Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Margarita Video

This video is on a difficult topic which is the sexual assault of a 96 year old woman by one of the staff in the supported living residence Margarita had moved into.  But as well as being distressing it is also a wonderful story about resilience and the strength of an older women Margarita.

The link is below.

https://www.opalinstitute.org/margarita.html

Thursday, 15 November 2018

National Redress Scheme

The Victorian State Government has announced $12.3 million over four years to deliver the Restore:Victorian Redress Counselling Service program which commenced on Monday 12th November 2018.

This funding was allocated to support the establishment and delivery of the state-wide Restore program led by SECASA as part of a five organisation consortium including all CASAs, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, Open Place, Care Leavers Australasian Network and Drummond Street. Victim/survivors are able to choose the service they want to access.

This scheme is the response to the Royal Commission recommendations relating to people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse.  The Government is to be congratulated on this initiative and the speed with which it commenced.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Glenn Dylan Hartland

Glenn Hartland is back in gaol for breaching his bail conditions which must be a relief to his victims.  Mr Hartland clearly has some difficulties with controlling his impulses and will hopefully get the help he needs in gaol.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Bail

It is hard to work out why the woman who has been charged over needles in strawberries is denied bail and Glenn Hartland who pleaded guilty to raping three women and indecently assaulting another woman is allowed bail.  He went on to send texts and call one of the women multiple times after the rape.  There have been changes to bail for serious and violent offences in the past couple of years but in this case it does not make sense that Hartland can move free in the community given his crimes and the following harassment.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Malka Leifer

It never seems to come to an end. It has been 10 years since Malka Leifer left Australia.  Yet again her lawyers are fighting to have Ms Leifer free to live in her community applying for bail.  This is with no concern for any young women she may come into contact with. 

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Victoria Police Taskforce Salus

We had always been conscious that a number of Police members were sexually predatory. Given our role in society this is hardly surprising.  In the past it has been difficult to deal with some Police Members who had offended against our clients not the least because some of them had histories of offending behaviour.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Women's rage can fight injustice

I come from a working class area in the United Kingdom so I have very little time for the wealthy British upper class and would not expect to find an ally in such a place.  However, Boris Johnson's article in The Age Wednesday 10th October 2018 is worth reading.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Why Women Dont Report

The recent fuss in The United States about the new US Supreme Court Judge and the accusations against him shows that we have a long way to go in our understanding of sexual assault.  Most of the people we see at SECASA have not reported their sexual assault to anyone.   We know how hard it is to report even with better policing and legislative changes. ABS data suggests that only 1 in 10 people report a sexual assault.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Gender equity

CASA Forum votes for gender equity as a force for eliminating sexual assault.

Catholicism and Orthodox Jewry

It is interesting to watch how much religions, with what appear to be radical differences, have in common.  We have watched the Catholic hierarchy give character references and support to paedophile priests.  Now we have Rabbi Marcus Solomon of Dianella Shul and Chabad of Western Australia's Rabbi Shalom White providing character references for a man who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing his daughter in 2003 when she was 11 or 12 years old. 

Suppression Orders on Revealing Offenders Names

For sexual assault victims the ban on publicising the name of the offender who had assaulted them was intended to protect the identity of the victim.  It seems ridiculous, as in the case of Tracey May (The Age 30.8.18), if a victim wants to tell the world what has happened to them and who is responsible that this is not an option they have.  To reveal their identity or not to reveal it, and hence the identity of the offender, should be left with the victim to decide. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Malka Leifer

It comes as no surprise that Malka Leifer is reported to have been abusing children in the ultra orthodox settlement of Emmanuel at the northern end of the West Bank.  Paedophiles do not change their behaviour certainly not without treatment.  In Ms Leifer's case she has been encouraged to continue her behaviour by the cowardice of the systems dealing with her.  The Board of Adass, the school where she allegedly abused pupil, the local rabbinical council and those who see fit to defend her in court completely ignoring and disrespecting the alleged victims.

She should return to Australia and show some respect for her alleged victims and seek treatment.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Seal of the Confessional

The ACT has introduced laws that will make it mandatory for priests to report people who disclose in a confessions that they have abused a child or children.  The Attorney-General, Christian Porter, stated that the Council of Attorneys-General was looking at harmonising laws across Australia following the ACTs legislative changes.  Archbishop Mark Coleridge, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference was not in support of this move and commented that the Royal Commission was presented with little evidence that priests received confessions from paedophiles.  It is not clear how we would know given what happens in the confessional is deemed confidential. 

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Sip Safe Wristbands

Monash University and a private company R & R have launched a wristband, Sip Safe, which allows you to check for drugs in a drink by putting a drop of your drink on the wristband.  If this assist detect drink spiking with illicit drugs then it is a good idea.  However, it would not be a good idea to get too complacent. 

Malka Leifer

The Malka Leifer saga moves into another year with another psychiatric assessment being ordered.  The people trying to stop her return to Australia are showing complete and utter contempt for the alleged victims of sexually assault at her hands.  If she had committed a crime against the Israel State I doubt if it would take this long to extradite her from another country.

Public Register of Offenders

The discussion has started again about having a public register of offenders so that people can know if they have a registered sex offender living in their area.  The United States has had a public register for a number of years and there is no evidence to show that it has reduced offending rates.  It has at times proven to be counterproductive with it leading to the identification of survivors, a rise in vigilantism and creating a sense of security about knowing who and where the offenders are.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Cultural Relativism and Family Violence

It is interesting how people who do not support cultural diversity will come out in support of any cultural practice that supports their views. Often family violence is justified as part of a particular ethnic groups practice. I doubt if any intact culture believes it is acceptable to beat up family members.

The articles below make it clear that family violence affects everyone across a society.


I'm not his property': Abused Muslim women denied right to divorce
'Submit to your husbands': Women told to endure domestic violence in the name of God
Exposing the darkness within: Domestic violence and Islam
'Their cross to bear': The Catholic women told to forgive domestic violence
The secret scourge of family violence and murder in Australian Hindu and Sikh communities

Members of Parliament On line Anti-Sexual Harassment Course

In 2014 an online module was made available on sexual harassment for Federal Parliamentarians.  By the end of last year no Parliamentarian had taken the course. This information became public in response to questions on notice from a Senate Estimates Committee hearing in February this year.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Indian Death Penalty for Rape of Minors

Whilst not agreeing with the death penalty it is a relief to see the Indian Parliament starting to take the sexual abuse of children and adult women seriously.  There have been a number of outrageous situations where India politicians have come out in support of gang rapists.

Indian women have been campaigning and rallying since the 2012 fatal gang rape of a young student in New Delhi.  More power to the women.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43850476

Phillip John Murphy

Phillip John Murphy, a former Anglican Vicar, received a suspended sentence for using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material between 2016 and 2017.  Although accepting that Mr Murphy has been directed to attend a sex offender program and be of good behaviour it is not hard to understand why the prosecution thought that a jail sentence was appropriate.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Mental Health Complaints Commissioner Report

The Mental Health Complaints Commissioner has released a report in relation to sexual safety in psychiatric wards. It was found that reports were either not made at all or minimised leaving victims at risk of further sexual assaults. The Health Minister Martin Foley in a response to the findings in the report agreed the Government needed to do more but talked in general terms about better reports, new guidelines and oversight of processes.  This is unlikely to be particularly effective if a facility does not report an incident.  He did not commit to single sex wards which from our experience is what many victims have requested.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Malka Leifer Saga Continues

The saga of Malka Leifer desperately fighting to evade justice continues.  It is not surprising that senior Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman has supported Ms Leifer claiming that jail is humiliating.  No one disputes that jail is humiliating and probable even more difficult for religious people.  However, the sexual abuse of children is humiliating for them and all the orthodox Rabbi has achieved is to let victims know that in his world they are of less value than the sensibilities of an alleged offender.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Malka Liefer

It appears that Malka Liefer, currently resident in Israel, has been accused of faking mental illness to avoid being extradited to Australia to face charges of sexual assault.   She has been re-arrested by Israeli Police.  It is reported that extradition proceedings have started.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Differing approaches to victims of childhood abuse by Catholic clergy

In Ballarat the Catholic authorities took down the ribbons placed by sexual assault survivors from St Patrick's Church.  In Chile the Pope meets and prays with sexual assault survivors and asks for forgiveness.  Hard to believe it is the same Church.  The ribbons were not harming anyone.  Taking them down will not make the situation go away just upset survivors who saw them as a symbol of their abuse and their strength in dealing with it.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Thailand's Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce

In 2017 Australia legislated to stop registered sex offenders travelling overseas in a move to stop child sex offending.  This will affect approximately 20 000 registered sex offenders who have to report regularly to the police.  It does not however stop paedophiles who have never been been caught or charged.   Thailand has established the Internet Crimes Against Children's Taskforce with assistance from Interpol and other international police agencies after warnings about an increase in the spread of child exploitation material.