Saying sorry not enough

A day late and a dollar short.

That was the phrase used by Dr Tom Doyle, a non-practising Catholic priest to describe the church’s apology, at the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care last month, to those damaged by clergy sexual abuse.

Dr Doyle has been researching this issue since the 1980s when, as a canon lawyer stationed at the Vatican embassy in Washington, he was one of the authors of a 1985 confidential report on clergy sexual abuse of minors written for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

He has been involved with pastoral care and advocacy for victims and families and has also been a consultant and expert witness in civil and criminal cases in many countries. In March, he gave an extensive submission by video link to the royal commission as part of its public hearings on redress after abuse in faith-based institutions and the entities the churches control.

Published in Otago Daily Times


Research article: The experience of partner relationships for male survivors of childhood sexual abuse : a qualitative synthesis

Summary: Research has documented wide-ranging psychological impacts of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) for male survivors, but their experience of relationships is understudied. This qualitative review aimed to synthesize the qualitative literature concerning the experience of partner relationships for male CSA survivors. Electronic searches were conducted across PsycINFO, CINAHL, and PubMed, complemented by hand searches of references. Searches were limited to English-language peer-reviewed studies. Studies were included if they sampled adult male CSA survivors and reported qualitative data on their experience of partner relationships. Sixteen studies met the review criteria. Articles were quality-appraised using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme qualitative checklist (2018), and narrative synthesis derived five themes: “sexual orientation confusion,” “sexual intimacy difficulties,” “the barrier of emotional intimacy,” “navigating agency,” and “healing and growth through love.” Key findings were male CSA survivors can face considerable barriers to relational intimacy; however, romantic relationships also offer a space to heal and experience post-traumatic growth (PTG). Clinicians should be aware of the diffuse impacts CSA can have upon male survivors’ intimate relationships. Helping survivors and their partners build a safe space in which to process CSA, reassert agency and relational boundaries, and express love and validation can support survivors toward PTG. (Authors’ abstract). Record #7050

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Primary authors: Weetman, Chloe. | Kiemle, Gundi | Lowe, Michelle | Balfour, Robert
March 2021

‘It’s time’: Support group for male sex abuse survivors plans move into Blenheim

A support and advocacy group for men who have experienced sexual abuse is looking to open a space in Blenheim.

The Male Room director Philip Chapman, based in Nelson, said he realised the need in Marlborough after getting calls from men asking for local support.

“It was time” Blenheim had its own Male Room, Chapman said.

“Men don’t access services as much as women and most of the services are run by women, so we are looking at a place for men.

Published in Stuff


Apology by Catholic Church ‘shallow’

An apology from the Catholic Church to abuse survivors has been slammed as shallow and only intended to satisfy the general public.

Cardinal John Dew made the apology, the first formal apology to victims, at the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care yesterday on behalf of the bishops and congregational leaders in New Zealand.

He said the church could offer no excuses for the actions that caused harm, and the abuse was perpetrated by people, such as priests, brothers and sisters and lay people that victims should have been able to trust.

Published in Otago Daily Times


Whare Haumanu homeless hub set to open by winter

Work on a day shelter for Nelson’s homeless, Whare Haumanu, is progressing with an anticipated opening in May ahead of the cold winter months.

The project is a combined project from The Male Room, Nelson City Council, and Nelson city’s Rotary clubs spearheaded by Rotary Club of Nelson President Gaile Noonan.

Noonan said building consent applications were in and expected to be granted in the coming week or two, followed swiftly by construction.

“We’re comfortable with where we’re at,” she said.

Published in Stuff


Research article: Measuring Adverse Child Experiences Among Young Adolescents Globally: Relationships With Depressive Symptoms and Violence Perpetration

The purpose of the study was to develop a measure of ACEs applicable for young ado- lescents in low- and middle-income countries (ACEs) and to analyze the relationships of ACEs against two outcomes: depressive symptoms and violence perpetration. There is a paucity of research on the consequences of adverse child experiences (ACEs) on adolescent health and behavior from low- and middle-income countries and virtually no multinational studies.

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By Robert Wm Blum, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. *, Mengmeng Li, M.S.P.H., M.B.B.S., and Gia Naranjo-Rivera, M.P.A., M.A.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
Oct 2018

Child sexual abuse victims retraumatised in their fight for justice

Thousands of New Zealanders were sexually abused as children in state care and faith-based institutions, but will never get the justice they need to move forward. MARINÉ LOURENS reports.

He was 12 years old when the abuse started.

The principal at his elite Christchurch Catholic school would call the boys to his office to check their lunch boxes. When J arrived, the principal would take him into his office and tell him his parents had sent him to the school “to help him become a man”.

It started with the principal giving him a pornographic magazine to look at, and asking him how it made him feel. Over the next two years, J was raped weekly, mostly in the principal’s office, but sometimes in the cathedral behind the school or the changing rooms of the local community swimming pool.

“When he raped me, I couldn’t ride my bike home.”

Published in Stuff


A Brief History of Peer Support: Origins

The contemporary era of organized peer support owes its success in no small part to the mental health consumer movement of the 1970s. This social movement empowered former mental health service users to help each other and advocate for themselves. From these humble roots, peer support quickly found new applications in chronic disease management (diabetes, mental health, heart disease, cancer, asthma, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse), screening and prevention (cancer, HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases), and maternal and child health (breastfeeding, nutrition, post-partum depression). As the philosophy of peer support slipped into the mainstream, public interest is reaching an all-time high.

Published in Peers for Progress


Research article:  New research shows parents are major producers of child sexual abuse material

Research article: New research shows parents are major producers of child sexual abuse material

Child sexual abuse material — images and videos of kids being sexually abused — is a growing international problem. Almost 70 million reports of this material were made to US authorities in 2019. That figure rose still further in 2020, as the COVID pandemic drove children and adults to spend more time online

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By Michael Salter
Scientia Associate Professor of Criminology, UNSW
20 Feb 2021

Paedophile who posed as girls online sentenced for 96 child sex abuse offences

A prolific paedophile who posed as girls online to get young boys to send him indecent images of themselves, leaving some of them suicidal, has been sentenced to 25 years in jail.

David Wilson, 36, was prosecuted for 96 child sex abuse offences relating to 51 victims, but the National Crime Agency (NCA) said it has evidence that he approached more than 5,000 children globally.

The agency said as many as 500 of them sent abuse material to Wilson, of Kirstead, King’s Lynn, Norfolk.

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Published in Stuff

4 Feb 2021

Rosmini College abuse: Terminal man still waiting to find out if abuser will be extradited as the number of victims grows

The number of boys who say they were sexually abused by a former Rosmini College teacher has increased to at least 12 – but a decision on whether or not to extradite him is yet to be made.

Brother William Jackson, who went on to become a priest, was a music teacher at the Auckland school during the late 1960s and early 1970s before being sent back to England following allegations he was sexually abusing boys during singing lessons.

He is now living in a retirement village for Rosminian priests in Surrey.

Numerous men have come forward saying they too were abused after Jackson’s abuse was revealed by the Herald last year, one of whom has already reached out to police and a further two who are considering laying complaints.

Two other men have contacted the Catholic Church’s National Office for Professional Standards to begin a formal complaints process.

Published in NZ Herald