When the going gets tough where are the child advocates?

5 Jul

Child advocate Julie Gale of Kids Free 2B Kids, and advocate for girls Melinda Tankard Reist, have thus far been strangely silent on the Four Corners report on child sexual abuse in the Catholic church. As of ten minutes ago, I could find nothing on either of their websites.

While this particular program focused on the young male victims of pederast priests, young girls have also suffered their unwelcome and terrifying attentions, and one can legitimately assume that these crimes against the young of both genders fall within the ambit of the two child advocates.

Both women work tirelessly to halt what they perceive as the sexualisation, objectification and pornification of children and women in the media. While this is a legitimate concern in some instances, compared to the literal sexualisation and objectification of children perpetrated by pedophile rapists, Playboy flogging necklaces to little girls pales into insignificance. Particularly as a responsible adult is presumably involved in the purchase of these baubles, while no responsible adult is involved in the sodomization and rape of little girls and little boys.

Of course, we all have our own particular sphere of interest and expertise, and I’m not prescribing what Ms Gale and Ms Reist’s sphere should be. I am, however, gobsmacked that as very public child advocates with a very high profile in their field, they apparently don’t feel the need to comment on the Four Corners’ revelations on their websites.

There are no innocent bystanders when it comes to the abuse of children, and those who remain silent enable its continuation. The responsibility to speak is particularly onerous when one has a public platform as a child advocate.

I cannot imagine a more destructive form of sexualisation, objectification and pornification of children than sexual abuse.

Ms Gale’s motto, according to her website, is “What we allow is what we approve.” Indeed, that is so. Silence implies tacit approval. Or lack of courage. Or fear. Or cowardice. It really doesn’t imply concern or interest. Silence by those who should speak out causes untold damage to children already grievously harmed. Self-described child advocates ought to be at the forefront of protest, at the very least with an acknowledgment and expression of concern, and an intention to raise awareness.

Both Ms Gale and Ms Reist have a commendable record of success at persuading various commercial interests to stop selling this or that on the grounds that the product is damaging to children’s sexual develoment and self image. They have the infrastructure in place and the following, to launch a huge campaign on behalf of children who are being sexually abused. They have the means to launch a petition for a royal commission into the Catholic church’s abuse, and its cover up of that abuse. If they choose to use their power for that good. It would take an hour or so at the most. Then they could go back to their main interest: images of sexualisation, objectification and pornification, rather than the real thing in our own back yards.

Time to walk the talk, ladies?

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126 Responses to “When the going gets tough where are the child advocates?”

  1. annodyne July 5, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    I had to turn off 4corners, it was too painful to see the nice young man struggle with his explanation for his silence. I could not speak/write about my own lesser trauma, even after 48 years, because I look soiled for having endured it. I salute you (and Marilyn) for your bravery.

    Let us not forget Bishop Hollingsworth ignoring letters from the abused Brisbane CEGGS girl (it’s not just Catholics) but re MTR and her pal, and this is an innocent theory as I know nothing of their personal lives but is it because they both might be Catholics themselves?

    • Jennifer Wilson July 5, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

      If there was one thing I could do before I die it would be to convince survivors that we are not soiled by the actions of others. But I know how hard it is to believe that, and stay believing it.

      • Di Pearton July 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

        I know I have no real understanding of abuse, but I have always been confused by the shame felt by the victims. The victims are innocent, the perpetrator is guilty, shameful and soiled. I don’t know whether it is society or the perpetrator who makes the victim feel this ‘shame’, but I know that as a society we must make it clear who owns the crime here.
        Otherwise we are continuing the injustice, and I think we may be making it harder for abuse victims to disclose.

        • Jennifer Wilson July 6, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

          Yes, you are right in all of those comments. For me, I felt that I was made different from others by what was done to me, in a very bad way. And I felt sullied by being in the presence of these awful events, and being central to them, even though it was against my will. It’s the destruction of innocence. It’s being forced to know things one should never have to know.

          • Di Pearton July 6, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

            At a very impressionable age, when we all feel a little like we are different. But I think that society is culpable in this. If we blame the victim, then it can’t happen to us.
            I saw a lesser incident of this at my daughter’s school when a young girl was immediately set on because boys had been caught with photos of her on their mobiles. It was sickening to watch the community attacking her!!

          • hudsongodfrey July 6, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

            What sickened me today was hearing a friend’s story about his teenage son who has been bullied physically by the boss at his part time job. Fortunately this particular parent has the experience in spades to know how to things work, and has taken the matter to the police who immediately confiscated security footage, and are apparently quite keen to act. Past deaths around workplace bullying have lead to new laws and responses undreamed of when my generation were teenagers. So it sounds like good news for the kid, and I suppose that it is.

            But of course I couldn’t help thinking about the stories I’ve heard here and elsewhere of the many cases that remain in the too hard basket. Of the cover-ups and orchestrated deception that another group who claimed to have kids best interests at heart have been perpetuating. And it really makes me quite sad by comparison with the action we are seeing in my friend’s case to realise that given the power something can be done, but that for other cases the power to act is absent for all the wrong political reasons.

          • doug quixote July 7, 2012 at 8:15 am #

            A wonderful aim Jennifer. But it is human nature, I am afraid for even the most innocent victim to wonder “Is there something I did wrong?” and “If I am the truly innocent victim I think I am, then why me?” The religiously inclined may think it is some sort of divine punishment, perhaps Original Sin if they can think of nothing else.

            Yet we must try; I am perhaps extremely fortunate never to have been a victim, and I like to think I’ve never a perpetrator either. But my heart goes out to the innocents, and even those not so innocent, for surely no-one deserves to be a victim of sexual or physical abuse.

    • paul walter July 5, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

      Over at Cup Cake Corner, they are greatly preoccupied with the far
      deeper and more meaningful issue of “sexy” images and computer
      games.
      annodyne, much of the source of the critical response to MTR, etc is to do with their attempts to obscure their own origins in order (plausibly) to deny knowledge of their conservative origins in presenting themselves instead as feminists.
      The likes of Lesley Cannold, et al, have identified a sponsorship into politics involving the likes of Brian Harradine and Miranda Devine, (altho Tankard Reist has been identified as Baptist)
      Others have identified the “soft” format of the MTR type activisms (girly photos as crime of the century) as more harmonised with the objectives of tabloid newspapers; less likely to drive off a middle class readership than the sort of hard, uncompromising and realist broadsheet journalism the 4 Corners episode on suicide-inducing paedophilia and institutional and political cover ups of the issue.
      This sort of “activism” prides itself in snipping away at individual, isolated and less aesthetically pleasing aspects of pop culture, but this stuff is arguably as much about about foregrounding the presenters as heroes and heroines, at the expense of a presentation that offers a more nuanced appreciation of underlying issues. Knocking off a local retailer for stocking “Victoria’s Closet” catalogues solves little in human terms, because it won’t face up to some of the underlying realities that determine social relations and production in wider society, creating the very problems of exploitation that they claim to identify.
      The newspapers produce a print or more accurately an online subspecies of the rubbish that turns up on ACA and TDT, that is about garnering markets through voyeurism, titivation and guilty sanctimony, rather than the actual examination issues in the way the 4 Corners show did, as far as I can see.

      • Jennifer Wilson July 5, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

        Well said, PW.

        • helvityni July 5, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

          agree, another top post from Paul….

        • paul walter July 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

          Thanks, Helvi and Jennifer.
          It’s too much when politicians and public figures endorse the sort of thing 4 Corners examined, even if only through the with holding of appropriate comment.
          Abbott in particular has offered an overtly shameful response, also, it also is shameful to stay silent when comment is required.

  2. hudsongodfrey July 5, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    I’ll go out on a limb here prepared to be educated as to whether my first instinct is justifiable. I think what MTR and other are doing on this is sexist.

    Why? Well they equate anything to do with “protecting” women and girls with feminism, which Eva Cox ably refuted as being sexist in itself because it denies women’s ability to stand up for themselves in the world.

    Then in relation to being conspicuous by their inaction around child abuse within the catholic church what they appear to say is that if it’s male children who are involved then it can’t be a feminist issue and is therefore of no abiding interest to them.

    Odd when you realise that as someone who acknowledges a determinedly undisclosed relationship with at least one of the Christian churches Reist herself ought perhaps to be taking a greater interest in the health of those institutions with whom she’s affiliated. No?

    • Marilyn July 5, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

      I agree. Boys being raped by priests doesn’t seem to matter to these self-righteous prigs.

      Only the wearing of sexy clothes by girls.

      To my mind raping boys is a bit more serious than girls wearing sexy clothes when my own daughter and grand daughters have all loved their sexy clothes since they were small girls. They didn’t think it was sexy, they just liked the coolness of them.

      4 Corners made me weep but then I watched the excellent series of Indian Ocean last night and sobbed.

      Tamil children in their open air school with no floors, no books, no desks, no nothing being taught twice a day about the dangers of bombs in their towns, their destroyed villages, they devastated homes and then the rain came and they had even less.

      And our response to children just like them is to jail them for life because a family member might have been in the LTTE once upon a time and the silence on the behaviour of the Sri Lankan government which has become so deafending here.

      • helvityni July 5, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

        Marilyn, I wept when watching Four Corners…after while my tears turned to anger at Pell, his priests, and his bovver boy Abbott…
        We hear endlessly about the carbon tax that will cost us a cup of coffee a week, but there were no articles about this on Drum…
        Thank you Jennifer, for keeping the fight going….

        • Hypocritophobe July 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

          There was one at the Drum Helvi.Comments NOT allowed??????
          Please see the post I put up here last.The link etc.

      • hudsongodfrey July 5, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

        Thanks Marilyn,

        Wonderful isn’t it though how we started off at each other throats in conversation and wound up virtually sharing tears over the world’s injustices.

        Sadly I think the Tamil issue isn’t going away and that we might well have looked the other way while the Sri Lankan majority created another Northern Ireland for themselves.

        But as you say if we can have built this country on Pommie criminals and Irish rebels then the notion that former LTTE members’ children aren’t good enough for us is a real shocker. We need to get down off our high horse for a change and walk away from the racist notion of White Australia and all it implies.

        • Marilyn July 5, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

          Yes and it is the racism that drives me insane. I learnt when I was 14 that there were aborigines here for tens of thousands of years and I only learnt because my racist mother thought they did not deserve recognition but they should all be shot.

          I had just read the Mandingo series and have been sickened by racism ever since.

          Youtube in the last few months have posted a series of US docos. ranging from the dust bowl, to reconstruction, the Scotsboro scandal, the freedom rides and so on.

          It irks me that so few documentaries are made here about our abuse of aborigines – the First Australians was a notable exception.

          • Hypocritophobe July 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

            Haven’t you heard Marilyn?
            It’s all their own fault.

          • hudsongodfrey July 5, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

            I was listening to one interesting take on racism from somebody talking about the change that came about as a result of the civil rights movement. From the perspective of at least one Southern family the view put was that over a period of about six years in time people really did think that they went from something they thought would never change to something that for all intents and purposes seemed to them to be the complete opposite. Segregation was all but gone, a lot of prejudices were broken down and even the language had to change to accommodate racial integration. And this wasn’t our generation it was mostly a burden that fell upon the older generation, people’s parents, who were most vested in the way of the world in the past.

            Without saying that this is 100% true of a process of change that certainly didn’t end in the 60’s and 70’s, there was a point where people were persuaded by an idea whose time had come. I think the end of apartheid and the fall of the Berlin Wall marked similar watersheds that leaders and politicians might be well served by emulating.

            If we look to our Politicians for leadership over asylum seekers and to the churches who’ve closed ranks around child abusers we might be excused for wondering what it is that they want to emulate. Because when the opportunity is there to do the one thing that might on merit earn them any kind of acclaim they have no the wit to take it. We might well ask how blind they are that they don’t see it.

      • paul walter July 5, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

        Marilyn, that show on the Indian Ocean was an eye opener. Not just Sri Lanka, but the visits to Bangla Desh and Orissa state, Bengal. I figure there must be over a billion and half people living on the subcontinent, if you include Pakistan and Sri Lanka, with the subcontinent’s resources, already strained, further exploited by western agribusiness and local proprietors at the expense of the ordinary people and their environment.
        It was a subtext, the scenes in which the English chap telling the stories was filmed with local people; the difference in height and physique.

  3. Hypocritophobe July 5, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    “When the going gets tough where are the child advocates?”

    They are mainly parasites on the corporate body on the women and child industry.
    Recycling the same crap,day in day out.

    Here’s a hint,find a trough and you will see their footprints.Usually around the lucrative education industry.
    In some case they specialise in the Roman Catholic ones.How hypocritical is that?

  4. Ray (novelactivist) July 5, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    This is not confined to just the Catholic Church.

    • Hypocritophobe July 5, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

      Certainly not,but they sure appear rife with assaults and cover ups.
      Internal enquiries by any Church are just delaying tactics.There has been no sign of goodwill, only reaction under pressure.The churches(particularly the RC) have lost the right to self investigate/regulate.These are criminal acts which criminal investigators need to address.

    • Jennifer Wilson July 5, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

      Yes I know. Am focusing on the catholic church because of Four Corners last Monday.

  5. silkworm July 5, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    It’s a common practice of religious hypocrites to condemn minor peccadilloes and sins, and to forgive crimes. Their moral compasses are screwed up.

  6. Hypocritophobe July 5, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    And in case any of you missed this bit of Paul kennedys piece which was barred from comment for some ABC reason,
    __________________________________________________________________
    “If child rape and cover-ups were pandemic only a generation ago they should be pinned on someone.

    Another politician’s comments are concerning.

    Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark said he consulted the Catholic Church hierarchy before establishing the committee’s inquiry.

    Why on earth should a hierarchy of an organisation with a history of harbouring child rapists be allowed to discuss with our government the terms of an inquiry that will investigate its behaviour?

    Attorney-General Clark added:

    “We don’t want to have an inquiry to drag on for years; the Irish inquiry’s been running for around nine years.”
    _______________________________________________________________
    from;

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-04/kennedy-catholic-church-abuse/4107422

    _________________________________________________________________
    Victoria seems to be impeded by some sort of invisible force.What could it be?

    • gerard oosterman July 5, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

      Having just watched the ABC 7.30 rapport with father F waddling along Armidale with his face obscured, I wonder why he hasn’t been picked up. I bet from now on he’ll stay well away from the public. I wonder if he is going to do a runner.
      I just don’t understand my Australia anymore. How come there is so much in-action? Surely, Pell should also be under investigation. He clearly is complicit in a cover up of monumental proportions.
      When the mother’s son’s case was thrown out of court because his case could not be trusted against that of that vile priest, why did a savvy lawyer not take it further? How could the judge or magistrate be so callous?
      Last night, again that aboriginal settlement of Toomelah. Years of sexual abuse, years of knowledge about it. Yet, nothing seems to happen.
      It seems to fit in with why Australia doesn’t hear directly from the children, not even in Family Courts.
      Is it related to a kind of a culturally ingrained dislike or hatred against children? There is something not quite right.

      • Hypocritophobe July 5, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

        If he did what he is accused of, why so much hate for Assange?

      • Hypocritophobe July 5, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

        Gerard,
        and if you review my comments over the last week you will see how I point out the extreme coincidence of the Toomela issue popping up to diffuse the Church molestations.
        Both situations are horrific,but the indigenous case will swamp the drive for justice for victims of church abuse.Always does.always will.And ask yourself this, what part has the behaviour of the church and priests played in the birth of any ‘possible’ child abuse culture in indigenous communities?
        Who set the ‘missionary examples’, initially?

      • paul walter July 5, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

        Delightful old thing isn’t he, Gerard?
        Was he still wearing his jaunty Tam o’ Shanter?

    • paul walter July 5, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

      Hypocritophobe, that was a valuable link and I visited the Ann Barker MP Irish visit story at her own homepage, where an interview with with one of the networks was included. A couple of significant things emerged.
      Firstly the inquiries in Ireland are following up abuses since 1996 to 2009, giving the lie to the idea that the priestly behaviours are necessarily a thing of the past, at least in Ireland.
      The other point concerns the apparent frustration of the Irish parliament with the Vatican’s intransigence in cooperating in ending the the problems.
      At the end of the interview Chris Bath asked somewhat dryly, what hope Anne Barker could expect of the Victorian inquiry, given the Irish story.

      • Jennifer Wilson July 6, 2012 at 7:31 am #

        This is a point I should have made, Paul, that the abuse is not in the past, it continues. This is common sense really – something so entrenched is hardly likely to stop overnight because there are complaints, but it is sometimes framed as if it’s something that doesn’t happen anymore. Not true. Thanks.

        • Di Pearton July 6, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

          I know that this behaviour is not limited to the Catholic Church, but if you were a paedophile, what a perfect organization to join. The total authority, the trust, the opportunities to be alone with vulnerable children, and then the social, spiritual legal and financial protection/support by your employer. And never any consequence apart from the inconvenience of moving parishes, and then the opportunity to offend again in a hapless new community.

        • hudsongodfrey July 6, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

          I don’t know if you’ve a perspective to offer on this Jennifer, but I’ve read that pederasty is considered in some circles to be the product of a diseased mind. I’m not sure if that’s accurate, and I’m quite certain that it doesn’t excuse their transgressions. However to whatever extent that is true I tend to think the covering up of it and stigmatisation of victims are the real crimes. It is there quite possibly in the aftermath that the real damage is wrought. And of that I’m most critical because it seems to me in that aspect of neglect that society must be judged for failing to look after the least of its members.

  7. doug quixote July 5, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

    Brilliant Jennifer. They are hypocrites of the first order if they can find no comment on the revelations.

    But they are obsessed with the images of sex and determined to control and restrict the sexual behaviour and even the sexual thought of everyone other than themselves – for only they can be trusted, can they not?

    • Hypocritophobe July 5, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

      That their eyes/hearts and minds are in the bedrooms of consenting adults,whilst they turn their back on innocent children, is their own cross to bear.
      They can have it.

    • Jennifer Wilson July 6, 2012 at 7:34 am #

      Thank you DQ. I’m told that to discover Father F’s identity one need only visit the Armidale Express and see who writes the history articles. The ABC 730 report kept the story alive again last night. The investigative journos there have my admiration & gratitude. Perhaps they are really “our” ABC, rather than their more obvious talking heads.

      • hudsongodfrey July 6, 2012 at 10:14 am #

        Really not that hard to find…, and Catherine Deveny’s twitter followers are onto him so I guess it’s only a matter of time

  8. Mindy July 5, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

    An excellent question Jennifer.

    • Jennifer Wilson July 6, 2012 at 7:32 am #

      A question that will probably not be answered, and might get me another defamation threat!

      • Paul Smith July 6, 2012 at 11:44 am #

        An excellent show by 4 corners but wondering why MTR is again featured? Surely its of little imnportance to this cover up? Pell should face his own Spanish inquisition.

        • Hypocritophobe July 6, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

          Read my lips
          Double standards.

          Where is the outcry from those who are in the game?
          Why be in the game and not speak out?
          Scared to offend the church?
          Afraid to bite the hand that feeds? Turn a blind eye, don’t make waves etc.

          Surely even ‘you’ can string together that ‘illogica’, and conclude only raw,unadulterated,festering, putrescent hypocrisy?

          Maybe not.

          • helvityni July 6, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

            Yes, Hypo, I’m bloody sick of double standards, they are everywhere…almost enough to drive one away from blogging, saw plenty of it on Drum Opinion today….so obvious ,it’s laughable.

            • Hypocritophobe July 6, 2012 at 10:54 pm #

              The Drum is a sewer, most of the time.

      • Mindy July 6, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

        @Jennifer – I hope the blowback from the last one was enough to stop it happening again. Could they really just be that single minded?

  9. Hypocritophobe July 6, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    Will we get to see Uhlmann journalistically eviscerate the Catholic hierarchy, including #### on our ABC? Or will he be busy stocktaking?

  10. Hypocritophobe July 6, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    Half time entertainment;

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-06/hen-pecked-humpty-doo-police-officers/4114154?section=justin

    b’gairk-bok-bok-bok

    • Ray (novelactivist) July 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

      Sorry, my last comment was too brief – had to go… There have been many reports that indicate a world wide problem of the abuse of children in both church and state run institutions; schools, orphanages, etc.

      There was a saying – children should be seen and not heard. Put simply, children had no voice and were not believed. Child abuse is not new. What is new is that people now believe it happens.

      We can credit feminism with raising the issue. As first wave feminists raised their voices there was pressure to end child prostitution and raise the age of consent (it used to be 10 under British law). When second wave feminism raised the issue of domestic violence, they started to hear that children were being abused.

      I have to ask, what kind of morality silenced children?

  11. Hypocritophobe July 6, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    and…

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4114296.html

    No comments allowed.

    I see also that Bravehearts gets a plug,which is good, but I would still like to hear from the invisible Hetty Johnson on the issue which was shut down early at the drum.

    • Ray (novelactivist) July 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

      I’m sorry, I have no time for Bravehearts. From what I can tell it tends toward the hysterical and emotive side of this issue and I am not sure they are across the most current research in this area (ie Dr David Finklehor http://novelactivist.com/9049/a-new-understanding-of-child-abuse/).

      In any case Hetty and Bravehearts abused the child who was the subject of the Henson photo. They did not speak to her and ask what she wanted (which would have been to let the exhibition continue – as detailed in David Marr’s book, the Henson Affair). Hetty explained that she and Braveheart’s lawyer decided that the photo was probably child porn. It wasn’t. It was rated PG. This suggests a level of incompetence.

      Furthermore Bravehearts has taken an extremist position on images of naked children. Illegal. And they have argued to ignore artistic merit or the testimony of experts as any kind of defence. http://novelactivist.com/1850/arrogant-fools-the-bravehearts-submission-to-the-senate-inquiry-into-classification/

      • Ray (novelactivist) July 6, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

        I should add that the most important voice is that of the victim, or subject. Sadly some child advocates are more interested in telling the subject what they should think rather than listening to what they actually say and want. In the case of the Henson affair Hetty and Bravehearts could not have cared less what the subject of the photos wanted. Her opinion did not matter. Nor did Bravehearts ever examine the issue of children posing as models. If they had they would have found many saying that they saw it as a wholly positive experience.

        What kind of child advocate silences children?

        • Jennifer Wilson July 6, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

          Very good question.

        • Hypocritophobe July 6, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

          Silence could be following Hetty.
          Not only the issue above,but didn’t she call on her lawyers to silence enquiries by a concerned parent, about simple policy or training issues?
          Didn’t the Drum article where she (Bravehearts) was criticised and questioned about the parents concerns, close early? (A measly 136 comments- Possible max of 24 hours)
          And if my memory serves me right her own Drum reply article mysteriously closed at a meagre 38 comments.
          Her Henson article was ironically titled”Child rights above all else”

          http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/31690.html

          Not across the board apparently.

          There are plenty of others in the ‘children issues for cash’ industry, but I cannot name too many ”canning”the church of late.Especially the megaphonoids.
          Why would that be?
          Sponsorship?Donations?Religious loyalty?Dilligaf factor?

          Like JW asks,how hard would it be for the vocaloids to be consistent and get a petition up for a fully fledged Royal Commission?
          Too hard, it seems.

      • hudsongodfrey July 6, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

        Good comments Ray, as usual.

        I think though I do not know that Ms Johnson tends to respond to the issue of child abuse with moral outrage. And there is in my estimation a greet deal of difference between moral outrage and compassion for the children who have been affected.

        A friend works for one of the government departments where they supply counselling, support and foster care as required for children who have been subjected to the worst of this abuse. What she tells me is that in general they read as few of the details in cases files as they need to know to be able to help the kids. If they were to allow themselves to wallow in the depths of human misery that is wrought upon case after case then it gets too much to absorb. In other words to maintain themselves psychologically as care givers in a position where they’re best able to function in the kid’s best interest they forgo moral outrage and try to keep positive at all times.

        It’s sad and hurtful to talk about I suppose but the magnitude of difference between her and Hetty is I think evident by the difference in their approach to the issue on that level.

        On another occasion I befriended a policeman whose job it was to deal with such cases from a law enforcement approach. His perspective that of the case workers who often do more to help families in crisis where abuse may or may not have taken place because by knowing better than to be too judgemental when a concern is raised. They do get the police involved because they’re required to, but together they proceed without necessarily wanting to ride in like moral knights in shining armour tearing things apart in cases where it isn’t necessary to leap to conclusions. Because the most adverse conclusion you could reach is also often the saddest outcome in the short term from the victim’s perspective. And what he told me was that if you deal with any number of cases all of which have different outcomes then the opportunities for heroism are few and the cases of depression among officers and case workers many.

        If that description doesn’t sound like it fits some of our better known moral crusaders then I invite you to draw your own conclusions.

        • Julia July 6, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

          In the interests of balence, Hetty is cited in this article from 2004:

          http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2004/s1130304.htm

          (I also declare an interest, however peripheral…Don Owers is my cousin)

          • Julia July 6, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

            A search of his name will remind a bit of the Anglican history of child sexual abuse.

            • Hypocritophobe July 6, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

              Julia,
              Has she said/done anything since 2004 about church pedophilia?

          • hudsongodfrey July 6, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

            I don’t know Julia. I guess that if the point you’re making is that the moralising sometimes breaks through where other approaches have failed then I suppose that your point has to be taken in relation to Hetty’s part in this. Although it isn’t the balance I’d like to see struck, since it seems like the battle of the holier-than-thous to me. A bitter pill to swallow perhaps for one who wants to see change for the better based on better reasoning if only because it usually points the way to better outcomes.

            As for Don Owers I’m not across the whole story on the basis of your link and a few minute’s Googling, but it appears as if he called shenanigans on the Anglican version of the same kind of thing we’re more familiar with in relation to the Catholic church. And good on him. Signs that Brian Lucas might be man enough to do likewise seem faintly hopeful, maybe time will tell.

            Whatever the case may be I hope that the outcome will be rather to vest authority to deal with this properly in the legal system than to create more of a role for moralists of the righteous variety whose accountability might similarly be pondered. Governments whose inclination is always to save money should be aware of Greeks bearing gifts in relation to religious and quasi religious organisations offering their services. My sense of Bravehearts is that it falls into the latter category.

            • Julia July 7, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

              My point with Hetty is she is on record of having spoken out against Church cover-ups & helped effect a CofE bishop’s resignation … but more than that, I think, she herself should answer.
              My impression is Jennifer is right in that campaigners seem less concerned with the victim’s rights feelings wants needs and more into pushing their own publicity agendas with little care for the victims they trample over. And, of course, so many jump on the feel-good bandwagon whilst remaining silent (or offering only token outrage) on the hard stuff.
              ……………………………………………………………………………..
              Don Owers took up a post as minister in an Adelaide parish. Soon afterwards parishoners, one after another after another, began coming to him telling awful appalling stories of abuse.
              And if this was not bad enough, when he & colleague Andrew King reported the child sexual abuse to church officials, they were met with cover-ups, threats and sweep-it-under-the-carpet attitudes.

              This they refused to do. Instead they went in to bat for the victims & spoke out very loudly indeed. From what I understand (Don doesn’t talk about it) they supported the children (some were young adults) & their families, provided quality professional counselling, supported those able in dealing with the police (another stonewall), took on the church heirarchy, etc. Somewhere along the line Nick Xenophon took up arms & whatever criticisms I have of Nick on other issues, in this I give him full unreserved accolade. An independent inquiry was established.

              Eventually Don & Andrew uncovered a paedophile ring responsible for more than 200 cases of child sexual abuse over a period of 20 years across 2 states…S.A. & Tas.

              A short run-down can be found at:
              http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2003_01_06/2003_05_22_James_BoySex.htm

              They also forced the Archbishop of Adelaide Ian George to resign for his mishandling of the allegations (apparently, according to PM’s Mark Colvin, Hetty was integral to this)

              • Julia July 7, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

                http://www.BishopAccountability.org is a good if gut wrenching site for a USA perspective of church response to child sex abuse.

              • hudsongodfrey July 7, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

                I think it is better that these perpetrators of abuse were caught than not caught, and I hope those who helped them cover it up are likewise removed from harm’s way. I only hope that victims could be helped as a result or that we could glean from this something beyond a temporary sanitisation of offenders. So perhaps we should thank Don, Andrew and Hetty for their work in this regard even while I’d been keener to find others who might take up the baton of changing social attitudes to these things for the better.

                Ray suggests this fellow Finklehor has some good ideas, and I don’t trust Bravehearts sense of paranoia and revulsion.I’m hopeful that the catholic church’s wall of silence will be torn down forthwith, but beyond that I really think we need many of the kinds of answers that religion fails to provide around these issues.

        • Ray July 7, 2012 at 10:13 am #

          I really admire the work of David Finklehor and his traumagenics model. He stated there were four sources of trauma. 1. Traumatic sexualisation. 2. Disempowerment 3. Betrayal 4. Stigmatisation. Anyone working in the area must be very careful not to compound the abuse.

          In the specific example of Henson, Hetty and Bravehearts were the party guilty of all four. They introduced the concept of sexualisation, they betrayed the girl, disempowered her and then stigmatised her.

          The reason the victim’s voice is the most important should be obvious. It’s about restoring trust and power and avoiding stigmatisation.

          When people act from moral outrage they are acting from ‘their’ feelings, and these may not be the feelings of the victim.

          The most recent (and controversial) of the research indicates that stand alone traumatic or premature sexualisation is the least traumatic of the four (and may not be traumatic in some cases). Of course, nothing is ever simple and most abuse involves sexual, emotional and physical abuse as well as betrayal, disempowerment and stigmatisation.

          However, those who employ moral outrage usually target the sexual aspects, forgetting that by calling attention to this aspect they are guilty of stigmatisation.

          Trauma is damaging so why would would you ever seek to compound the damage through stigmatisation?

          What victims need is healing, not moral grand standing.

          http://novelactivist.com/1749/david-finkelhor/

          • hudsongodfrey July 7, 2012 at 11:57 am #

            Very well put Ray. The term traumatic sexualisation seems like a poorer use of language if it tends to sugar coat what others would simply call abuse, but the description he offers of the elements of an aftermath for the victim identify more clearly what I find myself wanting to be more critical of.

            Some reasons for concentrating on the aftermath in any discussion of these issues may be driven by the fact that we understand what’s wrong with betrayal, disempowerment and stigmatisation whereas the deeper motives for child abuse elude us. But at the end of the day I’m not sure that we aren’t just looking for a fancy way to say that the only thing we can deal with in terms of helping victims is the aftermath. We need to concentrate on their healing as opposed to our reactions to the situation the better to help them.

            On the other hand I think understanding of why any sexual abuse on the one hand is one kind of bad and physical violence is regarded as being differently bad is key to being able to explain this to ourselves and also to victims. And if the answer turns out to be that one’s about as bad as the other then we might actually be making progress on both fronts.

            I can’t help thinking that any revulsion we have for sexual crimes over and above violence is tied up somehow with ingrained cultural and religious distrust of sexuality itself. Clearly we need to come back to asking whether disempowerment, betrayal and stigmatisation would still occur if we didn’t buy into this aura of guilt and revulsion that society seems to have for sexuality in general.

            • Ray July 7, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

              Hudson,

              It absolutely has to do with the religious mistrust (even hatred) of sexuality. If you go back into the theological mess you find that some theologians thought that sex was inherently sinful and that the only true path was celibacy. This was a serious debate in early Christianity.

              According to this view, and we still have ‘echoes’ of it even today, sex itself is a form of abuse.

              However, there is the simple fact that sex is often pleasurable and in the case of stand alone sexual abuse, the victims sometimes report enjoying the experience. This causes confusion because at another level, they have been taught it is bad. The trauma then comes from the conflict between the experience and how they are expected to respond to the experience. The more sophisticated specialists understand that there is a difference between the actual experience and a moral judgment about that experience. Dr Susan Clancy explores this in some detail in ‘The Trauma Myth’. She explains how she encountered victims who thought they were abnormal because they didn’t feel particularly traumatised by premature sexual experiences. In a twist, their source of distress was a self-judgment and a self-stigmatisation because they thought they should have been traumatised.

              Violence of course, is always different. It hurts. There is fear.. It is inherently stressful and therefore traumatic. It goes without saying that sexual abuse with violence is worse.

              So yes, the moral attitude to sex is important.

              What then of the abuse caused by teaching a child to fear sex?

              I have talked about this at some length. Sexual frustration creates a form of sadism. Thwarted sexuality creates the problem. Back in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s (and before that) children were often victim to the sadism of parents, teachers, nuns, priests, carers, etc. Some of this was sexual sadism (spanking on bare bottoms!). Yet this was considered normative. It was the worst in institutions. And when you read the worst of the institutional abuse you see the overt sexual sadism.

              I place all this at the feet of Christianity without reservation.

              • hudsongodfrey July 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

                I take you points Ray, again they are well expressed.

                Yet I have reservation, or equivocation maybe?

                If man invented god as seems overwhelmingly likely, then man also invented these bad ideas. The question is still why?

                I think if we answer that and let blame rest where it really should then we’d be doing better than we might otherwise do by just getting mad at religion for all this.

                • Anonymous July 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

                  ?? Of course they are human-made ideas, just as religion is invented.

                  The blame lies with these ideas as expressed through Christianity.

                  • hudsongodfrey July 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

                    Sure we in our culture struggle with Christianity because it has been the prevalent religious meme.

                    At the same time I’m not sure I’m not pleased not to be having to take the fight to Islam here.

                    • Ray July 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

                      Actually Islam is not as sex negative as Christianity. The early Christians thought that celibacy was superior to marriage because of the taint of sex. In other words, a ‘good’ Christian should choose celibacy. Begetting children was reluctantly accepted as a necessary evil to be performed without desire of pleasure – well, mechanically, with as little actual sex as possible.

                      “A man who marries for the sake of begetting children must practice continence so that it is not desire he feels for his wife…that he may beget children will a chaste and controlled will.” Saint Clement.

                      In contrast Islam expects that Muslims should experience sexual pleasure ‘within’ the constraints of sharia. This means that husbands should please their wife or wives. Celibacy and mechanical sex is not an issue in Islam, they are only concerned with sex outside the constraints of sharia. Within sharia men and women have a right to sexual pleasure.

                      I’m sorry, but Christianity is the most sex negative belief system on the planet, without exception. We have their own words to prove it. I don’t have to make this shit up.

                    • hudsongodfrey July 7, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

                      Well whatever the case with regard to the different religions I think Islam has an image problem. Especially for women.

                      As I see it the question of how we see women’s bodies being expressed at the extremes by magazines promoting “This summer’s bangin’ bikini body” on the one hand is matched only by the full body burqa and veil on the other.

                      If being on one of the extremes tells us something less than optimal is happening with that then clearly Islam has one kind of problem and I guess the West has another.

                      So what do we do then? Go all MTR about it and say women need to be protected from making choices at the extremes because that behaviour being different from what she approves of simply can’t be a good choice of even a freely made one?

                      Or do we have to say that if Islam isn’t the outlier for sexual repression that Christianity seems to be then either is okay because it’s their choice to believe it?

                      I think frankly that if we don’t have a better idea that is also more persuasive then I think we’re probably wasting our time if we start arguing about which is the worst religion to believe in as opposed to the best not to.

                    • Ray July 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

                      The idea that women are temptresses is pretty much universal amongst the Abrahamic religions.

                    • Jennifer Wilson July 7, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

                      I’ve done some tempting in my time. It’s fun.

                    • hudsongodfrey July 7, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

                      Well I’d expect the idea that women are tempting is well understood worldwide. It’s the idea that there’s something wrong with that state of affairs that we have to worry about.

                      Some people want to control it for reasons of sexual politics. Others for reasons of religion, which is either the same thing or no reason at all as far as I can see. Few of them seem to ask the women and when they do then they probably don’t listen.

                    • hudsongodfrey July 7, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

                      Darn I hit the wrong thing and cam up short.

                      After not listening I meant to go on to say, that governments and churches alike seem to think that their job is to dispense advice and be listened to rather than to listen in order that they may become wise enough to be worth following. It is their great weakness that they wind up recycling the same bad ideas over and over again.

                • Ray July 7, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

                  ?? Yes, religion is the invention of the human imagination, but this changes nothing. Christianity remains the vehicle for these bad ideas.

                  As to why? A moot question. Why did people decide human sacrifice was a good idea? Why did they decide that pork was unclean? There are too many examples of wrong-headedness to be too concerned about why.

                  • hudsongodfrey July 7, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

                    Maybe acknowledging that the religions contain some bad ideas challenges us to replace them with some better ideas.

                    As for those pesky questions about pork consumption and promiscuity it goes to the heart of the difference between immutable scripture and progressive thought to say that the bronze age reasons we can quite understand for avoiding disease from either of those activities are now ably addressed by modern science. I still think that Christian attitudes to sexuality are the stand out aspect of that faith that we’re challenged even in secular society to overcome, precisely because we haven’t replaced them with a similarly cogent code of behaviour. And indeed whether we even want a code is open to interpretation.

                    What I think we want more than codes is understanding and I also think that as far as it goes there’s a good deal of work yet to be done in providing it.

                    • Nick July 7, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

                      Repression. Secrecy. Shame. Authority through fear. Everybody’s guilty by birth. You’ve got ‘em all trapped. It works because everyone knows sex can cause heartache and destruction – religion or no religion. The still evolving, semi-retarded human mind and its cooperative-competitive approach to sexual relationships. Objectification. Possession. Jealousy. Cain rocking Abel over head for sleeping with his wife, or possibly for getting Cain’s daughter drunk and sleeping with her. These things are ancient. Religious laws replaced tribal laws. Moralism replaced pragmatism.

                    • hudsongodfrey July 7, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

                      I think you’re right but I think these days that a lot of religion’s position in culture is maintained quite deliberately by introducing bargains with a life hereafter and the element of fear. To keep the franchise running?

                    • Nick July 7, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

                      Birth. Sex. Death. Not for nothing, the three tax points it placed upon everybody. The three main ceremonies it co-opted, and transformed into social-financial bargains you were required to make if you too wanted to enter the hereafter with everyone you’ve ever known and loved and lost. The three laws that kings were required to institute if they wanted the loans they needed to fund their wars – that, and always agreeing to use a percentage to build more churches. Absolutely, and fundamentally, it’s about keeping the franchise running. Witness the opposition to contraception and abortion. To divorce and homosexuality. To euthanasia and suicide. All of these would cripple the church’s income. Or is this too simplistic?

                    • hudsongodfrey July 7, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

                      A little too simplistic, perhaps. As far as I can tell part of the deal with religion depends upon having a few beliefs which while stretching the bounds of incredulity signal great faith in those who are willing to suspend disbelief in order to merit the title of faithful. Or at least it has to be said that if you’ve persuaded a man to a life of celibacy then deciding to change that dogma comes at the cost of really pissing him off. A franchise that operates as a direct line to the celestial umpire needs to maintain consistency otherwise the spell is broken.

                    • Ray July 8, 2012 at 8:55 am #

                      The idea that not eating pork was for avoiding disease is a myth. If there were any basis for this then those cultures in which pork is the main source of meat would be in trouble.

                      These rules are often arbitrary and silly.

                    • hudsongodfrey July 8, 2012 at 10:40 am #

                      You may be right Ray it could just be one of those myths that’s only any good for setting off the klaxons on QI.

                      I did find another theory that it might simply have been the codification of an existing prejudice against an animal that in a domestic setting was uneconomical for the Israeli tribes to have raised and being omnivorous was frowned upon as unclean.

                      The point I’m trying to make being that there had to be a reason no matter how ill conceived as to how and why these prohibitions gained currency. So that it would only have been over the time that it took for people to forget precisely why they’d stopped eating pork that the more superstitious kind of practice took hold.

                      The real question in a modern context is why when we’re able to address the initial concerns or at least provide every good and rational reason to do otherwise the ingrained belief causes people to act contrary to their own better interests.

                      That one is I think answered by a combination of cultural identity and the fact that the keepers of the clerical franchise know that their market depends on taking consistent positions that tend to validate faith from one generation to the next.

  12. hudsongodfrey July 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4114296.html

    • Hypocritophobe July 6, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

      I am synched again HG.
      Already posted that link somewhere here.
      But (as per a few similar articles on this topic) the ABC has comments locked away from the punters.

      I feel the ABC should do better.A lot better. Although I am sure the ‘pro churchers’, “anti-action on church pedophilia brigade” would troll as usual.

      • hudsongodfrey July 6, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

        Yep I posted it without making the obvious observation because it really typifies what seems to have been lost at ~”our ABC”~!!!!

  13. Hypocritophobe July 6, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    Selected Quotes.

    Guess who?

    “All lawyers will recognise the oft cited aphorism of the British judge Lord Hewart: “… it is not merely of some importance but is of fundamental importance, that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.”

    “Moving forward, Bravehearts, a child protection agency dealing with child sexual assault, are arguing that justice be done and seen to be done.”

    “Our children are in the trenches; their wide open eyes cast upwards looking for adults who will protect them and speak for them. On this occasion, we as adults have failed them. It is now up to us, all of us, to come together and find a way forward that honours and respects the rights and freedoms of children to protection from adults.”

    “Their protection and the prevention of this child abuse epidemic, forms the basis of the war in which those in the child protection sector are engaged. It is a filthy, insidious war where we fight the mostly invisible enemy, the human chameleon, the very clever, often powerful and well connected, manipulative enemy. This is our world and these are our fears.”

    • Ray July 7, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

      “the very clever, often powerful and well connected, manipulative enemy”

      This clearly indicates that Bravehearts are on the conspiratorial/hysterical side of the debate.

      What they really mean is that ‘they’ are going to be the saviours even if that means ignoring the rights and freedoms of children. This is double-speak. They actually do not believe, or even understand, the concept of children’s rights.

  14. Hypocritophobe July 6, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    Guess who?

    “Whether you took part in the uproar yesterday or not, the problem is not gone. Today, tomorrow, and the next day, consider an action you can take to give voice to the sexual abuse of children. Contact law makers for stricter sentencing, donate items or time to shelters, mentor youth so that there is a caring adult in their life advocating for their health and wellbeing, volunteer at a Take Back The Night, and set a standard in your own family – sexual violence toward any person at any age is unacceptable. Talk to your children about their bodies and sex, and who may and may not touch them. Give you children the voice that should they ever be approached or be touched, they be unsilent.

    Today, tomorrow, and always, be unsilent.

    Pedophilia festers in the silence, the taboo slides when we stay silent. BE UNSILENT.”

    • Jennifer Wilson July 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

      Here are two links Hypo found:

      http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/31690.html

      Childs Rights above all Else 10/6/2008

      http://melindatankardreist.com/tag/child-abuse/

      On Silence and Taboo
      November 11th, 2010

      • Ray July 7, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

        Aargh!

        “We respect and recognise that the world of the arts too has a need to be protected. Its rights and freedoms are critically important in our democracy – no one is arguing this point. But this is about the need for children rights to supersede all others, including artists.”

        Yes, they are arguing that point. They explicitly want to remove the right of artists and artist’s models to collaborate.

        At no time has Hetty ever consulted children who have posed for artists without problem.

        At no time did Hetty ever bother to examine the history of the naked child as a subject, and therefore model, in art. If she had she would have soon discovered it is as old as art itself and that there are a great many examples.

        There is absolutely no room in her argument to even consider that a child might want to pose and benefit from the experience. If she had done her research she would have encountered many examples of models stating exactly just that. On my blog I have quoted several examples.

        Indeed, many of these models would regard Hetty to be denying them their right to pose. Children’s rights? Not really, certainly not the right to pose for an artist.

        Her argument is based on an appalling ignorance of western art. On my blog I’m currently looking at the work of the very popular Victorian artist JW Waterhouse. He regularly worked with young female models. We even know their names. One of his more popular models was a Muriel Foster who began modelling for him when she was 11 and continued to do so for many years.

        But the simple fact is that many artists worked with children as models. How else could they get the anatomy right? Indeed, artists often shared models.

        • Jennifer Wilson July 7, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

          That whole Henson thing was shocking. The protesters seem to want us all to view images through the eyes of a pedophile. I find that quite vile.

          • Ray July 8, 2012 at 8:52 am #

            Yes, they equate nudity with sex and sex with shame. Hetty is from Queensland. It is the only state not to have legal free beaches. Their attitude to nudity is very Puritan.

            • AJ July 8, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

              There are two sides to that argument though. Currently in the NT they are reviewing whether they should close the Casuarina free (nude) beach since its main clientele seems to be dirty old men waiting hopefully for unsuspecting European backpackers. The police interestingly want to keep it open as a honey pot to help identify possible offenders.

              • helvityni July 8, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

                And those European backpackers who don’t view nudity or sexuality as something ugly will go home and will talk about their Aussie experiences…
                And we wonder why the our tourism is drying out…nothing to do with the carbon tax.

          • hudsongodfrey July 8, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

            Not shocking saddening. When someone sets out to explore beauty in a poignant and artistic manner and the only thing some people can imagine is that they’re filthy then it is deeply sad that we’re so damnably unsophisticated.

            Pearls before swine!

            • Jennifer Wilson July 9, 2012 at 7:03 am #

              My biggest objection is that Hetty, MTR & those like them want me to see with their eyes. This would ruin the world for me but do they care about that?!!

              I can’t bear the thought of looking for darkness and evil in everything I see.

              • hudsongodfrey July 9, 2012 at 10:31 am #

                I agree of course but perhaps it also raises a difficult question about the inherent evil of seeing the evil in everything. The only answer I have is that it needs good people to appreciate works of art.

                If the only thing that Henson does is challenge us to be good enough to appreciate him then it seems to me to have been worth it.

  15. paul walter July 7, 2012 at 2:11 am #

    Very good article by the reliable Adele Horin at Fairfax, sheeting it home to celibacy, and contemplating the damage to so many people, including the honest toilers in the church itself.

    I personally think they ruined themselves a couple of generations ago by refusing an adult approach to contraception and by putting people more and more geriatric at the top of their hierarchy; its not the sixteenth century and fifty is no longer an average lifespan.
    Also, not identifying enough with the poor in third world countries, but that’s a story for another time.
    As for the rest, paedophilia is a practice not confined to the Roman church, but existing also in Protestant communities and other organisations to do with young people, such Scouts and schools and of course in families.
    And no doubt there are enough atheists in for a penny, in for a pound as well.

  16. annodyne July 7, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    ‘Catherine Deveny’s twitter followers are onto him so I guess it’s only a matter of time’
    Our topic here is not a laughing matter but I laughed at that.
    he should be very afraid.

    when I saw yesterday’s MSM image of Indi Birwin with headlines saying Isn’t She Hot Now She’s 14 I was sickened, and I’m no MTR. Deveny’s infamous Logie Night comment was completely misinterpreted by the very MSM that would write that about the girl this week.

  17. Nick July 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    It’s the *enablers* who do the most damage in this world.

    All the grandmothers who went along with it. How could she not have known? So many times she was there in the bed as well. Did she hate your Dad and unconsciously want to destroy him. Was he a product of rape?

    The realisation years later that the “sweeties” were sedatives, and that was why that time your parents came to pick you up, you opened the door to leave and walked into the fridge. Everyone thought it was so funny and cute how tired and confused you were.

    The pain (most of all) of remembering your younger sister trying to tell you, and asking for your help because your older brother refused to believe her…but you were only 6, and couldn’t admit to her it was happening to you as well.

    The memory of every last one of those hiding places you found in that labyrinthine house. How small it makes you realise you are. Knowing that when you started hiding – waiting in there for the sound of your parent’s car and the headlights up the drive – that’s when it started happening to her.

    The awareness that it caused you both to become hypersexual as teenagers and adults.

    The agreement all the siblings made one night as young adults that none of you would ever tell your Mum, because it would destroy her.

    The argument with your Dad that time about “One in four kids? How can that possibly be true, that would mean one of you kids”, and knowing you could break his climate-change denying mind in a second if you wanted. That in the long run it would probably drive him to commit suicide, and definitely back on the drink.

    The acceptance that it could have been worse. That in lots of ways you were one of the lucky ones, and there was no violence involved. That it probably was better than having cigarette butts burnt out on your arm, or being tied to chairs, or both forms of abuse put together.

    My own story is not this one. It involved tennis courts, or more specifically the groves of bushes and trees around the tennis courts. My sister and I were luckier again. It only happened to us a couple of times, and then for some unexplained reason of fate we never saw him again.

    Everyone has every right to be angry at the church and its complicity and demand institutional change. But please don’t ever think this stuff isn’t everywhere.

    There are limits to what a top down approach can achieve. It has to come from both sides and most importantly from ourselves. I think most of you know this already, anyway. Don’t just be mirror images of Hetty and the other advocates.

    • Jennifer Wilson July 7, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

      It’s true, Nick, unfortunately, that this stuff is everywhere. I’ve focused on the catholic church this week because of the current uproar, but the amount of abuse is staggering across all demographics. There’s a section of society that wants to keep this repressed, people who don’t want it talked about because it’s nasty, or project it onto others, like indigenous communities, or make it a class issue. I think they have to be challenged all the time.

      Thank you for posting this, Nick.

      • Julia July 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

        It has been everywhere for many generations…it is only now we are beginning to shine lights into dark places … we are seeing and hopefully eradicating abuses ..’.IT’ MUST STOP…no more crying children with shattered lives..

    • hudsongodfrey July 7, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

      I wish I knew how, but I think we need to understand it and somehow come to know it exists more openly and reject it more matter of factly as a result.

    • AJ July 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

      Any silent readers are encouraged to report anything they might know to mako.org.au, some may find benefit in Lousie Hay’s mediation tapes for healing

      • helvityni July 8, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

        I’d think it would take much more and much longer than listening Luise Hay’s tapes, in most cases a life time of misery is not ‘healed”
        by Ms Hay’s silly American rubbish…ah well, we are all differen, if she has helped you….

        • Julia July 8, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

          Does it come with a free carton of VB ? plus some complimentary steak knives ?

          • helvityni July 8, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

            Some years ago I visited a friend who had had some alternative councelling, she needed to nurture her inner child, to find her ‘me” ….she had to purchasea book by Ms Hay…I threw the book away and gave her a free councelling session whilst we drank an expensive bottle of St Henry…..

            • AJ July 9, 2012 at 9:43 am #

              Hopefully that expensive bottle of alcoholic poison didnt put her on the breast cancer epidemic now proven to be alcohol driven, Nice Healing Helvi, hope you arent a professional of if you are you have heaps of negligence insurance! PS My last post at this board, Im tired of the abuse from you

              • helvityni July 9, 2012 at 10:04 am #

                It was meant to be funny, I’m no more of a qualified councellor than Hay is. The only fact in my reply was that my friend had that book and that i found it totally silly…also sometimes supportive friends, who know you well are better than self-help books written by non-professionals.
                In no way am I putting down professional councellors. Has Ms Hay got any qualifications? This not about you, but L Hay.

                As for the rest what goes around, comes around….

  18. Sandra Grey July 9, 2012 at 7:15 am #

    Collective Shout have blocked me from their FB site for challenging them from time to time. I have never once insulted or personally attacked any of their supporters which range from one being outraged by 2 piece swimmers for toddlers to some guy on Australia’s got Talent performing a striptease. Their attempt to bombard Diva with their own views re a shiny bunny on Diva’s FB page were removed daily by Diva and CS supporters unhappy and so much for freedom of speech blah blah blah yet delete anyone who challenges what they do. There were some insulting comments aimed at them but they just chose to wipe my nice but challenging posts to them. Yes big cat fights in CS of late. And they need to be challenged and I feel more people need to be made aware that this organization is going round with their very persuasive writings trying to convince pollies, ASB etc that parents should not be accountable for what their 8 and 9 yo daughters are buying and wearing. What they find offensive apparantley
    all leads to objectification and violence against women. What an absolute joke. Where is their proof? Psychologists? Are they the same psychologists who try to turn homosexuals into heterosexuals? I asked them if they could change their awareness campaigns to read that their supporters feel this or that way and that they shouldn’t speak for anyone else. As in when they say Lingerie football is degrading to all women. Really? They didn’t ask me or all my wonderful female friends and family members. I wouldnt watch it although it shouldnt be banned either. They should change their name to Christian Shout !!

    • helvityni July 9, 2012 at 8:58 am #

      Why should little girls wear bras ? Why not put them on little boys as well…what are those bras doing, keeping out the cold?
      Lingerie Football is just something silly they invented in America, they think it’s sexy…

      • Sandra Grey July 9, 2012 at 10:06 am #

        A bra is an under garment- what’s your point? People are free to have their own opinions on lingerie football – to ask for it to be banned is another thing. Let it fail in it’s own if they don’t have the numbers to keep it going.

        • helvityni July 9, 2012 at 11:09 am #

          I was referring to the top part of two part swimmers worn by three-year old girls, sorry if I used a wrong term and called it a bra…no breasts, no bra, I thought.

          Of you are free to like Lingerie football, and I’m equally free not to like it.

    • hudsongodfrey July 9, 2012 at 10:20 am #

      You only said one thing wrong there Sandra. You called their writings “persuasive” when really they aren’t. You say as much when you ask “Where is their proof?”

      It’s their lobbying and a conflation of issues that purport to be about protecting women with feminism that produces a distorted view of themselves as a grass roots movement that is far more broadly representative than it is. In fact as you quite rightly discern these seem to be narrowly fundamentalist religious positions in sheep’s clothing.

      It is a neat, if frustratingly disingenuous, trick to misrepresent as being “feminist” some of the most sexist and repressive ideology that you’re likely to find anywhere.

  19. Hypocritophobe July 14, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    And when will the women and girls lobby help the men of this country?

    Surely men are being treated unfairly by being exposed to this buff, buffet of buffoons.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-13/music-videos-make-men-feel-the-flab/4129686

    • Anonymous July 14, 2012 at 10:36 am #

      Michael Tanking Rites of Collective Yawn is quoted today as saying “50% of teenage schoolboys surveyed want to to grow up looking like male porn stars, the other one declined to comment as he was locked in the bathroom with my copy of Big Naturals.”

      “The problem is that they do grow up to look like male porn stars if the one you were thinking of is Ron Jeremy.”

      Sources close to the second schoolboy remain concerned for his ocular welfare.

      • Hypocritophobe July 14, 2012 at 11:11 am #

        Will there be a petition to stop the women’s beach volley ball at the London Olympics,in case there is some accidental prudity?

        Apparently the WA government is conspiring with the medical profession to alert people to the dangers of obesity,which is a fun pastime and leads to happier Vegemites.(What would doctors know about health??)
        (Petition pending.)

        Cover your body parts and stuff your face people,it’s your ticket to Nirvana.

  20. Hypocritophobe July 14, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    Speaking of…….

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-14/diet-pill-company-threatens-to-sue-medical-expert/4130548

    This shows how these things can go both ways…..

  21. Hypocritophobe July 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Another day,another petition..

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-24/expert-backs-graphic-anti-obesity-ads/4150136

    bla bla bla

    • Hypocritophobe July 25, 2012 at 10:19 am #

      It’s a conspiracy I tell ya!
      All these people, across the globe are deliberately getting fat,sick and dying,simply to undermine the serious work of ‘petition generation’.
      How bloody selfish!

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/specials/globesity/

  22. Sandra Grey July 31, 2012 at 7:01 am #

    Well these so child advocate groups are just too busy encouraging their supporters to attack retailer Best and Less’s FB page without any research or evidence . The only apology was to it’s supporters but nothing to Best and Less. It’s disturbing how many of these people acted without requiring evidence. A g- string shown in a posted photo clearly from a ladies underwear stand turned into a witch hunt accusing Best and Less of sexualising children and demands to remove them and guaranteeing they will not shop there again. Wouldn’t this be a case of slander/libel? Some went as far as compaining that the ladies underwear in this family store shouldn’t be adjacent to kids items. What does that say about all the mums who have children that see them walking around in their underwear in the home. No these groups aren’t interested in the real facts of sickening acts against children or interested in campaigning to expose more of it. It’s all about sexy images making them feel uncomfortable and trying to convince the rest of us of some half assed theories. Good day. :-)

    • Hypocritophobe July 31, 2012 at 11:08 am #

      Not only do they crucify without valid independent evidence,they also use intimidatory tactics at a political and media level to distort the level of support they have in the community.
      Thus they can create an illusion of having a larger relevance.This could be described as misleading.
      Is that deceptive?.
      The fact that they seem so hell bent on saving all children (whether we/they need it or not) from something which may never happen, more so than speaking up for known victims of church abuse makes them two faced,inconsistent,selective,inconsistent and having double standards.
      Is that duplicity?

      Of course more than a few of these groups proudly claim connections to church and Christian groups,and many hail from,support and are supported by these groups.
      But for some reason,that seems to be a pride/belief/quality which is best hidden away.Perhaps that gets back to the ‘wanting to distance from church paedophilia’ taint.
      Rather messy isn’t it, Sandra?

      One thing is for sure,we get more of this under Abbott.

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