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A victim on child sex abuse

By johnboy - 4 April 2012 12

This has come in and I’m just going to run it as is.

I would like to have this news article posted for opinion please.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/act-fathers-sex-charges-withdrawn-20120402-1w941.html

I am the Son of the accused. As there is a suppression order on the case (To protect me, not the accused), I have not given my real name as the contact.
Apart from the lack of outcome for me on a personal level, the harsh reality of the this case for the general public is the fact that the statute of limitations prohibits other male child sex abuse victims from that time coming forward to seek justice. This statute of limitations was only discovered by the defence council. The public prosecutor was unaware of it. But obviously they are aware of it now. So this case has now set a precedence against other victims coming forward.

I think that other people should be aware of this as I went through an 18 month waiting period from when I initially contacted the police until I was told by the Director of Public Prosecutions that it was a non-entity.

Thanks

What’s Your opinion?


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12 Responses to
A victim on child sex abuse
Kimoguri 5:06 pm 08 Apr 12

Yeah I went throught the same thing, though in my case, the other abused boys were all ashamed about admitting they were the regular sex slaves of the Marist Prinicpal of St Patrick’s Primary School. So much for supporting witnesses.

However….

If 1) ACT law is similar to NSW – has a similar Limitations Act/ statute of limitations.

2) If you were in gaol, at war, in a coma or you have experienced anxiety, depression, psychosis….ect….for an extended period between age 18 and now, which affected your employment, relationships…ect… you may be able to get a psychiatrist to declare you were, for a period of time- “substantially incapable of managing one’s own affairs” (This may allow a civil or perhaps even criminal proceedings to fall within the statute of limitation period).

3) your father has money or property.

If your answers are yes, yes and yes then I believe you may be able to get somewhere with a Civil damages action. Best bet would be to consult a good Private solicitor with a reputation for difficult cases ( for example divorce, child custody and Catholic Church sex abuse).

I wont shit you- the above can take a while, though perhaps there could be some money at the end of it. For example, if the abuse ever occured on a business premises for example, then the business’ insurer could be liable for damages.

gentoopenguin 10:00 pm 04 Apr 12

OP, I read that article in the Canberra Times the other day and it broke my heart. I’m so sorry you had to go through the intial abuse, then the trauma of reliving it and finding the courage to speak up only for it to come to this. It is a shame on our justice system.

georgy 6:56 pm 04 Apr 12

When I read this my immediate thought was why none of our politicians have tried to have this unjust and totally inadequate piece of legislation changed.

Young people do not always have the wherewithal to say anything at the time, it is when they become older and gain strength that these criminal acts come to light.

All to often the perpetrator is able to rely on the passage of time instead of receiving what is deserved – putting behind bars with no chance of ever rejoining society.

I congratulate you for your courage and am sorry at the outcome. I send you my best wishes.

chewy14 6:26 pm 04 Apr 12

fabforty said :

Clown Killer said :

Whilst having a statute of limitations on some crimes probably makes sense for a bunch of reasons I can see where it gets problematic in the case of child sexual abuse.

The sheer nature of the crime, and the impact upon the victim, is such that it may take well into their adult life before the victim feels that they can even raise the issue – let alone deal with the resulting legal proceedings.

+100

Let’s hope those who are responsible for our laws immediately set about fixing this straight away.

OP, you are a very strong person. You did everything you could to hold this monster accountable for what he did but were let down by an archaic law. Frankly, I don’t know how some defence lawyers sleep at night.

The way I read it the loophole was fixed years ago so the problem is only for crimes committed in that period between.

BerraBoy68 6:18 pm 04 Apr 12

Both the ACT Gov’t and the Lib’s have known about the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse for several years know. It was raised with both of them during the fight for justice for victims of abuse at Marist and Daramalan.

I’d suggest there are two reasons why nothing has been done:

1. they hate to make laws that could ‘retrospectively’ put people in jail (this was actually sai at the time); and
2. after such a long time, actual evidence is hard to come by and it’s just argument.

What has either side done about this issue though? Nothing. All too hard, sweep it under the carpet….

fabforty 4:54 pm 04 Apr 12

Clown Killer said :

Whilst having a statute of limitations on some crimes probably makes sense for a bunch of reasons I can see where it gets problematic in the case of child sexual abuse.

The sheer nature of the crime, and the impact upon the victim, is such that it may take well into their adult life before the victim feels that they can even raise the issue – let alone deal with the resulting legal proceedings.

+100

Let’s hope those who are responsible for our laws immediately set about fixing this straight away.

OP, you are a very strong person. You did everything you could to hold this monster accountable for what he did but were let down by an archaic law. Frankly, I don’t know how some defence lawyers sleep at night.

legal_chick86 4:44 pm 04 Apr 12

EvanJames said :

You’ve got to really wonder who would put a statute of limitations on a crime that will often only be revealed years or decades after it was committed. You have to *really* wonder.

Well i guess its put there to encourage people to come forward right away…

Little_Green_Bag 4:06 pm 04 Apr 12

EvanJames said :

You’ve got to really wonder who would put a statute of limitations on a crime that will often only be revealed years or decades after it was committed. You have to *really* wonder.

This was done in the heady days of sexual liberation when it was anything goes. Very little was known back then about the long-term effects of sexual molestation of children because it was still “the unspeakable crime”. Unfortunately we are bound by the laws applying back then unless federal parliament passes laws retrospectively nullifying the statute of limitations during that period.

It would have to be federal parliament because the ACT didn’t have self-government in the 1970s.

Clown Killer 2:55 pm 04 Apr 12

Whilst having a statute of limitations on some crimes probably makes sense for a bunch of reasons I can see where it gets problematic in the case of child sexual abuse.

The sheer nature of the crime, and the impact upon the victim, is such that it may take well into their adult life before the victim feels that they can even raise the issue – let alone deal with the resulting legal proceedings.

EvanJames 2:29 pm 04 Apr 12

You’ve got to really wonder who would put a statute of limitations on a crime that will often only be revealed years or decades after it was committed. You have to *really* wonder.

MsCheeky 2:10 pm 04 Apr 12

OP, I read the article in the CT, and was immediately struck by the injustice delivered to you by a legal technicality. As stated in the article, at the time the laws were changed, it was never envisioned that they would apply in such a way. I’m really sorry this happened to you. Best wishes for your future.

jackliveshere 12:35 pm 04 Apr 12

This “father” needs to be locked away for good.

This boy has had to live through a tremendous amount of trauma… more than one should have to suffer, inflicted and openly admitted by someone who is supposed to protect him.
It’s very distressing to me that this person has bravely come forward and had to relive these experiences for the reason of bringing an evil man to be brought to justice, only to be shut down by the law. It definitely discourages victims of sexual abuse from coming forward, what would be the point of reliving horrendous experiences if these vile monsters are just going to be let free?

I am disgusted at the outcome, yet my heart goes out to the victim who must feel like he is the one being punished. This loophole needs to be dealt with so that the victims of male-to-male sexual abuse can have their right to have a voice and speak out.

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