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

Operation Arkstone: Childcare worker, soccer coach among group charged with more than 800 ‘abhorrent’ child sex offences

Federal police have rescued 46 kids from the grips of their alleged abusers, including a childcare worker and a soccer coach in one of the biggest child sexual abuse cases ever detected in Australia.

Police in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia have arrested 14 men on 828 charges in what investigators have dubbed an alleged “abhorrent systemic sexual abuse” of children, some of whom were just babies.

There were 39 child victims in NSW, one in Queensland, and six in WA allegedly subjected to the production and/or sharing of child abuse material to an online network of Australian and international “peers”.

The operation identified a number of alleged sex offenders in Europe, Asia, the United States, Canada and New Zealand, with 146 international referrals made.

Published in NZ Herald

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Research article: The impacts of child sexual abuse: A rapid evidence assessment

Abstract: The aim of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA or ‘the Inquiry’) is to investigate whether public bodies and other non-state institutions have taken seriously their responsibility to protect children from sexual abuse in England and Wales, and to make meaningful recommendations for change, to help ensure that children now and in the future are better protected from sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse (CSA) involves forcing or enticing a child or young person under the age of 18 to take part in sexual activities. It includes contact and non-contact abuse, child sexual exploitation (CSE) and grooming a child in preparation for abuse.

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Primary authors:
Cate Fisher
Alexandra Goldsmith
Rachel Hurcombe
Claire Soares
IICSA Research Team

July 2017

Service centre for homeless to open next year after ‘whirlwind’ Rotary effort

A new hub for Nelson’s homeless is only months away after a “whirlwind” effort from Nelson Rotary clubs and funding from the city council.

The Male Room director Philip Chapman said the daytime shelter, called Whare Haumanu, was a “fantastic effort” from many people and organisations. It is expected to be up and running in March next year.

He said the efforts of the Rotary clubs of Nelson had been crucial for the project, making connections in the community and getting donations of time, expertise and money towards the build.

Published in Stuff

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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

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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

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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

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