Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Fringe of Darkness

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  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    And it needs to not only inform us of the profile of a sexual predator – so that we can better recognise them amongst us – but it also needs to explore why, in particular mothers end up exposing their children to this potential for abuse.

    I did have a copy of Peter Haynes' book. I gave it away to someone who needed to know that they were not the only one to experience such horrors in their youth, not the only one struggling with daily life as a damaged person. Worse, not the only "survivor' of childhood sexual abuse trying to parent.

    As you say, it is women and mothers who are ultimately responsible...(never mind god...but nature dictates this)

    You hold this child in your arms, and love binds and blinds you. No harm will befall this child within the reach of your arms.

    Then, your own childhood comes rushing back.

    You ask yourself..."what was wrong with me that my mother couldn't love and care for me, the way I love my child."

    Because, in the absence of anyone else taking responsibility...or society (through the courts or a book perhaps? ) placing the responsibility firmly in the hands of the perpetrators and enablers....the child will blame themselves.

    We need to properly describe what happened at Centrepoint.
    What happened to other children.
    What is still happening to children.

    Evil....
    adjective
    1.
    profoundly immoral and wicked.
    "his evil deeds"
    synonyms: wicked, bad, wrong, morally wrong, wrongful, immoral, sinful, ungodly, unholy, foul, vile, base, ignoble, dishonourable, corrupt, iniquitous, depraved, degenerate, villainous, nefarious, sinister, vicious, malicious, malevolent, demonic, devilish, diabolic, diabolical, fiendish, dark, black-hearted; monstrous, shocking, despicable, atrocious, heinous, odious, contemptible, horrible, execrable; informallow-down, stinking, dirty, shady, warped, bent, crooked; archaicdastardly, black; rareegregious, flagitious, peccable
    "an evil deed"


    Take your pick.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    In my opinion, it is women and mothers who are ultimately responsible for saving children from this fate. God designed us to be nurturers. Most mothers who become involved in this type of mayhem are not bad people, they too are victims, they too are weak and vulnerable – but at the end of the day, they (and women in general) have to become the future saviours if we as a society really want to break the cycle and prevent this type of horror in future.,

    Thats an example, by contrast, why what Anke is doing, isn’t totaly insane. Actually, what Anke has been attempting to do, is clarify some of that stuff, I hope.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I’d rather you spelled every single word wrong than you not be here Steven :-)

    I certainly second that!

    Thanks dudes, I appreciate the reassurance.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • william blake, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    I have to differ from your call that it is women who are ultimately responsible for saving children from this fate. It's a male responsibility to stop perpetrating violence and to be wise and brave enough to intervene when abuse is taking place. Arohanui.

    Since Mar 2010 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to william blake,

    It’s a male responsibility to stop perpetrating violence and to be wise and brave enough to intervene when abuse is taking place.

    Sexual predation/abuse and non-sexual physical violence have different pathologies. It is important to make the distinction. I was referring to the former in my earlier point about women and mothers.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    I will say one more thing. I don’t know that this type of story is a path toward healing for those that need and deserve healing. I’d rather see a book on the life history and profile of the paedophile that was Bert Potter. And such research needs a professional criminologist and a clinician’s involvement. And it needs to not only inform us of the profile of a sexual predator – so that we can better recognise them amongst us – but it also needs to explore why, in particular mothers end up exposing their children to this potential for abuse.

    Shit, there's a lot to unpack there, but I simply can't agree that a psychopathology book about the chief abuser is somehow more valid than one that bears witness to the wider story . They're not interchangeable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Could we maybe dial down the weird separate-spheres gender essentialism in this thread? Like, dichotomising women into nurturers and men into... not-nurturers... is the sort of approach that limits everyone as complete human beings.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Danielle,

    Instead of nature, perhaps I should have said chemistry.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxytocin

    Powerful stuff, oxytocin.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Danielle,

    Thank you.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    I know what oxytocin is. I've only recently stopped wearing maternity bras. But it's actually deeply weird to place all the responsibility for nurturing and protection on women and then "other" men as people that aren't emotionally and morally invested in protecting their own kids. Why are we divesting them of that responsibility? It's the sort of approach we used during the temperance movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Shit, there’s a lot to unpack there, but I simply can’t agree that a psychopathology book about the chief abuser is somehow more valid than one that bears witness to the wider story .

    I wasn't referring to what might be more valid (from an investigative journalistic perspective for the purposes of a mainstream commercial publication), but rather what might be more useful/healing to the victims.

    One thing that stood out in the Metro article was this statement:

    “In the end,” he says, gripping his coffee mug hard, “guys will just be wanking over your stories.”

    That kind of exemplifies the point I'm making.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    I am no expert. with that caveat, I say that perpetrators of sexual abuse of children come in all shapes, sizes and gender. There are some specific types, which you are refering to, which can be easly pathologized and poked with a stick. The more difficult job is figuring out how best to help all the other people, such as those offenders with intellectual disabilities, and who are not actualy monsters.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Not the same story, but all part of the same story really: the High Court has rejected two sisters’ request to be able to name the man who abused them. I am so very very angry for them. How can this be justice when it feels so deeply wrong?
    Sorry, I know this is not exactly on-topic. Clearly this ruling was more of a trigger for me than the Centrepoint story, and outlets are helpful. As you were.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Horror and anger in our home too.

    http://notmyshame.squarespace.com/

    Strong women.

    This is not justice....this is enabling.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Curses, my edit took too long:

    I say it's all part of the same story because it's related to the broader question of who gets to tell their stories, when, and what it means for victims and perpetrators when the case is put in the media again decades later. These sisters were abused at much the same time as the Centrepoint abuse was going on (1971-1978). The case went to court at a similar time (1994). Some of the sentence lengths at Centrepoint were of a similar short length. The survivors of Centrepoint can name their abusers, but because of a small judicial error way 20 years ago, these two women cannot.

    One of the other reasons the judge gave was that the women took so long to bring the matter to court. That's about equivalent to saying that cases of sexual abuse shouldn't be pursued because the abused have waited until they're adults to report it: in this case, the women didn't know the man had suppression at all - they believed he did not.

    The judge effectively ruled that publishing the offender's name now would mean he was punished again. He has failed to take into account that no publishing the offender's name means the two women are victimised again. Sexual assault is all about power, and the judge has again told this man's power over his life is more important than theirs. Angry, angry, angry.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I am aware that Anke, you are probably reading these comments. So I beg your pardon, for having at times talked about you – your work, like your not even a real person :)

    I feel like a fraud. What will my book do to this lovely young woman and her sick mother?

    To use a sailing anelogy – otherwise known as breaking into song. Anxiety keeps me off a lee shore. I watched the docementry South (I don’t read so much). Shackelton mentioned feeling anxious from time to time, after leaving the relative safety of Elephant island, to sail an open boat into the almost unknown. His anxiety was more, I was convinced, about his sense of responsibility for his crew than his reputation as a professional explorer – which is what the profession was down to brass tacks all about.

    All lives where saved, but some of the survivors died shortly after in the war.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Anke Richter, in reply to steven crawford,

    Steven, thank you for all your comments here and your empathy.

    Lyttelton • Since May 2007 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle MacDonald, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    I've only just caught up with this, and what a wonderful piece of writing and a very necessary and worthwhile project.
    The collective history of "therapy" in New Zealand took many years to untangle themselves from Centrepoint, and Bert's approaches caused many splits and problems in the profession at the time. But for me the value of this work, is to not forget the history and to not allow it to be repressed.

    People like John Potter and his wife Dr. Felicity Goodyear-Smith, a GP at CP at the time of the abuses, still try to exert direct influence over how sexual crime is treated and prosecuted in New Zealand and fight back hard and fast when attempts to out this are made. FGS was involved for some time with the ACC Sensitive Claims process, or at least in the attempts to destroy it (see: http://psychotherapy.org.nz/ideology-of-denial/ ).

    One of my scarier moments, and something I know feel proud of was getting attacked on the menz site. But the scary thing is there is still a blanket of denial by many over the impact of what happened there, and active attempts to repress it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 82 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Kyle MacDonald,

    FGS was involved for some time with the ACC Sensitive Claims process, or at least in the attempts to destroy it

    I’d only had a vague recollection of the name Centrepoint or Bert Potter when I read this thread – so googled for a better background and one of the things I came across was this article;

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/features/4069062/Conflicting-interests

    And thought OMG, OMG, OMG – and it gave me one more reason to despise this National government executive even more. Appointments/contacts for folks with real or perceived conflicts of interest can’t get much worse than that one. I believe the threshold in law, when you are at the decision-making end of a regulatory process – is perceived conflict of interest (in other words a very low threshold), so to my mind, legally, she should likely never have been given the contract being married (or even in a relationship) with a convicted offender. Regardless of her qualification.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Rosie W, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It’s hard to credit now how accepted and acceptable Centrepoint was within a wider hippyish community.

    At my intermediate school in the late 80's, the Centrepoint bus lined up along with the bus to Dairy Flat and Paremoremo. Our school swimming sports were hosted at Centrepoint. It was part of the school community too.

    I'm gutted now, thinking about the kids who were in my class and what they were going through at the time. I see events advertised at the rebranded complex - outdoor play and exploration for kids - but I can't stomach it at all.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2015 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle MacDonald, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Yes, that was a great piece of journalism by Tim Hume, and pretty much put a stop to any further influence with ACC. It was beyond shocking that she had been let anywhere near the treatment of sexual abuse survivors.
    Working with Tim on the story I experienced first hand at the time the anxiety, nausea and paranoia that Anke talks about, being slandered on John Potters website was actually quite frightening, and it was a brave editorial decision by the SST to run with the story.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 82 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    We really need something like a Royal Commission into historic child abuse. They have now got them in Australia and the UK. Child abuse was rife in the state institutions and probably just as widespread in society generally as in other countries. Needs to be really safe though.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3218 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Kyle MacDonald,

    Yes it was a great piece of journalism. Extremely informative. Congrats to SST for running with it. So glad it had the effect it did wrt ACC involvement. Yes, the use of social media sites to discredit/slander scientists, academics and other professionals is a disturbing and scary issue for those who experience it.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Kyle MacDonald,

    Yes, that was a great piece of journalism by Tim Hume, and pretty much put a stop to any further influence with ACC. It was beyond shocking that she had been let anywhere near the treatment of sexual abuse survivors.

    Do you think she's been able to maintain credibility through attachment to the cases of Peter Ellis and George Gwaze?

    I'm convinced Ellis actually was the victim of false memory syndrome, thanks to the incredibly inappropriate interview processes employed in the investigation, and it does seem Gwaze was charged because the authorities misinterpreted acute HIV-related symptoms.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kyle MacDonald,

    Thanks for contributing on this topic. Had no idea about that conflict of interest. I've fixed your link too - this site's software doesn't like other characters like ) straight afer a url. Adding a space between them fixes that.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

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