doctor,” she says.

Rob believes the church should use its resources — hospitals and property — to provide health care and accommodation for those in desperate need.

“I think it’d be the Australian thing to do. No more suicides.”

Ken Smith and Ann Barker: The political will

From different sides of politics, Victorian politicians Ken Smith and Ann Barker both sought justice for survivors.

Ken was a member of the Kennett government when he chaired a parliamentary committee that examined child sex offenders.

His work led him to the most forensic examination of clergy sex abuse within the Catholic Church ever carried out by Australian politicians.

Victorian MP Ken Smith stands in State Parliament.

PHOTO: Ken Smith says some colleagues criticised him for speaking out against the church. (ABC: Undeniable)

Harsh findings were made against the church hierarchy, and the evidence moved him so much he wrote in his report, “My life has been deeply marked by the experiences of the past 12 months”. 

The horror stories relayed by victims and investigators cry out for an emotional response to the problem.

Ken was shocked and dismayed when only a few of his committee’s 130 recommendations were acted upon.

He says some of his colleagues attacked him verbally for speaking ill of senior church official Monsignor Gerald Cudmore.

Action was not taken against the church. Instead, the Victorian government allowed the church hierarchy to establish its own scheme for paying out survivors.

Former premier Jeff Kennett denies the church influenced his decision, saying he thought it was the best thing to do at the time.

Subsequent governments have refused to override or intervene in the Melbourne Response, despite negative findings from several inquires.

Ken has carried the disappointment of that 1995 experience with him for his entire career.

Former Victorian MP Ann Barker with her husband Jim.

PHOTO: Ann Barker, pictured with her husband Jim, visited Ireland to see how it investigated widespread child abuse. (ABC News: Danielle Bonica)

Labor member for Oakleigh Ann Barker was the first to call for a royal commission in 2012, after travelling to Ireland to learn about its state inquiries.

The Foster family’s story motivated her to see what could be done for victims.

She returned to Australia convinced the nation needed to wrest control of providing justice and child protection from the institutions responsible for the abuse.

Ann praised the work of Justice McClellan and the other commissioners for the way Australia’s inquiry was conducted.

Peter Fox: A policeman’s defining TV interview

An interview with NSW detective Peter Fox by journalist Tony Jones on the ABC’s Lateline program was both powerful and transformative.

In November 2012, Peter put his job on the line to publicly express concerns about child sex crimes and cover-ups within the Catholic Church.

Peter Fox, a former NSW policeman who worked to expose sexual abuse in the Newcastle area

PHOTO: Peter Fox sacrificed his career to help reveal the extent of the sexual abuse around Newcastle. (ABC News: Danielle Bonica)

He also made allegations against NSW Police.

A subsequent NSW Special Commission of Inquiry found senior church officials withheld evidence from police.

The inquiry did not find evidence of a conspiracy by police to stall investigations and said Peter had lost objectivity in investigating the church.

But Peter’s courageous appearance motivated the Australian public to start talking about the need for a royal commission, which prime minister Gillard soon ordered.

Peter had been investigating paedophile priests for many years.

He built strong relationships with victims and provided them great comfort.

After acting as whistleblower, his position in NSW Police was untenable; he sacrificed his beloved career to reveal critical details of abuse and institutional interference in the Newcastle-Maitland region.

Before and after the interview, Lateline played a leading role in forcing Australia’s largest national inquiry into child sexual abuse.

For many years, reporter Suzanne Smith led the Lateline investigations.

“We focused very much on the leadership of the church. By elevating their significance on Lateline, we gave the stories a national focus. It also led to many victims, in other states, coming forward,” Suzanne says.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. 10:3020:56VIDEO: Peter Fox speaks to Lateline about the cover up of sexual abuse(Lateline)

Former executive producer John Bruce says the interview with Peter was the tipping point.

“While there were subsequent attempts to undermine the value of Inspector Fox’s interview, many in the Newcastle and broader Australian community regarded him as a hero for triggering the royal commission,” he says.

In turn, Peter praised the media for its role in bringing about the inquiry.

Over decades, journalists and editors from almost all Australian television networks, news radio programs, major and regional newspapers, as well as online media, have chipped away at institutional denials and evasion.

Without the work of the press, the dark secrets of some churches, governments, charities, schools and other organisations would have remained forever untold.

John Ellis: A survivor finally heard

John Ellis was a key witness in one of the most dramatic royal commission public hearings.

The lawyer says the nation’s largest inquiry into child abuse has made Australia a better place.

“The way that they’ve gone about it has answered every challenge,” he says.

John Ellis.

PHOTO: John Ellis says the Catholic Church still has no uniform approach to survivors. (ABC News: Danielle Bonica)

“The selection of commissioners themselves has been inspired. How they’ve dealt with the people … in private sessions, and what they’ve given to those people, is priceless.

“They treat the survivors who are coming to them as dignitaries.”

The royal commission based its protocols for welcoming survivors on a diplomatic services model.

Abused by a Catholic priest as a boy, John famously sued the church for common law damages in 2002.

The Catholic Church’s lawyers were instructed to “vigorously” defend the Church, and defeated his claim in a High Court decision five years later.Sorry, this video has expiredVIDEO: John Ellis on what the child abuse royal commission means to him(ABC News)

The royal commission heard evidence from John, church officials and lawyers. It gave all an insight into the tactics of the church’s legal team.

At the end of the hearing, Cardinal George Pell conceded the church dealt with John unfairly from “a Christian point of view”. The cardinal later issued the survivor an apology.

Looking back at his daunting role in the inquiry, John says, “I had the sense, really, as soon as the royal commission was announced that this was going to be a momentous time in our country”.

“What I didn’t realise was how important it would be for me personally as an individual to finally be listened to the first time. 

And to be able to stand up to an institution like the church, I can’t put into words what that’s meant for me.

John and his wife Nicola, also a lawyer, represent many survivors seeking redress for the crimes committed against them.

In 2014, he was awarded the Australian Lawyers Alliance annual Civil Justice Award for “unwavering diligence, passion, vision and resilience”.

He says the Catholic Church still has no uniform approach to survivors seeking justice.

“There are parts of the Catholic Church who have been integral in working towards collaborative processes that we’ve developed,” John says.

“And there have been parts of the Catholic Church who have impeded that and sought to destroy it and break it down. I think I’ll reserve judgement on where that stands on balance.

“I think in a lot of ways it remains to be seen, and particularly after the spotlight of the royal commission is off, the church as a whole … which way it will go with that.”

He doubts the Commonwealth Government’s national redress scheme will achieve all its aims.

“I think it’s a good thing and a necessary thing. And it’s an essential part of the whole response that there be a safety net for the thousands and thousands of people who otherwise would have no avenue to redress, and would have no institution to approach for what had happened to them.

“But as a substitute for proper and effective responses from the institutions, I don’t think that that’s the answer.”

Watch Undeniable on iview.

Topics: community-and-societychild-abusecatholic,royal-commissionsballarat-3350newcastle-2300,melbourne-3000canberra-2600nswvicact

First posted 12 Dec 2017, 4:39am

Delays in Institutions run similar to Facebook tactics

Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis” is what a New York Times Article is titled, followed by the overplayed icon photograph:

Facebook has gone on the attack as one scandal after another — Russian meddling, data sharing, hate speech — has led to a congressional and consumer backlash.CreditCreditTom Brenner for The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/14/technology/facebook-data-russia-election-racism.html

Having paid significant attention to moments that FB-Facebook has appeared on Australia’s ABC, I recognised similarities between one monolith & that of church Institutions in Australia. National Redress Scheme is applicable to any Child Abuse Survivour, yet hearing of deaths before Compensation &/or Redress is made seems to reignite the fire.

The long, painful wait for abuse survivors to see redress

Please read through the linked Article above: “The long, painful wait …” to read information such as the following:

“These figures confirm what we have known; there is huge inequity between the Catholic Church’s wealth and their responses to survivors,” said Helen Last, chief executive of the In Good Faith Foundation, which supports abuse survivors.

“The 600 survivors registered for our foundation’s services continue to experience minimal compensation and lack of comprehensive care in relation to their church abuses. They say their needs are the lowest of church priorities.”

Healy said the church’s meeting the claims of survivors whose complaints of abuse were upheld was “amongst its highest priorities”. He said that since that report the church had paid an extra $17.2 million to survivors.

The Age’s investigation also calls into question the privileges the church enjoys, including exemptions from nearly all forms of taxation and billions of dollars in government funding each year to run services – $7.9 billion for its Australian schools alone in 2015.

It involved obtaining property valuations from 36 Victorian councils, including most of the Melbourne metropolitan area, Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo, many under freedom of information.

It identified more than 1860 church-owned properties with “capital improved value” (land plus buildings) of just under $7 billion.

SOURCES: https://www.theage.com.au/interactive/2018/catholic-inc-what-the-church-is-really-worth/

https://newviralstory.com/the-long-painful-wait-for-abuse-survivors-to-see-redress/

Justice for Victims

5.3 JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS

The Letters Patent require us to consider justice for victims. There are 3 are three avenues that may provide justice for victims, namely:

• the criminal justice system

• civil litigation

• redress schemes.

SOURCE: INTERIM REPORT VOLUME (2014) 5.3 Retrieved: https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/search/interim_report_volume_1

Child abuse royal commission: Convicted paedophile who denied allegations labelled ‘a disgrace’

convicted paedophile teacher has accused students of making up stories about him after he was convicted of a child sex offence.

Key points:

  • Convicted paedophile teacher Gregory Knight claims students made up stories
  • In 1994, Knight was convicted of child sex offences in NT
  • He taught music at Brisbane’s St Paul’s in the 1980s, 1990s
  • He was convicted of sexually abusing a St Paul’s student

The conduct of former music teacher Gregory Robert Knight, as well as that of former counsellor Kevin John Lynch, is under scrutiny at the child sexual abuse royal commission underway at the Brisbane Magistrates Court.

Both men worked at Brisbane’s St Paul’s School during the 1980s and 1990s.

Knight later resigned from St Paul’s and moved to the Northern Territory to work at Darwin’s Dripstone High School, where serious allegations of child abuse were made against him in 1993.

The school and the NT Department of Education refused Knight’s offer to resign, with the school sacking him on the spot.

In 1994, Knight was convicted and sentenced to eight years in jail with a three-year non-parole period for child sex offences in the Northern Territory.

In 2005, he was subsequently convicted of sexually abusing a former St Paul’s student, identified at the inquiry as BSG.

He appeared this afternoon at the commission via video link.

“Now in Darwin as I have stated I went off the rails, I behaved badly and I’m not dodging around that one bit,” Knight said.

“It was after that and at the time when compensation was being handed out to students who had been at St Paul’s well after I’d left there that we had BSG come along and start asking ‘Oh, can I put in a bit of a story’ and away it went.”

BSG’s lawyer, Roger Singh, challenged Knight’s statement.

You are a disgrace. It cannot be denied that you are a paedophile.

Roger Singh, lawyer for former St Paul’s School student BSG

“You were charged, convicted and sentenced for horrific sexual violation against BSG,” he said.

“There was no successful appeal, and for you to proclaim your innocence is absurd and delusional.

“You are a disgrace. It cannot be denied that you are a paedophile.”

Counsel assisting the inquiry David Lloyd also reminded Knight of his paedophile conviction and suggested: “It’s just delusional isn’t it, your position?”

Knight replied: “No, it isn’t.”

Knight sacked by BBC before being being employed by St Paul’s

Former Brisbane Boys College (BBC) principal Graeme Thomson told the inquiry he sacked Knight after hearing reports of questionable conduct from students in 1980. 

Mr Thomson employed Knight unaware of crimes he had committed in South Australia, but said when boys from BBC came to him about strange behaviour around boarders in the showers, he took action.

I took cognisance and gave pre-eminence to two well-known truths, where’s there’s smoke there’s fire and prevention is better than cure.

Graeme Thomson, former BBC principal

He said he subsequently told St Paul’s principal Gilbert Case about the behaviour, yet Knight was still employed by the school.

“He [Knight] made no effort to offer an explanation and did not refute the details,” Mr Thomson said.

“I was confounded by his inability or his unwillingness to make a comment [about the allegations].

“When Knight did not respond with any denial, I took cognisance and gave pre-eminence to two well-known truths, where there’s smoke there’s fire and prevention is better than cure.”

Mr Thomson said he then registered his concern with BBC’s governing body and they agreed Knight had to go.

“I told Knight that his position was summarily terminated and I instructed him to make sure he left the school in the next 24 hours,” Mr Thomson said.

Former SA education minister ‘could have done more’

Earlier today, former South Australia education minister Dr Donald Hopgood said he could have done more to prevent Knight from ever teaching children again.

Knight had worked as a teacher in South Australia, where a 1978 inquiry held by the Education Department found he had engaged in disgraceful conduct towards students.

Dr Hopgood and Knight were in a band together at the time of the abuse.

That inquiry recommended Knight be dismissed from teaching, but Dr Hopgood instead accepted Knight’s resignation and gave him a positive reference “in the way in which he was able to lead a band”.

Knight admitted he had likely used the reference to gain a teaching job in Brisbane.

“It was a nice reference and it wasn’t drawing him into any conflict,” he said.

Yesterday, the commission heard from BSG, who said he was threatened with the loss of his scholarship at St Paul’s after he raised allegations about Knight in the 1980s.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-10/child-abuse-royal-commission-convicted-paedophile-denies-stories/6927784

First Catholic institutions join the Scheme

The first Catholic institutions, represented by Australian Catholic Redress Limited, have joined the National Redress Scheme. This first group representing 27 out of 35 Catholic Dioceses and Archdioceses within Australia are listed below. In addition the first Catholic Religious Order has also joined the Scheme. We expect more Catholic institutions to join in the coming months. The institutions now participating in the Scheme are:

Archdioceses and Dioceses

  • Archdiocese of Adelaide
  • Archdiocese of Brisbane
  • Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn
  • Archdiocese of Hobart
  • Archdiocese of Melbourne
  • Archdiocese of Sydney
  • Diocese of Armidale
  • Diocese of Ballarat
  • Diocese of Bathurst
  • Diocese of Broken Bay
  • Diocese of Cairns
  • Diocese of Darwin
  • Diocese of Lismore
  • Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
  • Diocese of Parramatta
  • Diocese of Port Pirie
  • Diocese of Rockhampton
  • Diocese of Sale
  • Diocese of Sandhurst
  • Diocese of Toowoomba
  • Diocese of Townsville
  • Diocese of Wagga Wagga
  • Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes
  • Diocese of Wollongong
  • Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Saint Maron of Sydney (Maronites)
  • Military Ordinarite of Australia
  • Syro Malabar Eparchy of St Thomas
  • The Society of Jesus (the Jesuits)

 

(Continues…)

Elite Qld schools failed to act on abuse

Two prestigious Queensland schools failed to protect students from sexual abuse, doing nothing about complaints from victims who were not believed, a royal commission has found.

The culture at Brisbane Grammar School for 24 years under former headmaster Dr Maxwell Howell meant boys who alleged abuse were not believed, the commission said on Wednesday.

After counsellor Kevin Lynch moved on to the Anglican St Paul’s School where he again sexually abused students during counselling sessions, two boys who went to headmaster Gilbert Case were labelled liars.

Mr Case’s inaction when told Lynch and teacher Gregory Robert Knight had sexually abused children meant he did not achieve his most fundamental obligation to keep students safe, the commission said.

It said Mr Case, who was headmaster at St Paul’s from 1979-2000, was put in charge of all Anglican schools in Brisbane despite former archbishop and governor-general Peter Hollingworth and diocese general manager Bernard Yorke, knowing about allegations he took no action when told of abuse by Lynch.

Brisbane Grammar missed opportunities to discover Lynch’s abuse because it failed to keep adequate records of students’ attendance at counselling sessions and their absence from classes, the commission said.

A number of complaints about Lynch were made to senior Brisbane Grammar staff, most significantly to its 1965-1989 headmaster Dr Howell, who died in 2011.

The commission said Dr Howell did not investigate a 1981 complaint or report it to police or the school’s board of trustees, failing in his obligation to protect students.

“We find that during Dr Howell’s period as headmaster there was a culture at Brisbane Grammar where boys who made allegations of sexual abuse were not believed and allegations were not acted upon.”

St Paul’s also took no action to deal with complaints about Lynch sexually abusing students, the commission’s report said.

The commission rejected Mr Case’s evidence that two students did not tell him they had been abused by Lynch, who committed suicide a day after being charged in 1997 with sex offences against another St Paul’s pupil.

“Mr Case told the students they were lying and threatened to punish them if they persisted with the allegations,” it said.

There were allegations during Knight’s three years teaching music at St Paul’s that he sexually abused a number of students.

The school’s only action was that Mr Case accepted Knight’s resignation in October 1984, giving him a favourable reference, the commission said.

Knight was accused of sexually abusing students at a South Australian school before joining St Paul’s and afterwards at a Northern Territory school, where he tried to resign but was immediately sacked and reported to police.

Dr Hollingworth’s successor as archbishop Phillip Aspinall reached a negotiated settlement for Mr Case to leave his position as executive director of the Anglican Schools Commission, a role that required him to ensure the schools had proper child protection policies.

Current Anglican Schools Commission executive director Sherril Molloy said measures were now in place to better protect children, including trained student protection officers in each school.

Brisbane Grammar repeated its unreserved apology and said it has learnt from its past failures.

NOTE: Brisbane Boys’ College & (Anthony) Kim Buchanan is by no means included in this trend. Other related parallels/similarities are also becoming revealed. Details of (Anthony) Kim Buchanan’s St Paul’s & Ipswich Grammar School adventures are also being collected.

SOURCE: https://au.news.yahoo.com/abused-qld-students-not-believed-34418818.html

Impressions left …

Of high importance to any School Institution is the memories & impressions left with their learners.  Imagine what damage has been done to leave comments such as:

“protruding erections) during these (repeated) canings.”

“It seems that there was a hidden level of BDSM amongst various levels of 🏫  perpetrators”

“used the strap and cane in me twice in the late 🔥💥 and he loved it! ”

“What a joke a fucking pedo breading ground.”

“I went to 🏫 in the mid 😳’s and have had serious mental health issues after leaving”

“This school ruined my family”

These Statements of Impact have not been Shared to dismiss the value of these Educators. Only to address the tragic outcomes that existed between ‘Elite’ Students & some of those from other backgrounds. In this age of transparency & openness, it is hoped that greater learning & fairness may be achieved.

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