Everyday thousands of children are being sexually abused. You can stop the abuse of at least one child by simply praying. You can possibly stop the abuse of thousands of children by forwarding the link in First Time Visitor? by email, Twitter or Facebook to every Christian you know. Save a child or lots of children!!!! Do Something, please!

3:15 PM prayer in brief:
Pray for God to stop 1 child from being molested today.
Pray for God to stop 1 child molestation happening now.
Pray for God to rescue 1 child from sexual slavery.
Pray for God to save 1 girl from genital circumcision.
Pray for God to stop 1 girl from becoming a child-bride.
If you have the faith pray for 100 children rather than one.
Give Thanks. There is more to this prayer here

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Sunday, 30 September 2018

More Positive Stories on War Against Child Sex Abuse, Issue II

India makes Muslim ‘triple talaq’ divorce punishable
by up to 3yrs in jail

© Global Look Press/ Hindustan Times

Muslim men in India who try to break free of their marriage contract by simply repeating the word ‘Talaq’, or divorce, three times, will face jail for up to three years after the government criminalized the practice.

In what is being hailed as a major win for Muslim women’s rights, the government cleared an ordinance banning the triple talaq practice on Wednesday. The Union Cabinet issued the executive order as the practice had continued “unabated” despite it being ruled unlawful inAugust last year by the Supreme Court. The five-judge bench decided the practice is un-Islamic.

Addressing the media after the Cabinet meeting, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said there was a “compelling necessity and an overpowering urgency” to approve the ordinance. “I have said this before, the issue of triple talaq has nothing to do with faith, mode of worship or religion. It is a pure issue of gender justice, gender dignity and gender equality,” he said.

The step to make talaq a punishable offence came after initial efforts in August this year to pass the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017, introduced by PM Narendra Modi last year, were hindered by opposition parties.

Shankar blamed Congress for the failure to get rid of the triple talaq “curse” earlier as he said the “barbaric and inhumane” practice was not revoked because of “ambiguity and vacillation of the Congress party for pure vote bank politics.”

Because of the opposition, the government this time round ended up passing the bill with three amendments, namely that the law will be “non-bailable,” meaning a magistrate will only be able to grant bail to the accused, not the police, and if the wife gives her consent.

The second amendment makes only the victim (wife) or her blood relations or people who become her relatives by marriage able to lodge the complaint.

Under the third amendment, the law will make the offence “compoundable.”

Excellent! Now, if you will just enforce it!

Angola takes vital step to remove child sexual abuse imagery from the internet

Angola has announced a new system for anonymously reporting online child sexual abuse images and videos in partnership with international charity, the Cambridge-based IWF (Internet Watch Foundation).

The historic move, to install a reporting mechanism for child sexual abuse imagery online, is thanks to a collaboration between the IWF, SCARJoV (Associação de Reintegração dos Jovens e Crianças na Vida Social) and INAC (Instituto Nacional da Criança). It illustrates Angola’s desire to prioritise making the internet a safer place for all its citizens, with a special focus on the youngest generation.

In Angola, the majority of the population are children. The average age of a citizen is just 16.5 years-old. Today, The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights is extending their existing efforts to defend the rights and welfare of children into the digital sphere. By building on previous campaigns focussing on trafficking, gender equality and dignity, the Ministry recognises the need to focus on the internet and tackle the issue of child sex abuse imagery online.

The IWF reporting websites, known as Reporting Portals, are web-based forms where citizens can report child sexual abuse imagery they may stumble across online. Portals offer priority countries around the world a place to safely report this illegal material to expert Analysts based in the UK, who then assess the reports and have the content removed.  

Angola becomes the seventh country to launch an online reporting mechanism sponsored by the Global Fund to End Violence Against Children. It also brings the total number of global IWF Reporting Portals to 25.

The Reporting Portal will help keep all internet users safe online and ensure that the victims of child sexual abuse do not have to suffer the torment or revictimisation, with the knowledge that online images and videos of their abuse could be shared again and again. By the end of 2020, the total number of IWF Reporting Portals will be 48, thanks to the Fund’s grant to implement 30 Portals across the world.

It’s simple to make a report – just go to http://report.iwf.org.uk/ao (Portuguese) and follow the steps. The process takes less than two minutes and can be done completely anonymously.

The IWF is a world leader in identifying and removing online child sexual abuse imagery from the internet. The IWF Reporting Portals are a safe and anonymous way to send reports to the Analysts in the IWF, help protect child victims of sexual abuse online and keep internet users safe online.

The Secretary of State for Human Rights and Citizenship, Dr Ana Celeste Cardoso Januário, said: “In Angola, there are 13 million users of the mobile network and more than 5 million access the internet through a mobile phone, tablet, computer and other means. Our children today grow up in the so-called digital era which supports their education and communication, but which can also present serious risks. Children deserve to grow and develop, free from prejudices or harm caused by our inadequate actions, inactions or attitudes of negligence. The launch of this portal is an added value for the Angolan State in the promotion and protection of the Rights of the Child and the fulfilment of the 11 Commitments of the Child. With this IWF Portal, Angola joins the campaign against sexual abuse of children on the Internet.”

This important move has been made possible by a global partnership, dedicated to protecting internet users and child victims.

Susie Hargreaves OBE, IWF CEO, said:“We’re glad to welcome Angola to the growing number of countries who have introduced international IWF Reporting Portals. The Portal will provide a dedicated means for the public to report child abuse material online, safely and anonymously. The launch of today’s Portal sends a clear message to the world, that Angola is firmly committed to becoming a hostile place for abusers to host or share child sexual abuse imagery online.”

Jenny Thornton, IWF International Development Manager, said: “I’m really proud that the IWF has launched a Reporting Portal for Angolans to confidentially and anonymously report online child sexual abuse imagery. These reports can make a huge difference, as the IWF works to identify and take down every image or video of child sexual abuse that our expert Analysts confirm. This helps make the internet a safer place globally and may even lead to the rescue of a child, from horrific abuse.”

To access the new portal and report child sexual abuse imagery online, go to http://report.iwf.org.uk/ao. The process can be completely anonymous and takes only seconds.

To read more about the IWF Reporting Portals, visit www.iwf.org.uk/our-international-reporting-portals

Organisations wishing to find out more about joining IWF as a Member, can read more at www.iwf.org.uk/become-a-member

NSW AG has introduced new laws to clear legal barriers that have blocked abuse survivors
Joanne McCarthy

History: Abuse survivor and lawyer John Ellis. The NSW Government has introduced new laws that will overcome a legal barrier blocking survivors from taking action against institutions. Picture: Louise Kennerley.

THE NSW Government has introduced new laws into Parliament that will remove controversial barriers that stopped child sexual abuse survivors from taking legal action against institutions.

Attorney-General Mark Speakman introduced the new civil litigation laws in Parliament on Wednesday during a speech acknowledging the “sheer staggering scale” of child sexual abuse in institutions across Australia that was revealed by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The commission exposed “the abject failure of numerous institutions right across the country to protect those whose lives, whose protection, was entrusted to them”. “I doubt there is a member in this chamber who wasn’t shocked and distressed by the revelations,” Mr Speakman said.

3rd major response

The civil litigation reforms, announced by Mr Speakman in June, are the third major element in the NSW Government’s response to the royal commission, following the government’s acceptance of the majority of criminal justice reform recommendations and its sign-up to the national redress scheme.

The civil litigation changes include removing the so-called “Ellis defence” that enabled some institutions to avoid liability for child sexual abuse. The defence was named after abuse survivor and lawyer John Ellis who attempted to sue Sydney Catholic Archdiocese for abuse in the 1970s but lost his case after the archdiocese successfully argued no recent church entities were liable.

NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman introduces new laws into Parliament to help child sexual abuse survivors hold institutions accountable in civil cases.

Under the new laws courts will have the power to appoint trustees to be sued if institutions fail to nominate a proper defendant.

In June, Mr Ellis said it was “a good day”, when the Attorney-General announced the reforms. “I wasn’t sure we’d ever see this day,” he said.

The new laws will also extend the vicarious liability of institutions for employees to include non-employees like volunteers or religious officers. They will impose a duty on institutions to prevent child abuse and if legal action is taken organisations will be held liable unless they can prove they took reasonable precautions to prevent abuse.

“Overhauling the civil litigation system is an historic milestone for survivors, making it easier for them to pursue compensation for child abuse. Nothing can erase the devastation survivors have suffered, but these changes will help ensure institutions are more effectively held to account,” Mr Speakman said.

“This legislation is the latest example of the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government leading the way in supporting survivors of institutional child sex abuse. NSW was the first state to pass laws to enable the establishment of the National Redress Scheme and to introduce a comprehensive criminal justice response to the Royal Commission.”

On August 31 new criminal laws came into effect, including a new failure to report child abuse to police offence, a new failure to protect children obligation on organisations, and changes to sentencing so that current sentencing standards will apply to historical offending.


After Rajinikanth and Vijay, Sivakarthikeyan has the largest fan base among children. His dance moves, pleasing charm and comedy scenes are loved by the little ones and hence he has gone on to become a hero for the entire family. Siva has now come forward to do an awareness film on child sexual abuse titled Modhi Vilayadu Papa. It has been initiated by a couple of Chennai-based NGOs who felt that Siva's immense popularity among the kids made him the ideal choice for such an initiative.

This 5 minute film has been directed by Thiru and leading technicians like composer Sam CS, editor Ruben and cinematographer Richard Nathan have worked on this film. All of them have done it without charging any fee, with an eye on a greater cause. It’s great to see all these busy people from film fraternity coming forward to support a cause such as this.

Siva felt that since he himself is a father to a 4 year old girl, he had a greater responsibility towards the society, and instantly agreed to do this awareness film. It will soon be released on social media platforms and may also be screened in theaters.

Along with Siva, 40 other students have also acted in the film which was shot in a school in Chennai. We are looking forward to this one.

Pennsylvania House Passes Bill Eliminating Statutes of Limitations on Child Sexual Abuse Cases

By Marivic Cabural Summers 

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved a legislation allowing victims of child sexual abuse from decades ago to file lawsuits against their abusers.

On Tuesday, lawmakers in the state’s lower house passed SB 261 with 173-21 votes. The legislation removes all criminal statutes of limitations on future child sexual abuses.  It also creates a two-year window for past victims of child sexual abuse to file civil lawsuits against their perpetrators.

These amendments to the Pennsylvania law were part of the recommendations of the grand jury, which investigated the widespread child sexual abuse by predator priests in six Catholic dioceses in the state.

Earlier this month, Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai predicted the swift passage of SB 261, which he called a “compromise.”

Governor Tom Wolf demanded amendments to the state law to give justice to victims of child sexual abuse. Currently, state law only allows those who were victims of sexual abuse as children to file criminal charges until age 50, and to pursue civil lawsuits until age 30.

Wolf praised the Pennsylvania House for passing the legislation. According to the governor, “The House did the right thing…” I applaud then for their swift passage of Senate Bill 261.”

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf 

Additionally, Wolf said, “If we cannot defend victims of these horrific acts, we may very well lose the trust of those we represent, of those most in need of defense, of protection, of support.”

Furthermore, the governor encouraged the Pennsylvania Senate to pass the legislation. On Monday, only a few state senators joined a rally in support of the legislation at the Capitol Rotunda.

Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnatti has been concerned about the two-year window, which he believes violates the state Constitution. Republicans plan to discuss the legislation in closed-door caucus, according to their spokesperson.

Last year, the state Senate approved a legislative proposal allowing child sexual abuse victims until age 50 to file lawsuits and eliminating the statutes of limitations. However, that legislation did not include a window of justice for civil lawsuits.

We will soon find out who the Catholic church and its insurers have in their pockets!

UN pledges to eradicate peacekeeper sex abuse

by Ruairi Casey, Al Jezeera

Several of the UN's most senior officials have pledged to redouble efforts to stamp out sexual abuse and exploitation within the organisation at this week's general assembly in an attempt to eradicate a scourge that has shadowed its humanitarian work for decades.

The UN has been criticised for failing to properly handle hundreds of allegations made against its civilian staff and peacekeepers across the world, ranging from fathering children with women under their protection to transactional sex and child abuse.

Scandals have caused immense damage to its reputation and operations, particularly in Haiti, the Central African Republic and the other 13 countries where it runs peacekeeping missions. Secretary General Antonio Guterres last year called the issue a "global menace" and a top priority for his tenure as UN chief.

"The abuse not only undermines our values as humanitarians but he erodes the hard-earned trust the communities, the countries, our partners and donors place in us each and every day," Executive Director of UNICEF Henrietta Fore told a meeting of UN agencies, NGOs and member states in New York City this week.

Sometimes, the UN peacekeepers are the last hope for sanity and decency in the lives of people in war-torn countries. When they abuse women and children, all sense of hope is removed. How can you live without hope?

Fore called for a new change of culture throughout the UN, which employs 95,000 civilians and 90,000 police and soldiers, so victims feel able to come forward and report misconduct and perpetrators are sufficiently punished.

"We want fear and trust to trade places. We want perpetrators to feel fear and we want survivors to feel trust," she said.

The UN's mechanism for internal investigations became the subject of close scrutiny last year when leaked documents revealed it had botched 14 cases alleging sexual misconduct in the Central African Republic. The allegations dated mostly from 2016 and included rape and gang rape. Interviews were mishandled, the actions of the accused downplayed, and the cases were not added to the UN's online database.

Public distrust of the UN is widespread in the conflict-gripped state and victims are often unwilling to report rapes and killings by peacekeepers for fear of retribution.

Not keeping peace

While on duty, UN peacekeeping soldiers remain under the legal jurisdiction of their home country. The UN can repatriate peacekeepers and ban them from further missions, but the troop contributing countries must determine any punishment if the sexual misconduct is criminal.

More than 340 allegations have been made against peacekeepers since 2010, though senior UN figures have said the true number of cases may be well above those reported.

Of these, a UN investigation found 99 claims substantiated, leading to 90 repatriations. Some 37 soldiers were jailed in their home countries, 16 were dismissed, and others fined or demoted.

Chief of the Public Affairs Section at the UN's Departments of Peacekeeping and Field Support Nick Birnback told Al Jazeera the UN makes "robust" efforts to follow up with member states and record any punishments.

"There is no mission where [ending sexual abuse and exploitation] is not the highest priority," he said.

The rules regarding civilian staff are murkier as the UN is often reluctant to hand over its staff to authorities in countries where it deems police and judicial systems to be dysfunctional or corrupt.

A UN official told Al Jazeera that in cases where a case of sexual abuse or exploitation by civilian employee is substantiated, they are dismissed and their home country is notified of the misconduct. It is not clear though, in cases where a criminal sexual offence has been committed, how many states can claim legal jurisdiction over their citizens while abroad on UN missions, or how they would conduct such an investigation.

Guterres has urged member states to adopt an international convention to resolve this ambiguity.

Only 37 of the 181 allegations made against civilian staff across 32 UN field missions since 2010 were found to be substantiated, with 26 leading to termination or dismissal. UN records show two of these cases leading to criminal action, one ending in dismissal and another in demotion.

So, no-one went to prison!

A clearance system prevents staff with substantiated allegations against them being rehired within the UN, but offenders are not named publicly and the UN does not notify other organisations in the humanitarian sector to prevent their employment elsewhere.

Victim focus

Guterres appointed Australian legal and human rights expert Jane Connors to the new position of Victims' Rights Advocate (VRA) in September last year to bring a sharp focus on the rights and needs of the victim rather than simply punishing the perpetrator.

Connors has spoken with victims in five UN mission countries across three continents, continued to build a trust fund for survivors, and established four regional VRA positions in Haiti, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"What comes from the top is very important but it has to go right, right down and there has to be continual effort to make people understand that this is unacceptable conduct," she told Al Jazeera.

The needs of victims are diverse and must not be generalised, said Connors. Women who gave birth to children fathered by UN peacekeepers in Haiti told her they want secure healthcare and education for their children, while other victims in the Central African Republic want job and training opportunities.

"They want to go forwards with their lives," she said. "They wish to have their perpetrator held accountable but they are not sitting there on their hands waiting."

Critics have questioned the UN's ability to conduct investigations into its own staff, drawing comparisons to decades of sexual abuse covered-up by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, but Connors believes the required independence can be achieved within the organisation.

"I think you can be [independent] if you have the checks and balances," she said.

But some aid officials outside the UN are less optimistic about its promises of institutional reform from within. "The UN is doing the same thing over and over again and finding news ways to dress it up as positive, forward movement," said Paula Donovan, Co-Director of AIDS-Free World and its Code Blue campaign to end sexual abuse in UN missions.

Code Blue has called for a fully-independent special court system with the power to investigate and prosecute UN officials and peacekeepers in any jurisdiction.

Donovan said member states are shirking their responsibilities and are reluctant to make the structural reforms within the UN required to tackle the problem. She also hit out at the "mystification" surrounding the legal immunity granted to UN staff.

Its officials across the world are given functional immunity, which protects them from local authorities when acting or speaking in line with their official duties.

Guterres has stressed that immunity offers no protection in cases of sexual abuse and exploitation, but Donovan claims this message has not taken root within the organisation, and that many victims are unaware they can pursue justice entirely outside the UN system.

"The UN has made it so complicated and so mysterious that its own staff, including even some senior officials, the population at large, the media, everyone is confused and thinks that somehow UN immunity means that only the UN can investigate and take action when crimes are committed by their own personnel," she said.

"It's not fair. It can't happen that [UN staff] are the only people who can get away with sex crimes."

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Shocking, Horrible Stories from Around the World on Today's Global PnP List

‘We were poor kids, we didn’t understand’: casual child abuse by shamanic cult in Indonesia

Under the guise of being “holy men, whose power is stolen by women” Indonesian shamans abuse dozens of boys each, often swapping victims between each other – in a tradition that persists in disregard of the law.

The waroks of East Java are world-renowned for their traditional masked dance, Reog Ponorogo, but in fact play a central role in rural communities as healers, advisors and elders.

Beyond that, they are known for another practice that was an official part of their role that is less commonly advertised today – taking on a boy servant, a gemblak, aged between 7 and 15, who caters to his master’s every whim.

“Once you gain the magic power and knowledge, should you become fond of a female being, your power shall dwindle or be gone. To prevent this from happening we prefer the masculine love of a gemblak,” says Saadi, a warok, who currently has a pre-teen boy, Kadam, living in his house, who shows the crew his room, right next to his master’s from which he can be called at any time of day or night.

“As a compensation a warok gets an assistant – a beloved assistant. Why is he beloved? Because it’s a boy who understands a warok without words, they complete each other perfectly,” says Jemarin, a warok from West Java.

The practice predates the spread of Islam, and Dirman, a former gemblak who now speaks out against the tradition, never questioned it at the time.

“I didn’t understand it. I just went with the man I was told to go with, and did everything I was told. So I was just like most kids, and I took it casually,” he tells RT. “Since we were children, really young ones at that, we didn’t view physical involvement with the warok as something unusual. We simply slept with him.”

But who would agree to give away their children to a strange man, however respected in the community? And allow the waroks a 2-year contract that would give them complete control over their child?

“All gemblak boys came from poor families. These contracts were great financial help that was gladly accepted. After all, the parents were giving up a child of theirs because their life was so hard that they could hardly feed all of their kids,” says Dirman.

But while the contract assigned them the role of foster parents, it didn’t stop the waroks from operating their versions of an underage sex ring.

“We would spend two nights at this warok’s house, and the next two nights we would stay at that warok’s house, and so on. It kept on rotating for all houses of the waroks' community," recounts Dirman.

“Back in the good old days we could freely exchange gemblaks. I could have four at a time. One was my own personal gemblak while the other three were common property of a group of villages. In the past, there were so many gemblaks. If we found out there was a good-looking gemblak in a certain village, we could easily borrow him from them,” confirms Saadi, who says he has personally had over 100 gemblaks at his disposal.

Modernization and the increasingly strict imposition of Muslim faith mean that the “good old days” have receded and gemblaks no longer take pride of place as often during the Reog dance, but thousands of victims like Dirman still live with their past, often in conflicted shame.

And the problem has often simply been driven underground.

“Not all modern children are willing to become someone’s servants, and many prefer school,” says Dirman. “But the waroks are still out there offering their two-year contracts.”

Scottish dad caught with nearly half a million child sex abuse images featuring ‘depraved’ scenes with kids as young as two facing jail
By Campbell Thomas

A COMPUTER expert dad caught with almost half a million child sex abuse images at the “worst levels of depravity” is facing jail.

Shaun Dawson, 48, had nearly 433,000 pictures and 2,100 videos featuring children as young as two when police raided his home in Kilwinning, Ayrshire.

The embedded software engineer stored the material along with footage of bestiality on multiple computers and external hard drives. Thousands of the stills and videos were at the worst levels of depravity, Kilmarnock Sheriff Court heard.

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court
In a police interview, a detective described the actions in one clip and asked Dawson: “What are your thoughts on that?” Dawson replied: “It’s disgusting.” He said in evidence he was “obsessive about security” and would take his laptop into the bathroom to do his banking. 

The father-of-two denied downloading and possessing the images between January 2010 and September 2016 but was found guilty on a unanimous jury verdict.

Police computer forensics experts found CVs in Dawson’s name and evidence of deleted files while searching for the indecent material.

Dawson was remanded in custody for sentencing after background reports. He was placed on the Sex Offenders Register.

Worcester's 'monster' paedophile jailed
for 13 years for child sex abuse
By James Connell

A PAEDOPHILE who was described as 'a monster' by one of his victims has been jailed for 13 years for historic child sex abuse.
Michael Richards was found guilty of three historic indecent assaults after a 10 day trial at Worcester Crown Court and jailed for 13 years last Wednesday as his victims bravely faced him in court, speaking of their ordeal at his hands.

Michael Richards, aged 58, of Prospect Road, Redditch, committed the offences between October 1973 and December 1994.

Caroline Harris, prosecuting, said one of the historic counts would be charged today as 'oral rape' and involved an assault on no fewer than two occasions. The second count would be charged today as the sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 and the third indecent assault as an assault on a child under 13 by penetration.

Miss Harris invited the victims to read out their victim personal statements, continuing the reading of one statement when one of Richards's victims broke down in tears.

One victim said she felt alone even when surrounded by others and said there was always part of herself she could not show.

She said: "I always felt I wasn't in control and was controlled by Michael. The feeling of being controlled remained with me throughout my life and affected my ability to make firm decisions.

"The crimes made me feel like a doormat."

The woman said she had felt afraid her entire life and could not tell her husband, a man she felt very close to, what had happened to her. "I still carried that horrible feeling of being ashamed right up until when the jury convicted him" she said.

A second victim said she regularly had a fear that she would be raped and had been prescribed anti-depressants and would 'tend to freeze' in stressful situations because of what happened to her. As a result of the defendant's actions she said she had been sterilised, feeling she would not be a good mother and was pleased when her breasts were removed as that would be one less thing that would make a man look at her.

A third victim said: "I wake up in the middle of the night and have flashbacks and suffer nightmares. I immediately take a bath because I feel dirty."

She added: "This monster took something away from me I can never get back. He took my childhood, my innocence, my dignity." Guy Wyatt, defending, said Richards had been very young at the time of two of the offences, arguing that immaturity at the time of offending was a significant mitigating factor. However, he said he was conscious that the force of that argument diminished when the offending continued into adulthood.

Judge Nicolas Cartwright said he must have regard to the statutory maximum sentence for the offences at the time they were committed. Richards had been a youth at the time of two of the counts of which he was found guilty.

He said: "You have committed offences against three separate victims. The victim personal statements which have been read out are vivid reminders of the lifelong damage the abuse of children causes." He added: "You have shown no regret. You have shown no remorse. You are totally, selfishly indifferent to the damage that you have done."

The judge said Richards would be designated as an offender of particular concern and referred to the severe psychological harm suffered by the victims. He said of one victim: "Her life has been blighted by what you did to her."

The judge jailed him for 13 years with one year's additional licence period. At the halfway point of this sentence he can be considered for release by the Parole Board and if not released at that stage periodically after that.

Richards, who looked shocked when the sentence was announced, must sign the sex offender's register indefinitely.

Anyone who has been the victim of a sexual offence is encouraged to report the incident to police, where specially trained officers will help victims with care and sensitivity, and will work to get the right result for them with their wishes in mind.

Leicestershire ordered to pay compensation
to child sex abuse victim

By Amy Orton Local Democracy Reporter

Leicestershire Police and Leicester City Council have been ordered to pay a sex abuse victim £52,000 after a convicted paedophile was housed near to the children’s home where he lived.

The police will have to pay 80 per cent of the fine, some £41,600, and the city council has been told to pay the remaining 20 per cent, £10,400. Both have said they will appeal against the order.

The compensation relates to a case in which a then 15-year-old boy was sexually abused by known sex offender, Martin ToddTodd was jailed for three years in 1997 for two separate sex attacks on young boys.

Location of abuser's home 'beggared belief'

In 2006, he was jailed for three-and-a-half years for 10 breaches of a sexual offences prevention order, by befriending four families with children, although no offences were committed. He was released in March 2009, and went to live at an approved address in Leicester – near the children’s home where the boy was living.

The move followed a meeting between organisations including Leicestershire Police and Leicester City Council’s children’s services and housing department. During the following months, the boy was abused by Todd.

At a trial at Leicester Crown Court in 2011, Todd was found guilty of two counts of sexually assaulting the 15-year-old, and one of attempting to rape him, between October and November 2009. He was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection, with a minimum term of five years.

The trial judge, His Honour Judge Simon Hammond, was so concerned about the circumstances at the time of the abuse that he asked the police to conduct an inquiry. At the time, he said it “beggared belief” that a convicted paedophile had been allowed to live near a children’s home.

Claim against 'negligence' launched

In April 2015, the victim launched a claim for compensation against Leicestershire Police and Leicester City Council, alleging they had been negligent.

The claim was in three parts:

an allegation that the staff at the children’s home did not appropriately monitor the victim.
an allegation that the police did not properly assess the placement of Todd or manage his behaviours.
an allegation that through its involvement in the arrangements put in place to ensure the successful management of violent and sexual offenders, known as Mappa, the city council was also responsible for Todd’s ‘inappropriate’ placement.

The claim in respect of the children’s home failed, with Judge Alison Hampton finding that staff took active steps to advise the victim of dangers of alcohol and substance abuse, and that they had reasonably believed that a change in the victim’s behaviour was due to difficult family relationships. It was concluded, therefore, that staff did not breach their duty to the claimant.

The victim's claims relating to Todd’s placement succeeded, however, resulting in the £52,000 award which was made at a hearing last month.

Judge Hampton expressed concern that neither the city's children’s services nor the housing department, under their general duty to assist with the arrangements put in place to ensure the successful management of violent and sexual offenders, asked questions of the address proposed by the police, nor offer information as to the location of Leicester City Council's children’s homes. As a result, she concluded the city council was party to creating a risk to the victim.

In her judgement, Judge Hampton said: “I have accepted that the placement of serious sexual offenders presents considerable difficulty. I accept that it is better from a risk management perspective to provide such an offender with public authority housing, so that police and probation services will know where he is.

'Serious failure'

“I also accept that within the city of Leicester, it would be very difficult to find accommodation which is not in a neighbourhood where some children or children’s facilities might be present.

“However, there was a serious failure on the part of the Mappa process to identify the home and/or share information with senior staff at the home of Todd’s presence, so that they could take steps to rigorously observe and provide safeguarding advice to the children in their care.”

Judge Hampton refused Leicestershire Police and Leicester City Council permission to appeal the decision. Any appeal will rely on permission being granted by the senior courts.

'We will appeal'

Leicestershire Police told Leicestershire Live that it was in the process of appealing the award. A spokesperson said: “We have lodged our appeal and are working through that process.”

Leicester City Council said it would follow the police's lead. A spokesperson said: “If the police decide to pursue permission to appeal the judgement with the Court of Appeal, we will also seek leave to appeal."

Ontario woman kept in freezer, deprived of food, beaten, forced to work in sex trade
Caroline Barghout · CBC News 

WARNING: This story contains graphic descriptions of abuse

A woman forced to move to Winnipeg to work in the sex trade endured weeks of abuse at the hands of her captor, who inflicted several serious injuries and even kept her in a freezer until she passed out from a lack of oxygen, according to court documents.

The man uploaded the 26-year-old woman's photo to two websites advertising her for sale and forced her to have sex with 50 customers in a Point Douglas home where she was being held captive, the documents show.

The use of those websites, similar to backpage.com, which was shut down by U.S authorities in April, has renewed calls for the removal of other online sites that allow human traffickers to sexually exploit their victims.

"Shut them all down, they're no good." said Joy Smith, former Conservative MP and founder of Joy Smith Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on combating human trafficking.

"The fact of the matter is human trafficking is very brutal and this happens to a lot of girls, and the traffickers make them work no matter how they're feeling, or how beaten up they are or how bruised they are."

Details of the woman's ordeal were revealed in a court document called an "information to obtain a search warrant." Winnipeg Police Service presented the sworn document to a judge in early August to get authorization for officers to go inside the home and gather evidence in order to charge the alleged abuser.

On Sept. 2, police arrested Andres Michael Pavao, 29, and charged him with a number of offences, including trafficking in persons, forcible confinement and advertising sexual services. He remains in custody.

The woman had known Pavao for eight months and had met him in Windsor, Ont., where they both lived at the time. She told investigators he forced her to take a train to Winnipeg in May and made her live with him in a Point Douglas home owned by his uncle, court documents said.

"[The woman] was subsequently forced into the sex trade industry at the hands of Pavao by way of threats to harm or kill her and/or her family, namely her mother, if she did not comply," police said in the affidavit.

Police said Pavao would arrange "dates with johns" in the house where he and the woman lived, and when the customers left, he would collect the cash. According to the court documents, the woman had a total of 50 "customers" and she would see between three and 10 of them per day.

Woman badly beaten

The woman was beaten regularly over a six-month period while she lived in Windsor and then in Winnipeg. She was allegedly burned with an iron, her hands and feet were bound with bed sheets, she was hung from a clothesline in the basement and deprived of food and water. She was allegedly blindfolded when Pavao left the house to run errands, to prevent her from leaving. She told police she was confined to an unplugged freezer on 15 separate occasions, and a crutch was wedged between the lid and the ceiling so she couldn't get out. The woman said she would pass out from a lack of oxygen. She also said the accused would use a metal clamp attached to an electric cord to shock her. 

Photos taken by forensics officers show extensive wounds and bruising on almost every inch of the woman's tiny frame. The pictures show a black eye, bruises on her face, back, arms and legs as well as numerous cuts, burns and scratches. The woman's nose was broken, she suffered kidney damage and an injury to her hand that police said would require plastic surgery, the documents said.

The woman told police she was able to escape by lying to Pavao about picking up a pack of cigarettes from a man in a vehicle parked outside the house, and instead asked the man to drive her to a police station. From there, she was taken to hospital where she remained.

12 human trafficking investigations in 2018

Winnipeg police wouldn't talk about this specific case, but said that so far in 2018, officers have investigated 12 cases of human trafficking for sexual exploitation.

"It is a dark industry and it always has been, and I think the online and the apps that are involved just make that dark industry even darker. It's secretive, it's behind closed doors. It's not necessarily out in the public view," said Rick McDougall, a sergeant in the Winnipeg police Counter Exploitation Unit, a specialized department devoted to the safety and well-being of those involved in the sex trade.

Smith said she applauds police efforts to end human trafficking and sexual exploitation, but wants to see more done to shut down websites advertising sex for sale. "There's a lot of young people that need to be rescued that need to be protected, but traffickers threaten them so much that often the youngsters don't talk. They're afraid to.

"And the johns themselves — it always amazed me the one who's getting the service never bothered to ask, 'How old are you, are you OK, do you want to do this?' They just service themselves and go on to the next one," she said.

In April, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation shut down the website backpage.com, but it didn't do much to eliminate sex trafficking. McDougall said other websites just took its place, and even though police here would like to shut them down, it's been nearly impossible.

"The majority of them are actually out of the country, whether it's their servers the websites themselves, the individuals that are operating or owning the websites. So there's really no physical address or individual that we can necessarily even approach," said McDougall.

However, McDougall said police have had some success getting websites to remove ads featuring victims of human trafficking. He said officers have also received tips from johns about possible victims.

"We appreciate the information however it comes to us, and we appreciate it's difficult sometimes for the customers because they have to admit that they're the ones that are doing the exploiting but at the same time they're doing the right thing by approaching authorities and letting us know these people are being sexually exploited against their will."

He said what johns don't seem to realize is that regardless of whether or not they think the woman is consenting to sex, it's still sexual exploitation.

"You're just revictimizing them … you're exploiting people for sex and if there wasn't that form of exchange, whether that's money or whatever that exchange is, the consent would no longer be there," said McDougall.

Be on the lookout

Smith wants people to be on the lookout for other victims so they can get help too.

"They look abused, they look afraid, they're watching over their shoulder, and we're coming into winter now. If you see a young girl who's not properly dressed and someone watching over her, you know that's a real big sign," said Smith.

"And even in high school if a kid shows up with two cellphones, that's a red flag, because often traffickers give their victims cellphones to keep track of them."

Family, police renew appeal on 1-year anniversary of B.C. woman's disappearance
CBC News 

One year after Kristina Ward's disappearance, the family of the Abbotsford, B.C., woman has erected a large sign near the intersection where she was last seen, appealing for help in finding her.

The 21-year-old was last spotted crossing 144 Street at 104 Avenue in Surrey, B.C., on the evening of Sept. 27, 2017, the same day her cellphone was last used and her bank accounts last accessed.

Surveillance video from that night shows her walking with a male who is pushing a bike. 

Ward, who was reported missing on September 29th, 2017, can be seen walking with a male pushing a bicycle 0:41

Police say they are eager to speak with the male, who has yet to be identified. Although the video isn't shot from close range, police are hoping someone may be familiar with his gait or mannerisms.

Ward is 21 years old, Indigenous, five foot five inches tall, 130 pounds, with long, dark brown, curly hair and brown eyes. 

Investigators say they have received a number of tips but so far nothing has panned out. 

"All information is very important to the police in finding the whereabouts of our child," said Ward's mother Lee Anne Ward.

"Even the smallest information one may consider not of any importance may very well be the vital tip, allowing the police in solving and bringing Kristina home to us."

Anyone with information is asked to call Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200, or anonymously at Crime Stoppers, 1-800-222-8477.

B.C. vice principal suspended, then resigns, after being charged with child pornography

Michael Haire, 38, is a former vice principal of
William A. Fraser Middle School
Liam Britten · CBC News 

An Abbotsford middle school vice principal was suspended from his job and has subsequently resigned after police announced Friday he was facing child pornography charges.

In a statement, the Abbotsford Police Department said Michael Haire, 38, has been charged with making available child pornography and possession of child pornography.

They identified him as vice principal at William A. Fraser Middle School in the city's McMillan neighbourhood, next to Yale Secondary.

"This investigation is exceptionally concerning given Mr. Haire's position of authority and access to youth in Abbotsford," Det. Keith Nugent said in the statement. "We ask anyone with information to please contact us." 

The Abbotsford School District released a statement later the same day, saying that Haire had been suspended from his duties and was no longer an employee of the district.

Police said an investigation was launched by child exploitation detectives in July 2018. Computers and other electronic devices were seized from Haire's home after a search warrant was executed.

The devices are still being examined by the APD's digital forensic lab, police said, but thousands of video and images of child pornography and child abuse have already been uncovered.

Police said Haire had been an employee with the school district for 12 years and a vice principal at William A. Fraser Middle School for three. He has no criminal record.

Abbotsford police spokeswoman Sgt. Judy Bird said Haire had been arrested and released earlier this month but was re-arrested Friday.

A court appearance is scheduled for Friday afternoon.

Abbotsford school superintendent Kevin Godden said in a statement the district was fully co-operating with police and had reported the investigation into Haire to the Teacher Regulation Branch.

"Resources from the district's critical incident response team will be deployed in the district and at [William] A. Fraser Middle School to ensure our staff and students have the appropriate supports in place," Godden said in the statement.

"Anyone who may have concerns about their child should contact their school principal."

Indian State in Stunning Denial over Child Sex Abuse
Rise in child abuse cases disturbing: Manipur Gov

Manipur Governor Dr. Najma Heptulla at the 9th State Level Children’s Cultural Meet, 2018 in Imphal on Saturday. (NP)

Manipur Governor Dr Najma Heptulla Saturday expressed anguish over the increasing trend of child abuse in the country. “The sudden escalation in the number of cases of child sexual abuse is most disturbing,” she said while speaking at the 9th State Level Children’s Cultural Meet held under the theme ‘Break the Silence, End Child Sexual Abuse, Let us Make a Child Friendly Manipur’ .

In Western countries, where family bonds are presumably less tenacious, there have been extensive reports of such crimes however, it was assumed to be quite alien to the Indian society and more so to the well knit culturally rich society of Manipur, said Heptulla. 

Unfortunately, such rabid social aberrations have started occurring in Manipur also, which was completely unheard of in the past, she said. 

I don't know what kind of bubble or ivory tower Governor Heptulla was raised in but the two brief paragraphs above reveal an astonishing naivete. India is almost certainly the worst country in the world in terms of child sex abuse, and the vast majority of it occurs within families.

This is not something that is alien to Indian culture, it is Indian culture and has been for at least several hundred years, and quite possibly thousands. 16th century Dutch adventurer Jan Huygen van Linschoten, secretary to the Bishop of Goa for 6 years, called Indian men the most lecherous of all men, for he determined that it was very difficult to find a girl of 7 years of age who was still a virgin.

Stigma may have prevented people from talking about it, or, it may have been going on for so long that it was just considered normal to have sex with your children, but I assure you, Governor, that it has been a major part of Indian culture for a very long time.

Nevertheless, I am glad it is 'out of the box' now and that you are beginning to deal with it. It will take generations, I fear, to bring Indian men to the realization that they have no right to sexually abuse women or children. It is something they will answer to before God, and it may not go well for many.

“It underscores the need of realizing our collective responsibilities of each and every stakeholder, schools, colleges, parents and students to ensure a safe and secured environment, where basic rights of the children are well protected and promoted,” she said.

The Governor further said that there are other grievous challenges confronting the children which, if not engaged appropriately, can destroy the whole generation.

She observed a raise in the menace of drugs and substances abuse among school going children and said that a comprehensive approach for containing ‘this enemy of the youths was imperative.’ 

‘Digital addiction’ leading to cyber crime was another dimension of the challenges faced by the young generation; she observed and expressed hope that with sincere and focused efforts, Manipur Alliance and Child Rights will be able to contribute substantially in the fight against these evils.

The Governor stated that the participation of large number of children from different districts both valley and hills, different ethnic communities to a single forum will help in achieving communal harmony, emotional integrity amongst the indigenous peoples, tribes of hills and valley of Manipur.

State health and family welfare minister L Jayentakumar Singh stressed on the need for mass awareness on the various laws related to protect the legal rights of the children.

He said that it was the responsibility of each and every parent/guardian to nurture their children in the right direction.  He further informed that one juvenile justice court each has been opened in nine districts of the state so far.

Child trafficking is big business in Uganda
As parents sell children for food

Children sit with a police officer in Karamoja after they were intercepted enroute to Kampala.
(PHOTO: David Mafabi)

NAPAK – Uganda Police Force arrested eight people for illegally ferrying street children into Kampala and neighbouring areas.

Ms Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, the state minister for youth and children affairs said the eight were being held at Napak and that 11 more people were being hunted over the same.

“We have been looking for 19 people, police has managed to arrest eight and the rest are still on the run. We are hoping that probation officers and other stakeholders can continue to help police on the same,” she said.

Just a year ago police also intercepted 41 Karimajong children being trafficked to Kampala from a Gateway Kampala bound bus as other Children in Karamoja sub-region celebrated the international day of the African child.

In the latter incident, the children aged 8 to 16 were aboard the Gateway bus with adults seated away from them to disguise as other passengers.

Although the Police is acting very fast to stop these children from being trafficked, the trouble is how many Karamojong children are being trafficked out of Kaboong, Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Kotido, Abim and Napak districts? And for how long has this trade been going on?

According to local sources, the children are bought directly from parents at a fee-only enough for two meals Shs. 5000, there is also use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception after exploiting the poverty situation of a particular home.

Reports in Karamoja sub-region indicate that many of these children are sold in cattle markets or by intermediaries and forced into situations of domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, herding, and begging in the streets of most towns in Uganda.

The discreet nature of child trafficking makes hard statistical information inherently difficult to produce but few leaders in Karamoja point at 1982 as the time child trafficking started.

This may be a reference to the Ugandan Bush War that ran from 1981-1986 and resulted in the deaths of between 100,000 and 500,000 Ugandans. And, no doubt, resulted in desperate poverty for many.

But even when trafficking is revealed, victims are reluctant to report their experiences for fear of being prosecuted.

In most towns in Uganda where Karimojong children have been taken, they have become subject to domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation, cattle herding, and begging; harsh working conditions, physical and sexual abuse, withholding of food, and being confined to their employer’s residence.

“In some cases children accept themselves basing on the poverty situation at home, they want to make a living outside their home and lack of local prospects, unemployment and a large number of children make parents susceptible to the promises of money or education for their children given by the traffickers,” Mr. Martin Longole, an elder at Namalu in Nakapiripirit.

Children are so noble they sometimes feel responsible for their family's poverty and are quite willing to sacrifice themselves to help their parents and siblings.

“Sometimes we have had the young boys and girls voluntarily leaving their villages, homes to escape the miserable living conditions at home,” adds Mr Longole.

Mr. Michael Lokawua, a former presidential adviser on disarmament says the environment in Karamoja is very harsh and that it is made more difficult by drought which forces most families to sell off their children.

“Because life is so difficult, some parents sell their children, the children are then resold at cattle markets by middlemen who are usually women on certain days, bringing about Shs.30,000 each. Some of them end up as beggars pimped out on the streets of most towns in Uganda,” says Mr Lokawua.

Ms Esther Anyakun, the Woman MP for Nakapiripirit says studies done in 2007 showed an increasing tendency for young people to leave the area looking for work with others they did not know, inviting more abusive trafficking situations.

“Because of poverty, mothers and children have moved to towns, hoping to seek out a better life by street begging. This movement has been caused by the isolation and abject poverty of the area but as legislators, we are up to end this to save our children,” Ms Anyakun.

Mr Ezekiel Lutu, an elder in Namalu in Nakapiripirit says on certain days of the week, you can buy a Karamojong child at the cattle markets along the Uganda-Kenya to Kenya, Uganda-Sudan borders to Juba at a price of about Shs. 20,000.

Some people describe this activity as modern day slavery. But unlike historical slavery, which involved adults, today’s includes children being traded for money or food. Some are sold; others are rented.

According to a published report by Save the Children in Uganda CHILD 2006, trafficking is fast emerging among several other waves of abuse afflicting children in Karamoja that this report raises serious incidences of violence ranging from child trafficking, child abuse to children in conflict with the law and child labour.

The report highlights the long-term physical and psychological dangers that this type of violence is likely to have on children, particularly risky behaviours and more violence towards others in adulthood.

“The child will probably be forced to beg on the streets of Kampala, perhaps being beaten throughout the day, because a crying child stirs the sympathy of by-passers more effectively but the worst thing is that all earnings will go to the child’s master, while the child will be forced to subsist in dismal and unsafe conditions,” says a source that asked not to be named.

Ms Jane Acio Akiror Iteso in Soroti is a businesswoman of many trades including human trafficking.

At a Ngariam market in Katakwi, everybody’s eyes seem to be glued on her. This middle-aged woman is famous for connecting the Karimojong girls to the locals, a job she accepts gladly although she does not want her picture to be taken.

“I don’t sell the girls as people allege, I just connect them for employment and these children begin by working in my home. Amongst most Karimajong parents, I am regarded a good Samaritan because what I do is an act of goodwill, to save the children from hunger, poverty,” says Ms Acio.

She explained that her intentions for the children are good and that she gives them food, which they regularly send home to their relatives. “I usually keep up to about 20 girls, several of them return home to look after their parents or get married,” Ms Acio added.

Several people in Karamoja report incidences of Karimojong children being trafficked into Teso, Mbale, Juba and beyond towards Kampala every week.

Ms Anna Ayopo an Moroto area local councilor says the girls are being trafficked in Ocorimongin and Ngariam markets in Katakwi at Shs. 5000 then later the buyers take them out and resale them at a higher fee.

The LCV chairman for Moroto Mr Andrew Keem Napaja confirmed that there is an influx of Karimojong women and children in several towns in the country and blamed it on some well-to-do locals who have turned it into a business.

Mr. Napaja says there are people who are interested in helping out the Karimajong children due to poverty and that some of them are being mistaken as trading in girls in Karamoja.

“Facts on ground indicate that many of these young girls are transported to Teso by businesswomen on Fuso trucks and on arrival, people interested in them pay the businesswomen the transport fare and then take the girls but this is going to stop, we have put measure in place to deal with this,” said Mr. Napaja..

Mr Abura Apalalu, also a local council chairperson in Longorinyangai in Nakapiripirit says about 40 Karamojong children, from as young as nine years, are taken to Teso every month.

“Severe food shortage in Karamoja caused by prolonged droughts force many of Karimajong girls into Teso to work in order to earn a living but when they reach there; they are mistreated, turned into sex objects against their will,” said Apalalu.

He explained that their investigations have so far closed into the persons who connect the girls from Karamoja to Teso to find their way to other parts and that they will soon have these people arrested.

Whereas the communities in most town in Uganda are more aware of the dangers of trafficking, they still consider child trafficking as an acceptable strategy for economic survival.

Local leaders in Karamoja sub-region says that until government implements comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation; increase efforts to prosecute, convict, implement the prevention of trafficking in Persons Act, 2009 and punish trafficking offenders; institute a unified system of documenting and collecting data on human trafficking cases for use by law enforcement, child trafficking in Karamoja would still continue.

Capt Isaac Owera the UPDF 3rd division spokesperson says that apart from stopping Child trafficking by intercepting the children, they are determined to have the people involved in the trade arrested and have them prosecuted in order to end child trafficking.

“Together with our colleagues, the police, we usually intercept the children in buses but the vice is on the increase that is why you see many of these children in Kampala, Jinja, Mbale, Masaka, Iganga streets,” said Capt Owera.

Although government of Uganda although is a signatory to International legislation; United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (2000), it does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of child trafficking.

A police officer who asked not to be named said Ugandan Police Force’s Child and Family Protection Unit has investigated a number of suspected trafficking cases between 2007 to 2017 but that courts have failed to move pending cases through the judicial process.

Despite efforts by local district leaders, reports say there remains an unabated movement of children out of Karamoja and that attempts at closing in on the perpetrators of this illicit trade are frustrated due to the nature of its operation.

Although the Constitution of Uganda states that children under 16 years of age have the right to be protected from social and economic exploitation and that they should not be employed in work that would endanger their physical, mental, spiritual, or moral health and social development, or that would interfere with their education.

The Constitution also prohibits child slavery, servitude, and forced labour. And article 125 of the Penal Code prohibits the procurement of girls under the age of 21 for sex in Uganda. Violations of the code are punishable by up to seven years in jail.

But the enforcement of these laws will determine whether or not child trafficking can be controlled in this part of the country where it has turned into a lucrative business.

Lucrative enough to corrupt judges, prosecutors and police officers?

Ex-Aussie Police inspector charged with indecent assault in 1980s

One Survivor's Heartbreaking Story
By John Silvester

The young policeman, still badly shaken and on crutches after the gun battle outside a primary school, felt a sense of relief when welcomed by the kindly psychologist inside city headquarters.

This would be the chance to speak frankly as part of the path back from the near-death experience – a safe space where he could confide to an expert in trauma.

Just 24 hours earlier, the young constable was convinced he was about to die after a crazed offender stole his gun and shot at him four times. The policeman grabbed his partner’s gun and returned fire, hitting the man twice.

‘‘My life flashed before me as he fired several shots, one passing between our bodies and injuring my knee and another narrowly missing my colleague’s head. We could see the children running and screaming and by this stage the man had fired four or five shots when my colleague yelled ‘shoot him’.

‘‘I went to my colleague’s holster only to discover his firearm had been dislodged in the fierce struggle and was lying on the roadway. Nearby neighbours were screaming ‘kill him’ and I then shot the man,’’ he recalled.

At 21 years of age and with just over two years' experience, he had already been identified as a potential high-flyer, but Simon had been harbouring childhood secrets that under the stress of this event were bubbling to the surface.

Here, in the office of the apparently caring inspector, was the chance to finally tell the truth.

A matter of trust: Graduating recruits at the Victoria Police Academy in 2010. Photo: Craig Abraham

Simon was a child sex victim who had been repeatedly raped by the notorious Catholic priest Michael Glennon.

As they sat and talked about the shooting, the psychologist started to ask questions about Simon’s background. It was then his true story tumbled out.

‘‘I started to cry as I told him that I had a tough life, losing my mother to cancer whilst in the Police Academy in early 1981, and my father had been in and out of prison.

“I told him I came from a broken home and in the mid-1970s my mother had become involved with the Catholic Church in Reservoir, where she started to visit Father Michael Glennon.

‘‘I started to sob uncontrollably as I recounted to the psychologist that I had only ever disclosed to my mother the fact that I had been repeatedly raped as a child by Father Glennon.

Convicted paedophile and former
Catholic priest Michael Glennon.
Photo: Mario Borg

“The psychologist talked to me about what the priest had done and asked for me to describe graphic detail of the acts I committed with him and he on me.

‘‘I told him I felt ashamed to say and embarrassed, but he assured me it was OK and after some time he gained my confidence and I told him everything about what had happened. What I was made to do to the priest and what the priest had done to me.

‘‘By this stage I was very upset. During this time, the psychologist moved closer towards me and started to rub my leg gently ... I was stunned and shocked. He looked at me in the eyes and continued to rub my leg and moved to my penis and then, for what seemed like an eternity, massaged and rubbed me. I felt sick.

“I felt like the small child from all those years ago in the church."

The inspector was Peter Oswald, a former navy man, appointed Victoria’s first police psychologist and who, years later, was allowed to resign when allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour surfaced.

‘‘He showed me out of the room and I was told the chief commissioner was otherwise occupied but I would be seeing deputy commissioner [Eric] Millar. I tried to tell the deputy commissioner what had happened but I couldn’t. I retreated into my shell.”

Oswald was smart, a good talker and seemingly the perfect fit for the first step in dealing with police stress. Previously trauma was usually dealt with through a belly full of grog at the Police Club and little else.

Recommended by a senior officer who knew him socially, Oswald’s journey into policing was unique. Instead of being appointed as a civilian psychologist, it was decided he needed a crash course in police work, which meant he was sent to the Police Academy and treated as any other fresh recruit. Then he was posted to the busy St Kilda station to experience the reality of street policing.

Police on duty in St Kilda. Photo: Paul Jeffers

The academic-turned-cop was initially treated with caution, as career police wondered if the new guy was a spy for the brass.

When a suspect was subject to “rough justice” inside the station, Oswald was fronted and asked if he wanted to complain: “Peter was keen to fit in and he made a point of saying that he had seen nothing.”

Oswald was appointed an inspector – an unusual promotion in a force where ranks were still seniority-based.

“Even then he used to come back to St Kilda to hang around the young fellows. I said to him, ‘Peter, what are you doing? You’ll get a reputation’,” said one colleague.

Oswald did get a reputation, as a savvy operator who lectured on the need to protect mental health but was no softie. One policeman who went to him after a shooting incident recalled: “He told me it was part of the job and I should get over it.”

Then on May 12, 1986, he was gone, resigning without explanation and without an immediate job offer.

How it all went wrong remains murky. The Age has contacted 10 former police and colleagues of Oswald, with each saying he was asked to resign as he was “under a cloud”, but their recollections of the event vary.

He had some supporters who felt he was railroaded but many others say that when confronted with the allegations he had no choice but to quit. Oswald is no longer registered as a psychologist in Australia and his last known address is in Thailand.

For Simon, the incident became more traumatic than the near-death experience the day before. “He was an inspector and I was a lowly constable ... I kept this with me and didn’t tell anyone. Who could I trust if I couldn’t trust a commissioned officer of the Victoria Police?”

Eventually he told those closest to him, including his sister, an old friend and an ex-police colleague, but without help his mental health deteriorated.

“I had difficulty in trusting my superior officers. I despised any criminal who hurt children or was violent to other people, particularly those who were defenceless. Rather than the Victoria Police assist[ing] me with dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after what I had been through, I was treated like an outcast and like I had committed a crime myself.

“Ultimately I was forced out of the Victoria Police, as I just had no fight left in me. The abuse has remained with me for years.”

There have been times where Simon has considered taking his own life. His personality has changed, he has become a loner, his marriage has broken up, his employment record is patchy and he has moved interstate, losing touch with many of his old mates.

Simon, like many others, found comfort in telling the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse about Glennon’s sexual assaults. (The disgraced ex-priest died in custody in 2014.)

Empowered after giving evidence, he has now made a formal complaint to police over then-inspector Oswald, “who indecently assaulted me and took advantage of me during a moment of complete grief and total confusion”.

“I want to see the inspector brought to justice, but I also want to have answers. Why can’t I get assistance for my depression from the Victoria Police? Why did the police not investigate the rape committed by Glennon on me after I reported it to Oswald in 1983?’’

In 1998, after 17 years in the job, Simon resigned. A regular marathon runner, Simon’s health deteriorated last year and he was diagnosed with a blood condition traced back to a needle-stick injury he suffered on duty in 1997. This means his police career has left him with damaged mental and physical health.

Simon’s allegations were taken up by the Salus taskforce, set up to investigate predatory sexual behaviour by serving and former police staff. For months, Salus investigators have been quietly examining Simon’s claims and have found them credible, although they are yet to be tested in court.

Importantly, there are at least five people who have come forward to say Simon told them of the alleged assault long before he made his official complaint. Their separate recollections are remarkably consistent.

Investigators had been waiting for Oswald to return to Australia, something he must do annually as part of his Thai visa conditions. A few days ago, Border Force staff notified Salus that their suspect had arrived in Melbourne. Then they went knocking.

In an official statement to The Age, police confirmed they had “arrested a 72-year-old former officer and charged him with two counts of indecent assault alleged to have been committed in the 1980s. The former police officer has been released on bail to appear next at the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on January 14, 2019.”

Simon, now 56, is delighted, saying: “All I want is my day in court.”

UK aid used in Caribbean child sex inquiry
Tom Harper, Home Affairs Correspondent
The Sunday Times

David Brandt, who led the Montserrat government
from 1997 to 2001, is being investigated

Britain has handed more than £200,000 of its foreign aid budget to the National Crime Agency (NCA) to investigate the former chief minister of Montserrat on suspicion of child sex abuse.

Officers from the elite crime-fighting force, dubbed the “British FBI”, are making regular trips to the tiny Caribbean island, one of the UK’s overseas territories, to help police investigate David Brandt, who led the government there from 1997 to 2001.

The NCA inquiry in an outpost of Britain’s colonial past — which was devastated by volcanic eruptions in the 1990s — comes at a time when police chiefs in the UK are warning there is not enough money to investigate the “unprecedented” scale of child sexual abuse at home.

Tony Blair met David Brandt in Downing Street in 1997Tony Blair met David Brandt in Downing Street in 1997. PAUL HACKETT

Simon Bailey, chief constable of Norfolk police and national lead officer for child abuse investigation, has previously called for increased rehabilitation and treatment for low-level sex offenders, rather than prosecution, in an attempt to meet swingeing budget cuts.

Documents seen by The Sunday Times show that the Foreign Office has assigned almost £230,000 of public money to the NCA inquiry, which is understood to have been active since 2016.

Two sex abuse charges against Brandt, appointed as chief minister by the Queen in 1999, have been dropped. However, he is now expected to be tried on five counts of child sexual exploitation. He denies all charges.

The news will raise fresh concerns over child sex abuse in British overseas territories following scandals on Jersey and St Helena. (Search this blog for either of those names).

The Foreign Office said: “All our funding programmes follow the government’s agreed standards and receive robust financial scrutiny.”