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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Research article: The long-term effects of child sexual abuse

This paper reviews recent Australian and international research on the long-term effects of child sexual abuse. It aims to assist practitioners and policy-makers who work with survivors of sexual abuse and their families to understand the significant findings from this large and sometimes complex body of research.

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By Judith Cashmore, Rita Shackel
2013

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

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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

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Research article: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis of Psychoeducational Groups for the Treatment of Psychopathology Resulting from Child Sexual Abuse

Recent research shows integration of education in group therapy has benefits for survivors. Although this research references therapy led (psycho-educational) groups, these educational benefits can also be made available to survivors participating in peer support groups.

Wilkerson, Alexis L.. “A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis of Psychoeducational Groups for the Treatment of Psychopathology Resulting from Child Sexual Abuse” (2020). Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Dissertation, Counseling and Human Services, Old Dominion University, DOI: 10.25777/f7dy-xx17

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By Alexis Lynnette Wilkerson
Old Dominion University

Support group for male sexual abuse survivors set up in Taranaki

Mike Subritzky is a team of one committed to helping heal the unknown number of male sexual assault survivors in Taranaki.

Subritzky, a trained counsellor with a background in chaplaincy, runs Male Survivors Taranaki which falls under the national body Male Survivors Aotearoa.

He says statistics show 1 in 6 men have been sexually abused but it’s hard to know exact statistics as for many men it’s their darkest secret, and they never come forward.

Published in Stuff

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Former Dunedin teacher’s ‘enormous breach of trust’

A former school teacher has been sentenced over a historic indecent assault.

Former Otago Boys’ High School maths teacher David Russell Bond, 69, appeared for sentencing before Judge Michael Turner in the Dunedin District Court on Thursday on a charge of indecent assault.

His lawyer, Anne Stevens QC, said her client was no longer a teacher, and no longer had contact with any young people, nor lived in Dunedin.

The offending, which dates between 1997 and 1999, was only in a school environment, she said, and any risk factor had been removed by his retirement from teaching some seven years ago.

Published in Stuff

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Media release: Hon Chris Hipkins – Government acknowledges release of Royal Commission interim report

Hon Chris Hipkins
Minister for the Public Service

An interim report by the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care, released today, is a deeply moving record of the State’s past failings in looking after citizens in its care, Minister for the Public Service Chris Hipkins says.

“I welcome this interim report, and I acknowledge the courage and determination of survivors who relived their painful experiences with the Royal Commission,” Chris Hipkins said.

To view or download the report, see this post.

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Pānui – Release of Interim Report

Today (17 December 2020) the Government is releasing Tāwharautia: Pūrongo o te Wā – the Interim report of the Abuse in Care Royal Commission. We are pleased to provide you with a pdf version of the report in advance of the 3pm public release, at which time it will be published on our website, www.abuseincare.org.nz in various formats including an html version.

The report is authored by the Commissioners, and its presentation to the Government by (or before) 28 December 2020 is a requirement of the terms of reference of the Royal Commission.

Download Volume 1 (PDF)
Download Volume 2 (PDF)

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Former Christ’s College student recounts fearing for life during sexual assault

A former Christ’s College student sexually assaulted and abused by other students in the 1970s says it was “systematic deliberate abuse” designed to shame him.

Jim Goodwin attended the Christchurch school as a boarder from 1970 to 1974 and told the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care in Auckland on Monday about the assault by other students that left him fearing for his life.

Published in Stuff

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Abuse in Care Inquiry: ‘I was ashamed and felt totally trapped’

This story was originally published on RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission.

GRAPHIC CONTENT: A man has presented a harrowing testimony of being terrified as a boy for every day of school through two years, at the Abuse in Care inquiry.

Known only as John, the 52 year said he was sexually abused 40 years ago at the Marist-run Xavier Intermediate School in Christchurch, between 1980 and 1982, by principal Brother Giles.

Published in Stuff

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Catholic Church has ‘no understanding about trauma and sexual abuse’ – victim

Witnesses at the Abuse in Care Royal Commission have recounted gruelling memories of being abused while in the care of churches.

During the week and next week, the Commission is hearing from 25 survivors.

The witnesses have agreed to go public with their stories of abuse and how they sought redress from churches.

The focus during the week has been on the Catholic Church. Next week it is the turn of the Anglican Church and the Salvation Army.

Published in Radio New Zealand

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Abused as a boy, man calls for independent investigation

A man who suffered horrific sexual abuse at two Dunedin schools says an independent body should be established to investigate church abuse cases.

The man, named only as Marc, presented his evidence to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care via video conference from Australia yesterday.

He outlined how, between the ages of 10 and 14, he was raped, sexually assaulted, and physically abused by two Christian Brothers, a priest, and a lay teacher, at St Edmund’s Intermediate School and St Paul’s High School.

The abuse took place in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Published in Otago Daily Times

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Catholic Church abuse survivors describe ‘horrific’ experiences, trauma to Royal Commission

Survivors of abuse at the hands of Catholic clergymen have spoken of their shame, trauma and the struggle to get redress from New Zealand church leaders.

The first of 25 witnesses told the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State Care that after making a complaint, she was offered money rather than a meaningful apology – which she rejected.

Published in News Hub

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Abuse hearing: Catholic Church told sexual abuse victim that abuse was not criminal, offered him $5000

A former Catholic boarding school student who was abused by a priest says the Catholic Church repeatedly tried to minimise his abuse and deny that it was criminal offending.

The former student, now aged 81, was sexually abused by Father Fred Durning in 1953 when he was a 13-year-old student at St Patrick’s College in Silverstream, Upper Hutt.

Using the pseudonym Mr F, he recounted his abuse before a royal commission of inquiry in Auckland this morning, which is holding hearings on abuse in the care of faith-based institutions.

Published in NZ Herald

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Survivors prepare for Abuse in Care redress hearings

The chair of the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care, Judge Coral Shaw, today declined all but one of the non-publication applications made by lawyers acting for the Catholic Church, the Salvation Army and the Anglican Church.

The applications asked to temporarily keep the names of deceased perpetrators of abuse surpressed.

Steve Goodlass from the Network for Survivors of Abuse in Faith-based Institutions speaks about the impact of this decision on survivors preparing for the Commission’s redress hearings next week.

Listen to story on Radio New Zealand

By Lately
Published in Radio New Zealand
26 Nov 2020

Bishop at centre of name debate investigated

An independent investigation is under way into the handling of sexual abuse complaints by a former Roman Catholic bishop of Dunedin.

The Catholic Church has appointed an independent investigator to look at whether Bishop John Kavanagh took proper action when he received complaints of sexual abuse during his tenure, between 1957 and 1985.

The news comes as survivors of abuse in faith-based settings, including the Catholic Church, prepare to give evidence as part of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.

Published in Otago Daily Times

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Research article: Untold Stories: Male Child Sexual Abusers’ Accounts of Telling and Not Telling about Sexual Abuse Experienced in Childhood

With evidence suggesting that females are more likely to be victims of child sexual abuse (CSA), much of the literature – including that on disclosure – focuses on females. Thus, male victims remain “under-studied”. Given this, the aim here is to contribute to the scant knowledge base on the sexual abuse of males and disclosure by focusing on males whose voices are even more rarely heard than those in the general male popula- tion: those who have perpetrated CSA. The men whose stories are told here had been convicted of, and imprisoned for, CSA in the United Kingdom (UK). They were part of a sample of 101 incarcerated males, 40 of whom reported at interview that they had been sexually abused in childhood. Eighteen of those 40 men are focused on here as they provided some detail as to whether they had disclosed that abuse in childhood or adult- hood, the responses they had received, and also why they had not disclosed. Their narratives shed some much-needed light on the nature of sexual abuse experienced by males, its onset and duration, sexual re-victimization, relationships with perpetra- tors, the diverse nature of disclosure, the extent to which victims disclose and when, the responses received, and why they do not tell. Little is known of these aspects of male CSA. The implica- tions of the findings are considered together with future research directions.

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Author: Susan Roberts
Nov 2020