April 29, 2011

The Weight of Silence

When I was around nine years old, the Catholic school I attended marched all the kids to the steps of Parliament. There, they made us kneel on the cold concrete steps, bow our heads, and pray in silence. It was my first protest  march - albeit a silent one. I didn't know anything about abortion but I thought if kneeling in front of the Beehive was going to stop babies being murdered, then so be it

I don’t remember having to get a parent’s permission slip or, indeed, whether my participation in that silent protest was something I even wanted to do - it’s just the way nun’s roll I suppose. Besides, it was for a noble cause, right – saving babies, kids, our most vulnerable within Society? Who on Earth would have had the gumption to tell us to move right along? 

Society seems to have hardened up these days. Those same nine year old kids are more than likely parents themselves. They never had the safety of some “Anti Smacking” law and probably spent a great deal of time drinking raspberry and lemonades in the back seat of a car while their parents got drunk at the local pub. There were no safety belts back then and drink-driving was a norm. Nor were there News items about child molesters, just weird stereotypical men who lurked in bushes, so as long as you stayed away from them, you were fine!

But statistically, one in four girls and one in ten boys were also being raped – that is the dark side of many people’s childhood, the not so noble one. 

But where were the protests, the nuns, the people prepared to kneel, even in silence, on the steps of Parliament then? Nowhere. New Zealand has one of the highest levels of child abuse and yet, nothing…nothing but silence. Any why is that? Because the only people who seem prepared to speak out, to demand change are the victims themselves. That’s not an easy thing to do because  Society doesn’t want to “own” this problem. Instead, it prefers to cloud child sex abuse, fog the issue with claims of false memory syndrome, lies, and deceit, and ultimately, turn the person who tried to make things better, into the person who only made matters worse.

But let’s imagine even for a minute that someone, somewhere, was brave enough to take on this challenge, just what would that entail?

Anonymous said...
“…I am inspired by you and your courage and have considered more fully whether to share my story with my siblings, and whether to report my abuser…” 

Don’t people get it? Don’t people realize just what they’re asking? To not be able to even tell your story, let alone to your siblings, is like asking someone to never talk about their life. Who are we if we cannot even talk about our life? How does someone even begin to introduce themselves when they’re being asked (told!) not to reveal who they are? Is recovering from child sex abuse really as simple as ‘just getting over it’ or (my all time favorite)  ‘just let it go, will you!’

Who here would dare say that to a nun kneeling on the steps of Parliament or a Veteran soldier suffering from PTSD or, God forbid, a Holocaust survivor? We hold these people up in high esteem. We respect their pain and their anguish. Child sex abuse survivors get re-victimized, put on trial, dragged through the mud. They loose jobs, relationships, and family. They’ve already endured the loss of trust which goes hand-in-hand with the ability to love. Now people want them to shut up too?

But…do I really want to encourage ‘Anonymous’ to speak out? Perhaps it’s not about whether he/she should speak out but more about whether he/she has the strength to endure all that speaking out entails. As someone once told me, you might win but you will also loose.  

As for me… My freedom of speech is something I will never surrender. Some days, it’s all a survivor has left. 

April 25, 2011

The Search for Truth - consequence

I am no stranger to being "told" to prove myself or my accusations. It goes hand in hand with being a survivor of child sex abuse. 

For me, I first had to prove it to a doctor who physically examined me as a 10 year old. My first step into being believed was counter-attacked by my subsequent suspension from the Catholic boarding school I attended at the time - guess there is nothing "god-like" about my telling them my darkest secrets. So yeah, even at 10, I knew there were "consequences" for speaking out and I also realised the only one that was going to be paying for those consequences, was me. 

My second attempt to speak out was the initial police report I filed in 1984. I was no longer in danger but I feared for the siblings that remained with my offender. Upshot was the entire family, for one reason or another, hurdled themselves around the offender and the offender, himself, called me to say "I brought you into this world, I can take you out." I was left with no alternative but to flee New Zealand. In the process, I lost my family, my sense of belonging, and to a certain extent - myself. 

I look back to that time and think "What on earth was I thinking?" I mean, there I was with a one-way ticket to London. I knew no one, had nowhere to stay, and yet all that unknown was nothing compared to my life back home. Some times people make decisions based on which fear is easier to deal with and all the horror movies of being kidnapped, raped, or even murdered didn't phase me. I was free from the past. That's all that mattered. 

In 1992, I dared to return to NZ. I missed my big brother, my sister, my family. Yet within 24 hours of arriving, I was in A&E, beaten to a pulp by a family member because of "me and my big mouth." Truth be known, I was planning to marry someone I met in the UK and I refused to invite my offender, play happy families as it were - consequence. 

The Police, at the time, advised me to return to the UK, marry... move on. I did just that. 

A few years on, I was notified about subsequent victims. Same offender. And yes, that sent me down a spiral path I would not wish on my worse enemy. I felt like I had failed - it was my fault. And I had such anger towards the NZ Police for not "truly" investigating that I thought I would explode. I naively thought they were about Prevention rather than cure... I have since become more sympathetic to their ways. 

I had, up until then, managed to maintain a normal existence - until my daughter was born and then... lord help me...the sight of that poor vulnerable being, totally at my mercy, dragged so much pain up inside of me I felt like I just couldn't keep it together any more. Now, more than ever, I wanted/needed my mother, my family, my sisters and brothers.... I separated and returned to NZ.

Those subsequent victims now wish to prosecute. Those same siblings I had begged for help from, now want me (big mouth, troublemaker) to help them, and two years ago, I filed my statement.  

I can pull my head out of the clouds long enough to see just what the Police need from me in order to have a solid case. But there "handling" of me was worlds apart from the handling I received from ACC.

The Police investigate. They don't offer counselling. So their advice to get some from ACC to "help me" during the process was something I didn't think too untoward. But here's the difference: both the Police and ACC want the same thing - proof. 

Police picked me up from my home. They had support people for me. They videoed the interview. Constantly asked if I needed a break. They took their guidance from me and from my support person. Yes, they asked for graphic detail. They asked for me to call a spade a spade. They asked me to relive every single detail and understood I could not just tell me story - I had to relive it. Afterwards, I sat with the support person for hours, bawling like a child (I'd been reduced to one) and later, they drove me home and checked in with me every day to see how I was doing. 

From ACC, I got a letter. Meet this strange woman I'd never met at an address, 70kms from my home. I did. Again, she (just like the Police) wanted graphic details - exact details. Unlike the Police, there was no support person. The assessor had a flight in two hours; we were pushed for time. Afterwards, she thanked me and left the office. I, on the other hand, sat outside the office for three hours trying to figure out how on earth I was even going to get home. I had my daughter with me - figuring in childcare to meet with ACC demands just isn't an issue. And afterwards? Nothing! Not for months. At least the Police provided me with a transcript of my interview - which, I still haven't had the balls to read. From ACC, it took seven months of nagging before I even got a wee snippet of the initial assessors report - and that, in itself, did nothing but leave questions.  

The months after the ACC assessment, I went from bad to worse. I don't think I would have classed myself as depressed before - sure, I'd had bad days but they were just "days" - this latest "episode" was something out of even my control. I fell in love with my couch. It was my haven. I couldn't even summon up the energy to even think about a shower let alone have one and in all honesty, both my child and I lived like pigs. I never left the house. I felt so exposed and so vulnerable - what with the Court case pending and my inability to even sleep - I was loosing it, big time. 

My lowest was a feeble attempt to kill myself. I didn't have any pills or anything cause - catch 22 - I wasn't registered with a Doctor who could prescribe any and could never get an appointment to even see one. My last attempt to do just that, meant $92.00 just for them to put me on their books!... the walls were closing in. 

I took to blogging. It's what saved my life - just 15 wee friends all chatting. I didn't even have to leave me couch! I admit, it was naive to think that anything I said couldn't reach a wider audience but, truth be told, I'd practically told everyone who was in a position to help, that I needed help and they couldn't give a toss... so I never thought anything I said mattered anyhow. Least of all the copious emails I sent to ACC.

From behind that blog, I grew stronger. I showered. I did some dishes. I listened and called in frequently to the Nutter's Club. My blogging friends encouraged me to leave my current situation.... up sticks and move on.... and I did. 

I am now gainfully employed. Off the hamster wheel of WINZ. I'm finding my feet again. My kid is happy. I can pay for new school shoes. We're on a winner... onwards and upwards...

.... and then... Dr Jansen comes at me with a two-by-four. 

Consequence. One thing I learned in 40 years of consequence is this: I ain't taken it any more! I'm sick and tired of running and I'm damned if I will sit and be bullied. Enough is enough. It's someone else's turn to learn the true meaning of "consequence."

In other words: "Whakapuakina te pono!"  

April 21, 2011

Where for art thou Peter?

Where for art though Dr Jansen... you've gone all quiet since my legal firm jmlaw.co.nz/ contacted your lawyer on April 16th.... what's the guts?

April 19, 2011

Victim? Survivor? What's in a word?

Thank you to all who responded..... I would like to add this: I am a SURVIVOR of sexual abuse. Those who have experienced the same and are alive, are also 'survivors,' in my view. 

This statement I have made is not about being a "professional victim" as some may like to claim - such is the nature of Freedom of Speech. It's about refusing to remain labelled as one.

Having said that, being a survivor doesn't automatically mean one has to be chirpy and upbeat all the time. Gee, sometimes I am such pissed off at things as a woman, a person, a mother, an employee.... not everything I do or feel should be constrained by the label people seem to want to impose on me - a victim. 

This stand (or whatever people want to call it) is about the experience I have endured with ACC AND is not an isolated case. It wouldn't have created such a polarisation within NZ society if it were. 

It's about bullying - someone telling you to shut up, know your place, don't argue - or else!

There are a lot of incredibly courageous women and men who have written to me over the last week detailing their own "inefficient" experiences with the legal system, ACC, justice in general. They're the real soldiers in all this. 

And it's time.... time to STOP making child sexual abuse the safest crime to commit, the hardest to convict, the least likely to be punished, and the hardest to gain support or counselling for....

It's time.

April 16, 2011


Left (over there) is an alleged symbolic representation of disbelief. 

Apparently, in my person opinion, but with out prejudice, and since I have fingers, um... the three hand movements represent a short cut to expressing three words that just about expresses pretty much anything really - WTF.

Using your hand means you can save having to use your mouth... not that I have anything against mouths, or hands for that matter, or other forms of communication like pens and keyboards, whiteboards and/or blackboards... (wipes beads of sweat from her brow)... 

And cutting words up, not writing them out completely is great, economical in fact cause you drop vowels as opposed to buying vowels. The expression is mild, or perhaps more than mild to those who consider this perhaps not mild, a symbolic gesture of frustration..

Oh for Pete's sake.. not that I have anything against anyone called Pete or intending to call anyone Pete.

My point if this.. some people make it hard to express an opinion when everyone's opinion/perspective/beliefs have to be taken in respect.....it's called "setting people up to fail".

As the caption says.... WTF?  

April 15, 2011


Woke to the news that I had taken down my blog and the "highly offensive" material. For a moment there, I thought some Internet Corporation had taken it down and without me knowing.... I half expected Julian Assange to give me a call.

So, just to confirm... 

I have not been contacted by anyone - from ACC, Jansen, Nick Smith, the Police, Jansen's legal team - anyone about taking my blog down. 

I also refute Nick Smith's comments saying I had been contacted by Mr Jansen in November requesting I take my blog down and that only because the blog was still up there, some 4-5 months later, he sort legal action. I find that odd considering my first email, upon being served, was to Jansen's very lawyer and his reply confirming that was my first communication with him. 

I would also like to add that I have not received 10 years of counselling already from ACC. What I have done is spent a lot of personal money on private counselling whilst I was overseas, back in the good old days when I was a single person and could afford it. (at least 12 years ago now)

I would also like to make a request to Media in general: Please don't hound me for my personal details like my name and address. The only reason why have I not gone public is because, for the first time in years, my child has been able to be semi-normal again. She has made new friends at her new school. She even went to a school camp! The last thing I want is to have uproot her (again) because someone somewhere thought it would be real cool to publicly expose her mother's whereabouts. 

Oh I see RadioLive has decided it would be real cool to do just that... expose me and to top off it off, they've just taken a call from an ex-husband of mine... assuming it is him, doesn't sound much like it but hey.... let's not let the truth get in the way of a good story eh Michael Laws?  Unbelievable.

April 14, 2011

Jansen: Law suit - hits Parliament

I had to start work at 9am this morning, bushy eyed and attentive.  You'd think that was the least an employer could ask right?


I got a few phone calls... please excuse me for being vague about who - I'm just really starting to understand the power of the "STFU" syndrome.

Needless to say.... my law suit was brought up in Parliament -the place to go when one is ignored.... 

Now ask me this, did I enjoy seeing Hon Tony Ryall being body slammed by something he knew nothing about.... by the looks of things.....No. But here's the thing... it's neither my problem or concern cause at the end of day, he should know... end of story. That's what he gets paid the big bucks for.

This unaccountability shit has become rife in Society. 

Did I like the way Carmel presented the body slam? Well, that's a little more difficult to answer on the basis I knew what she was about to do - with my full permission - and so, I guess the element of surprise was not there so, no, I wasn't that "surprised".

What did get me was the fact that there doesn't seem to be much accountability within an individual's portfolio.  If Ryall didn't know what Jansen was up to when why go hire him to set up a new commission of "sorts" on his behalf? 

This is a couchy job if ever you saw one and by all account none of us have - unlike some people, we all actually have to work for a living - legitimately. Still, it begs the question: How much faith can we have in these people when they go hire someone who goes on to "set them up" covering their ass in Parliament? 

I felt a "tad" uncomfortable seeing Ryall swirm in Parliament. Only cause I could see - bannered across his forehead, all glistening and neon like...."WTF is this chick talking about?".. In fact, at one point, he refers to Carmel as "He... She.." You can see the panic in his eyes.... 

So listen up ..... I am being taken to Court. Apparently, "ignorance is no defence." 

Well guess what? I put that same shit back on the Politicians who have blown sunshine out Jansen's ass.... "Ignorance is no defence." You did't know he was suing some sensitive claims client behind your backs? 

Tough... get in line... face the consequence...

Like I have been made to do. 

April 12, 2011

Peter Jansen Shows his true colours

In January 2009, I applied to ACC to restart counselling for sexual abuse. I was not going to be of those "ones" on that new shady downward spiral into the abyss where ACC filed all their new claims cause, apparently, I was an existing client. 

Understandably and without fuss, I attended one assessment by some woman I'd never met before who concluded I had PTSD and recommended the re-commencement of counselling. 

Seven months later (after my official DSM-IV assessment) I was still waiting a simple reply to "Well, where's the counsellor?" I got a reply back stating some woman in the Wairapapa, no phone details, no address, just a time to meet her.... but where? Several enduring emails later and nothing. 

In the meantime, back in the jungle, I started writing to Peter Jansen. After all, he's the top wig, he should know what the hell is going on. His response to me was that my email had been referred to the Media department. And, as far as I know, that is where it still remains... nearly 18 months later. 

I am still waiting for my counsellor to magically appear from outside the buttocks of ACC's filing cabinet, all majestic and angelic like but, understandably, I have not held my breath. A lot of things have happened. I've got a pending trial, all to do with child abuse - just the sort of thing I'd kind of need counselling on really but there you go - and my daughter and I have had to relocate. Please note, no one that I know of has had to relocate their email address and I most certainly haven't so, sorry, no excuses why no contact has been made on that side of the fence either ACC.

But wait... 

Today, I have had contact! Yes, after nearly two years, I was served with Court papers!!! 

Apparently my calling Peter Jansen an "completely incompetent prick" is defamatory. He's suing me for $200,000.00 in general damages, an additional $50,000.00 in aggravated damages, and any "other relief" as the Honourable Court deems just (Whatever the fuck that means!), and all Court and Legal costs.

All this as a result of a blog I posted, whereby I satirically referred to Mr Jansen having self diagnosed himself with DSM-CIP - (Completely Incompetent Prick) syndrome. 

Mr Jansen, in response, "has been greatly injured in his professional and personal reputation; has been exposed and held up to ridicule and contempt; and has been seriously injured in his reputation and character."

So let me see if I get this straight... a blog of 15 followers has done more than $250,000.00 worth of damage to a man who has NEVER granted a single woman seeking compensation for sexual abuse a mere percentage of that amount? 

Furthermore, if having a mental illness is not suppose to be such a stigma then what's with the David and Goliath attitude to a nobody who thinks, rightly so, that he's incompetent and writes about it to her mammoth blog following of 15 people? I don't get it... I mean, if mental illness is not so damaging as Mr Jansen likes to claim (and often does when it comes to people making claims!) then why sue when a person even jokingly claiming to think you are! 

Or, and here's another thought... maybe if ACC had got off their ass and given me the "mental illness" treatment I was assessed for, then maybe, just maybe, this sort of shit would not have happened? 

Or is it that ACC can deny your claim, fog you off, and then try the old bullying tactics when that same person gets a little fucked off with being palmed off?

In any event, the last I heard DSM CIP wasn't listed on the official ACC assessment calculations and thank fuck for that! Imagine how many people would be referred to ACC then!

In closing:
I wonder if his lawyer knows the person he hired to serve papers on me was my mother's ex-lover, an ex-cop, and since both my daughter and I are formally in hiding due to a pending historical sex abuse Court case, could only have had access to my CONFIDENTIAL HOME ADDRESS through police files. 

Not a fucking smart move that Jansen!

Correction: Ex cop called me this morning. He did not access Police files. I checked. He's right. But I did get an interesting tip on how my address was accessed. Interesting. Makes sense even. Still an incredible abuse of power and... the Privacy Act, so I have been told.