My Journey to Loving Myself Following Sexual Abuse

Historically any article with “self-love” in it has given rise to a feeling of anger in me. Every cell in my body has been rotting in self-hate and loathing for a long, long time now. Any self-love talk made me angry and tempted to vent my resentment and jealousy in phrases such as ‘what sort of a deluded twit writes these articles?” They always seemed to have a skipping-piggy-tailed-Martha Stewart-apron wearing-sunshine-and-long-green-grass-non-harmful-bumble-bee feel to them and they make me angry and cynical!

Published in Psych Central


Publication: Peer Work in Rural and Remote Communities and Mental Health Services (PDF)

Peer Workers are the most underutilised, valuable resource available to rural and remote mental health services and communities. Evidence has confirmed the efficacy of peer work, yet their historically slow uptake has robbed communities and individuals of the opportunity to be supported by staff who can provide an added layer of assistance as part of a multidisciplinary team or beneficial alter- native to conventional treatments…

Download publication (PDF)

Authors: Fay Jackson, Tim Heffernan, Mark Orr, Robert Butch Young, Cherie Puckett, and Susan Daly

Australian police dismantle paedophile ring as 40 charged and 16 children removed from harm

Australian Federal Police (AFP) have charged 44 men and removed 16 children from harm after investigators dismantled a national paedophile ring.

The alleged perpetrators – some of who stand accused of producing their own child abuse material – are now facing a combined 350 charges after a law enforcement referral sparked a nationwide criminal investigation into child exploitation material.

Commissioner at AFP, Reece Kershaw said the year-long Operation Molto had netted offenders in every Australian state, plus the ACT.

Published in Stuff


Abuse, torture and a deep state campaign of denial

It is well established that children were physically and sexually abused in state care in New Zealand over many decades.

But what has always been carefully hidden is the subsequent role of the Crown in deliberately, actively suppressing and stifling the bids for justice by survivors of those crimes.

Today, Aaron Smale reveals the lengths to which the Crown went – via its bureaucratic, legal and political arms – to avoid the blame and liability for crimes committed against minors in its care. The armoury of the state was deployed to stop the public from knowing the extent of this decades-long scandal, causing further trauma and harm to victims in the process.

Published in Newsroom


Uni promises ‘rigorous’ inquiries into abuse allegation levelled at famed composer

Senior leaders at Victoria University of Wellington will gather to consider the “serious” allegations of sexual assault and grooming raised by former students against Kiwi composer, the late Jack Body​.

Body died in 2015, a week after being awarded Arts Icon status – one of the highest honours in the New Zealand arts world, held by only 20 living people at any one time.

Published in Stuff


Stunning claim cardinal ‘paid’ witnesses to convict George Pell using Vatican funds

A senior Italian cardinal has been accused of siphoning A$1.14m of Vatican funds to pay witnesses in George Pell’s sex abuse trial to secure a conviction against his bitter rival.

Italian media are reporting the allegedly corrupt Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu is suspected of wiring the cash to people testifying in Cardinal Pell’s trial to ensure their hostile testimony.

This allegedly occurred during the 2019 trial of Cardinal Pell who was accused of molesting choir boys in Melbourne in the 1990s, convicted, sentenced, imprisoned and later cleared.

Published in NZ Herald


Church’s legal defence ‘dismantled’ after sex abuse pay-off thrown out

Hundreds of sexual abuse victims who received meagre sums of money from the Catholic Church in exchange for their silence could now seek larger compensation payouts after a judge overturned one survivor’s settlement with the church.

The man, a former altar boy known as WCB, was paid $32,500 in 1996 by the church after he was repeatedly sexually abused by Warragul priest Daniel Hourigan.

Published in The Age


Stan Walker opens up about physical, sexual abuse growing up – ‘It stuffed me up for years’

Since bursting into the public spotlight as a round-faced 18-year-old on Australian Idol, Stan Walker’s rags to riches story has captivated us. But his ‘back story’ of physical and sexual abuse has always been confined to two lines, brushed over, he’s forgiven and moved on.

But no more. Stan has more to say, a lot more.

Published in TVNZ


Research article: Developing a Model of Change Mechanisms within Intentional Unidirectional Peer Support (IUPS)

Peers are those with lived experiences of adversity and are commonly utilised in services. However, little is known about change mecha- nisms, resulting in undefined concepts and weak assertions on peer supports’ effectiveness. Further, peer interventions are becoming increasingly common in homelessness services, without the theoretical understanding to support it. This review systematically explores literature to close this gap. Iterative searches from PsychINFO, PsychARTICLES, PubMED, MEDLINE, CINAHL, Web of Science, and grey literature resulted in 71 included sources. Through realist synthesis, a model of client and peer pathways through peer support was developed. Through inclusion of literature from multiple health contexts (i.e. homelessness, mental health, addiction, and criminal justice), the review identified mechanisms of working alliances, role modelling, experience-based social support, and processes of becoming a peer-supporter. The model asserts that 1) the working alliance quality influences client/peer outcomes, 2) clients learn behaviours modelled by peers, 3) peer outcomes are mediated by being a role model, 4) peers provide social support, impacting client/peer outcomes, and 5) training, supervision, and support are directly linked to peer- supporters’ effectiveness.

Read article (PDF)

By Stephanie L. Barker, Felicity L. Bishop, Elizabeth Bodley Scott, Lusia L. Stopa and Nick J. Maguire
School of Psychology, University of Southampton, United Kingdom.

Dilworth School: Former student claims he was caned after reporting sex abuse

Two former Dilworth students have spoken out about their grief and anger over sexual abuse at the school and say the police investigation has come too late.

Seven men with links to the Anglican boys’ boarding school in Auckland have been arrested for historical offending that includes sexual violation and indecent assault.

The inquiry spans four decades going back to the 1970s.

The two former students were at Dilworth during the 1970s – RNZ has agreed not to name them.

Published in Radio NZ


Research article: Study suggests peer support recovery framework may be relevant for people who are facing the uncertainties presented by Covid-19

The emergence of Covid-19 disrupted most aspects of life, creating a high degree of uncertainty and unpredictability about the future. Knowledge from a place of lived experience offers insights and strategies to better understand how to live, grow and thrive through the difficulties that people who experience mental health challenges, other disabling health conditions, people of color, and people from lower socio-economic backgrounds have overcome. We report on a programmatic effort to investigate how lessons learned through lived experience could be useful to persons who are dealing with a destabilizing situation like this pandemic for the first time, especially mental health providers. Three listening sessions over Zoom were conducted to gather information, views and personal accounts related to the current pandemic. Twenty four people with experience of mental health challenges and people living with disabilities, of various ethnic and racial backgrounds, participated in the sessions. We suggest that the recovery framework can be helpful to address the current crisis; we challenge traditional notions of normality; and finally, we recommend that providers and systems of care adopt a framework that addresses health inequities and human rights.

Read article

Primary author: Ana Carolina Florence
June 2020

Dilworth case ‘unusual’ – Victims advocate

An advocate for victims of abuse in religious institutions says the Dilworth school case is unusual because the accused have ended up in court.

Six men in their 60s and 70s with historical links to the Anglican boys’ school in Auckland have been charged with indecent assault, sexual violation and drug supply.

Police have been investigating the Dilworth claims for a year and have so far identified 17 victims of abuse spanning from the 1970s to the early 2000s.

Liz Tonks, from the Network for Survivors of Abuse in Faith-based Institutions, says it’s unusual to see charges laid in these cases.

At a media conference yesterday the Dilworth Trust Board chair Aaron Snodgrass apologised publicly to any former students who had been abused.

Listen to story

By Morning Report
Published in Radio NZ
15 Sept 2020

In their words: Survivors share their experiences with the Abuse in Care Royal Commission

Last week, the Abuse in Care Royal Commission held its 500th private session with a survivor of abuse and/or neglect in the care of the State or a faith-based institution.

Many of those who shared their story chose to write a few words about the experience, some with a handwritten scrawl on a piece of paper, others through poems or mini-essays.

Published in Stuff


Six men in 60s, 70s arrested over alleged indecent assaults at Auckland’s Dilworth School

Six men in 60s, 70s arrested over alleged indecent assaults at Auckland’s Dilworth School

Police have arrested six men in their 60s and 70s as part of an investigation into historical offending at Dilworth School in Auckland.

The men have been charged on a number of serious offences, including indecent assault, which allegedly occured across a number of decades from the 1970s to early 2000s.

Detective Senior Sergeant Geoff Baber said the investigation was launched after a complaint was made a year ago.

Published in NZ Police Facebook and Newshub websites


Alleged historical sex offending casts ‘dark shadow’ over Auckland’s Dilworth School

School leaders have apologised to former students after six men were arrested on charges of historical sex offending at Dilworth School in Auckland.

During a press conference on Monday afternoon, Dilworth Trust Board chairman Aaron Snodgrass said the school was “truly sorry” for what had allegedly occurred.

Seventeen victims have been identified so far, police said.
Auckland news: in case you missed it

Published in Stuff