Inside This Issue
- "Govt Services" and Two Parents' Agony
- Retractors poignant story
- Wenatchee Haunted by Investigations
- NSW Sex Abuse Phone-in Disappoints
- Glib Liar Dupes Germany's Elite
- State News
In our previous issue [Vol6 No 2] we published an extract
from the report of the Working Party commissioned by the Royal
College of Psychiatrists concerning recovered memories. In this
issue we draw attention to the guidelines issued by the Royal
College of Psychiatrists in the extracts below.
Psychiatric Bulletin . 21. 663-665.
Recommendations for good practice
[a] The welfare of the patient is the first concern of the psychiatrist.
Concern for the needs of family members and others may also be
necessary, within the constraints imposed by the need for confidentiality.
[c] Psychiatrists are advised to avoid engaging in any memory
recovery techniques which are based on the expectation of past
sexual abuse of which the patient has no memory. Such memory
recovery techniques may include drug-mediated interviews, hypnosis,
regression therapies, guided imagery, 'body memories', literal
dream interpretation and journaling. There is no evidence that
the use of consciousness altering techniques such as drug-mediated
interviews or hypnosis can reveal or accurately elaborate factual
information about any past experiences including childhood sexual
abuse. Techniques of regression therapy including 'age regression'
and hypnotic regression are of unproven effectiveness.
[d] Forceful or persuasive interviewing techniques are not acceptable
in psychiatric practice. Doctors should be aware that patients
are susceptible to subtle suggestions and reinforcements whether
these communications are intended or unintended.
[e] The psychiatrist should normally explore his or her doubts
with the patient about the accuracy of recovered memories of
previously totally forgotten sexual abuse�.. Memories, however
emotionally intense and significant to the individual do not
necessarily reflect factual events.
Further sections of the advice will appear in a later edition.
Coming out of the Shadows
It is that time of the year again when we need to reflect on
the progress made during the previous twelve months and make
plans for the future. I remember a discussion we had in committee
at the Maroochydore Conference two years ago when the question
was asked, "How long will AFMA be needed?" I remember
suggesting five years. Well, with two down and three to go, clearly
my estimate was na�ve. It is clear that we have a very long
struggle ahead before the "memory wars" are over. This
war has been unseen but nevertheless deadly. The beliefs and
ideologies which underpin the continued use of recovered memory
therapies are still widely held in the helping professions, both
in the private and public sectors. As in the USA the professions
generally have not been in the vanguard of the struggle, but
rather operating well behind the lines, opting for the role of
passive observer rather than active participant. No doubt because
of this non-engagement and their perceived ambivalence, politicians
have been able to ignore us, and promote the much more electorally
popular image of concern for law and order under the guise of
care. No doubt there have been extremes at both ends of the debate
but we have tried very hard to position AFMA responsibly: that
is in a sane and sensible position guided by good science and
not emotionally or ideologically driven beliefs. Sadly those
who have followed the latter course appear to have largely controlled
the agenda thus far. While it can be fairly said that all of
us have been caught up in some sort of madness where the whole
range of our emotional responses are sorely tested, it is extremely
important that the AFMA continues to present the public face
of reason and integrity. Whatever legal and administrative structure
we decide is best to take AFMA forward into the next century,
safeguards must be firmly in place to ensure that this position
is maintained. To do less could undermine the important process
in which we are involved, would threaten the stability of our
organisation and, no doubt, assist in prolonging the war which
has already cost precious lives and destroyed so many ordinary
Reaching our Aims and Objectives
Let us be clear about our purpose. Our purpose is to get our
stolen children back. Our purpose is to obtain justice for ourselves
and our families and to restore sanity where insanity now prevails.
If I may quote from the latest FMSF Newsletter: "Child abuse
is not the issue. Child abuse is a reprehensible crime that civilised
society should work to eliminate. The issue is misinformation
and the misuse of science."
How successful has the AFMA been so far in reaching our important
goals? It is now more than five years since the AFMA joined the
battle, and as we look back it is important to recognise the
enormous contributions made by so many dedicated people. Many
can't be named for obvious reasons. Still we thank them sincerely.
However I must thank on behalf of all our members these people
in particular: the Curtis family, the Elson family, the Forsberg
and Godwin families. These and many others have given unselfishly
of their time and energy, and at great personal cost, emotionally,
financially and to the detriment of their health. We must not
forget those most seriously affected throughout this nightmare
have been the vulnerable: those seeking help from therapists
because of life problems, and the older members of our community,
many of whom are already facing health problems. It has taken
great courage and determination, particularly in the early years
to get AFMA established. I believe we are now reaching the stage
where we will become a real force in the debate in this country.
We are indeed coming out of the shadows.
The AFMA has been successful in forging valuable relationships
with some outstanding professionals and academics thus far. This
partnership has undoubtedly been a cornerstone of our success
and I thank the few who have shown the courage and integrity
to stand alongside us. We are developing more important contacts,
particularly in the media. Our recent success in exposing the
destructive practices which have been used for the last decade
or more by the Anglican Counselling service in Sydney has been
a watershed. The extra pressure thus applied may well have forced
their hand in banning the use of regression therapies. However,
it remains to be seen whether they go far enough to ensure their
public commitment is effective and whether they offer appropriate
assistance and reparation to damaged families. I must here pay
tribute to Ross Hall for his enormous courage in speaking out.
He has been vilified and accused of being a traitor by some people
within his church. Although others have been supportive, Ross
has no doubt suffered some pain. We will watch developments with
interest. We have evidence of the widespread use of recovered
memory therapies across all denominations. We also see of the
growing use of pseudo-psychology or "psych-babble"
amongst the more fundamentalist groups. I believe this development
is particularly sinister. The continuing endorsement of the validity
of massive repression of traumatic memories by many academics
and professionals helps to give them credibility. Surely this
is a very dangerous liaison indeed.
There were two major goals set for the last year:
1] To raise the public profile of the AFMA;
2] To greatly increase our membership base.
Given that we are a voluntary shoestring organisation we can
be proud of having reached both of those goals. Our financial
membership has increased four-fold and I am getting calls as
a result of the White Pages entry and the advertisements run
by the Sydney and Canberra groups, as well as the publicity via
TV and print media.
Our higher profile has resulted in a growing workload with new
cases being reported on a consistent basis. At the time of this
letter my records show fifty three new families reporting false
allegations since September last year. I am aware of eight cases
before the courts. One person has been sentenced to seven years
goal this year, and I am aware of five other people who have
been imprisoned, two of whom are still incarcerated. I am aware
of eighteen cases which we have good reason to believe are wrongful
imprisonments. They were convicted on uncorroborated evidence.
Five of those have been acquitted on appeal. One extraordinary
case involves an inmate convicted of rape who has recovered false
memories while receiving psychological treatment in gaol. As
if his family didn't have enough to deal with already!
A Wider Problem
Given the fact that the AFMA has not been widely recognised [though
this is changing] I think it is reasonable to suggest that the
figures at our disposal represent an indication of a much larger
problem. I have also had many approaches from families devastated
by false allegations stemming from other causes. My only real
alternative has been to refer them on to other agencies for help.
The totality of these cases is strongly indicative of a growing
trend where people are being prosecuted on meagre evidence, with
one person's word against another.
In particular, where there is a long time delay involved authorities
should be expected to place more weight on clear corroborated
evidence. Failing to do so, despite the public demand for action
on paedophilia, will inevitably result in more social devastation.
I believe we have the right to expect the justice system to rise
above negative social influence on its deliberations. Ignorance
by the legal fraternity is still endemic. However with our web
site coming on line an important educational tool will be available
to us and with the TV commercial soon to begin showing we may
expect our contacts to grow.
Another area of concern indicative of the magnitude of the problem
relates to sexual assault centres, rape and incest crisis centres,
women's refuges and their support groups. Many of these places
are enthusiastic supporters of Bass & Davis "The Courage
to Heal". We have reports of parents being invited to these
places to be devastated and humiliated, without warning and without
support, by a litany of allegations of child abuse. These accusations
are now being made public. Consider the recent Melbourne Age
article entitled "Two Parents'Agony", where the daughter's
allegations included being abused in a past life and as a foetus.
These bizarre allegations stemming from beliefs held by sexual
assault counsellors, reinforced by their philosophy of always
believing the client, are surely grounds for concern.
While defending their actions, these counsellors have made an
abhorrent public attack on us. By claiming that our aim is to
make it easier for offenders to perpetrate this most abhorrent
of crimes, they have clearly harmed their own position. Perhaps
it reveals a measure of desperation on their part and will assist
in further highlighting the need for an open public enquiry into
these pernicious therapies.
Another grave area of concern involves the continued diagnosis
of Multiple Personality Disorder or what is now referred to as
Dissociative Identity Disorder [DID}. Very grave doubts about
the validity of this illness are now emerging. I am aware of
one private hospital where a whole ward has been set aside for
the treatment of this illness.
On the brighter side I am now aware of six retractors, plus an
increasing number of returners. Sadly only two of those feel
able to come forward at this stage although my own daughter has
already taken that brave step. There are also several cases where
families are suing therapists and I believe that more are in
the pipeline. The forces arrayed against are formidable but if
we direct our energies in a constructive and properly informed
manner, we can play an important role in ridding our society
of this madness. We must maintain our pressure on the decision-makers,
the professions and the politicians, to ensure that a much higher
standard of care is provided to vulnerable people in our society.
Irresponsible and untrained counsellors wreaking havoc are not
exclusively responsible, as some would have is believe. It is
at all levels of the helping and caring community in this country.
Our task is to expose it wherever it may be and help to educate
This issue will not go away until justice is done. We must now
begin to pressure the government for a Royal Commission to investigate
every facet of this debacle. One falsely accused person, one
family financially and emotionally ruined, one person wrongfully
gaoled is one too many in a democratic society which prides itself
on the notions of a fair go and of mateship.
I know we can count on your continued support and I look forward
to playing my part in the struggle ahead.
Rwanda, Kosovo, East Timor.
The situations in our world, which evoke the sympathy, the wish
to be involved, to assist in a resolution or a peacemaking by
the Australian community, are so painfully common. In many cases
they evoke feelings of frustration and anger. When the militia
in East Timor entered their murderous phase Australians immediately
bombarded the Indonesian Embassy and the Australian Prime Minister
and Foreign Minister with demands for immediate positive action.
This response reflects a wish, indeed a need, in the Australian
people to see "a fair go" implemented in other countries
in the same way that we believe it appropriate in our own community.
Whether we call it a fair go, or human rights, or appeal to a
religious or humanist philosophy, Australians broadly wish for
an equitable world in which conflict is managed through peaceful
means in the interests not just of the majority, but of all.
We ache to hear and see families torn apart, people killed, maimed
or mentally wounded, no matter where they are or who they are.
Are the above comments the reality in Australia today or the
fantasy of an emotional do-gooder?
The Anglican Church has recently released a report into its
Counselling Centre which was reported on by the ABC's 7.30 Report.
The Church's media release reveals that the Counselling Centre
has been found wanting in a number of areas. The report recommends
- "counsellors who engage in Clinical Counselling have
professional registration or membership as psychologists, social
workers or equivalent";
- "the Centre not be involved in cases involving
"recovered" [or "enhanced"] "memories" of abuse".
The report points out that the use of counselling practices
which seek to elicit repressed memories "can also damage
and cause decomposition into frank mental illness, or breakdown
of relationships, which might not otherwise have occurred."
It further states that the "actual training, qualifications
or experience of the counsellors who are engaged in such therapies
is not adequate. This increases the risk that such counselling
may cause harm - to the client and/or to third parties such as
family members or friends."
The final nail into the coffin of the recovered memory therapists
was the statement in the report: "However in the absence
of corroboration one way or the other, it is impossible to know
whether such "recovered memories" are related to real
historical events or not."
Ross Hall, a senior office holder in the Anglican Church,
is to be congratulated for his courage in leading the way in
investigating the practices of their Counselling Centres and
in bringing forward a report that is clearly related to the Australian
notions of a "fair go". All our community organisations,
which seek to alleviate the problems inherent in the human condition,
would do well to consider very seriously the need to enquire
into the philosophies and practices of their social service sector,
to ensure that damaging practices are identified and steps are
taken to eliminate them. Further, there must be procedures implemented
to support the reconciliation of damaged relationships.
May all the churches, charities and governments, who are involved
in counselling provision, follow the lead so strikingly set by
the Anglican Diocese of Sydney! Which one will be next?
St John of God Seminar
On 7 July 1999 my husband and I attended the St John of God
Hospital at Burwood, NSW, for a Seminar entitled False Memories?
The Recovered Memory Debate Explored: Implications for Therapeutic
Practice. The Seminar was directed towards mental health clinicians,
especially those who work, or will be working in the field of
trauma [eg. psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, mental
The facilitators were Dr Marta Morawiecka, Robert Brooks and
Dr Morawiecka, a Consultant Psychiatrist who works in a practice
in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney and at the St John of God
Hospital, Richmond, stated that two totally opposing conclusions
had been reached: recovered memories are false and cannot be
relied on; recovered memories are true and can be relied on].
The two camps that hold these beliefs remain in total opposition
to each other, with little or no meeting in middle ground. Dr
Morawiecka then proceeded to present studies and information
that supported both sides of the argument.
She finished her presentation by saying that in the present
climate of litigation against counsellors, and debate about the
reliability of recovered memory, there is a danger of too little
being done for the patient. She said that she was no longer comfortable
in treating her patients with hypnosis, or suggesting to them
that they may have been abused if they present with symptoms
which strongly suggest to her the possibility that they may have
been abused, or referring them on to group meetings. She suggested
that if the medical profession 'does too little' this can lead
to a loss of skills, knowledge base, and the ability to freely
Robert Brooks, Research Psychologist who has worked in prisons,
TAFE and as a child protection worker, said that he has been
intensively studying what is known by science about memory. The
purpose of his presentation was to summarise aspects of normal
memory that may be relevant to questions of false memory. Interesting
points that he made were:
- Memory is generally very accurate
- No absolute position is possible regarding false memory versus
- Long term memory can be disrupted by a variety of mechanisms
- Not until 36-42 months do children start to
provide reasonably coherent narrative about past experience.
Brooks cautioned his audience that if a patient presented
being able to describe abuse that occurred to him/her prior to
36-42 months of age then the therapist should regard with suspicion
the validity of the events that the patient is reporting.
Leah Giarratano, Clinical Psychologist, works at St John of
God Hospitals. She was the program coordinator. Some of the questions
that she addressed were: "Can we forget a traumatic event?"
Answer: yes. "Can therapy create false memories?" If
so "does this happen easily and frequently? What types of
people are more likely to develop false memories? What types
of therapeutic beliefs, practices and procedures are most likely
to produce false memories?"
Among the conclusions were:
- Trauma can lead to extremes of retention and forgetting;
- Once memories are accessed they are subject to error and
- Memory completeness and accuracy shouldn't be confused;
- The accuracy of a memory cannot be predicted by how vivid/detailed
or distressing it is, or by the confidence with which the person
believes it to be true;
- Facts on memory have been determined through experimental
memory research and have resulted in the conclusion that "without
corroborating evidence, discriminating true from false memories
is virtually impossible" [Hyman and Loftus, 1997];
- False memories can be created.
In discussing whether there was a danger of the therapist
doing too much Giarratano cautioned the audience:
- Against providing suggestions to the patient;
- Having awareness that the therapist was a figure of authority;
- Suggestions from a figure of authority carry more weight
than from others;
- Leading the patient should never be done during hypnosis;
- The therapist should never say that the patient
would not get better until memories have been recovered.
During the concluding question session, my husband asked,
"Do you have any advice for someone who has been falsely
accused of incest?" Giarratano said that she had not seen
any studies on this problem and none of the three people who
conducted the seminar had any thing to offer and the question
was put to the audience. A lecturer in psychology from Sydney
University advised my husband not to litigate against the counsellor
and suggested that he keep the lines of communication open with
his daughter. Another audience member said, as a general comment,
that false accusations of abuse were causing devastation in families.
As a final comment the facilitators suggested that my husband
go to counselling himself.
Whilst trying to give an overview of the seminar, I have selected
from the day-long presentations the points of interest to me
and our family. There was of course much more that is not reported
here. In fairness it must be said that my summation of the day
involves my strong bias towards the view that recovered memory
may be false and cannot be relied upon.
Author's name withheld for privacy reasons.
A former Crusader: an alleged Paedophile
The following story is drawn from the Courier-Mail, Brisbane,
4/9/99. It is not a quotation except where indicated.
John Warner became well known in the last years of his life
as a prominent campaigner against child sexual abuse perpetrated
by priests and religious in the Catholic Church. He claimed to
have been raped by a Brother in a Marist Brothers' home for boys
in Sydney. He received $30,000 in compensation from the Church.
"He wrecked my marriage because I didn't know how to
be married," Warner said. "I could not hug my own children.
I could not tell my own children 'this is what this man's done
"Warner's public relations skills, media outspokenness
and aggressive lobbying had embarrassed the church and helped
to shine an unwavering light on some of the darkest chapters
in its recent history."
Warner had been married and divorced, having two sets of twins
in the marriage. He had been in a second relationship during
the last eighteen years of his life and his partner declared
that he regarded her children and grand children as his "real
However, none of his natural children attended his funeral,
at which the eulogies were full of praise for the man who had
told his own story and worked hard to encourage others who had
been sexually abused as children to come forward and tell theirs.
His children had a different story to tell.
"Warner's daughters say they could not speak out before
because they feared he would hunt them down and kill them or
their own children.
'This is the only justice I have ever had over him in my whole
life,' said Michelle, breaking down repeatedly while describing
how her father ruined innocent, young lives.
'I worried for other people around him who wouldn't have known
what he did to us. But there was nothing we could do. He was
vicious and he would have come after us if we had done anything.
We all lived in fear.'
Angel said: 'We did not doubt in the least that he would turn
up on our doorstep with a shotgun or a large knife if we had
said or done
anything to dent his image. When he was on the news campaigning
over sexual abuse I wanted to tell everyone he was a hypocritical
and dangerous bastard. I wanted to say "How dare you preach
about the rights of victims after what you have done to us?"
but I was too damn scared. We did not want him to know that we
existed. He was great at camouflaging himself to make people
believe that what they saw was the real him. He abused us out
of a control thing. We were there and we were his
and he could do what he wanted with us. I first realised something
was wrong when I went to school and none of the other kids were
about what their daddies did to them in the bedroom. He would
say "I'll tell Mum that you have not been doing what you're
told and she will feel terrible that you are not being a very
good girl for Daddy". I will never forgive him for the severe
damage he has caused. All of
us have had a nervous breakdown at one time or another. If he
had stepped in front of my car I would not have braked. The day
he died, my husband and my children and I sat down and enjoyed
a very fine bottle of wine. Ecstatic is the way I felt.'
Yvette said she had unwittingly repressed recollections of her
childhood: 'But I have flashes of memory of absolute fear and
affected me to the extent that I tried to commit suicide at the
ages of four, seven and 11.'"
The children were supported by the Brisbane "clinical
associate professor of psychiatry Dr Warwick Middleton who treated
Michelle for several years and received her permission to talk
publicly. 'He would sexually abuse her and tell her that so long
as she acquiesced he would not do it to her sisters, and he would
say the same to them.
His mistreatment of Michelle has had an absolutely profound impact
on her life. She had an awful childhood characterised by neglect
and physical and sexual abuse.'"
Warner's daughter, Michelle, lodged a complaint with police
which resulted in Warner's being placed on the police file since
February, 1997 as a suspected sexual offender. Michelle claims
that she did not proceed with a prosecution because of fear of
what her father might do on becoming aware of the prosecution.
We now have a case where adult children [one of whom declares
that she remembers the abuse due to flashbacks of repressed memory]
accuse their father of horrific abuse. This accusation is accepted
unquestioningly by the reporter in the Courier - Mail. It appears
to be supported by the police, but the police did not proceed
with a prosecution, despite the fact that they take the initiative
in such matters, not the complainant.
What are we to believe?
"Govt services" and two
Melbourne Age 4/9/99
By Maree Curtis
Even now, nearly a year later, they find it hard to describe
what they were feeling. They can talk about the things that led
to the meeting. How a couple years earlier their daughter had
cut all ties with them, changed her name and joined an alternative
And they can talk about the room where the meeting took place.
It didn't look like a room in the Monash Medical Centre: it was
decorated with veils and burning candles. But the parents find
it almost impossible to talk about how it felt to sit and listen
to their daughter accuse them of vile crimes.
They and other family members had abused her, the daughter said,
physically and sexually. She had even been abused as a foetus,
and raped in a past life. She had suppressed these events and
had only recovered the memories through "healing" meditation
sessions with her "counsellors".
In late 1996 the woman cut all ties with her family. In May last
year the couple saw her picture in a newsletter from a "counselling
and meditation" centre run by a former marketing consultant.
The newsletter, from the Tantra Centre in South Yarra, described
their daughter as "our resident belly come exotic dance
Then, last October their daughter wrote to them asking them to
attend a meeting at the Centre Against Sexual Assault at Monash
At the meeting conducted by two social workers, the young woman
read out her charges against her parents. The couple was outraged
that the CASA workers uncritically accepted their daughter's
"We could not believe our eyes," said the parents in
a written statement of complaint to the Health Services Commissioner,
Beth Wilson. "We were shocked, devastated, hysterical. We
asked [one of the CASA workers] Carolyn [Worth] what was happening,
how can she allow this? To sit through and apparently condone
an unsubstantiated attack then allow her counsellor and client
to leave without any need or responsibility to discuss or be
The couple say they were refused information about the purpose
of the meeting. They were not permitted to bring their own counsellor
or to speak to their daughter after she made the allegations.
Worth, the meeting facilitator, has admitted in a letter to the
parents that she met their daughter "only five minutes before
The parents also allege that CASA was unaware of their daughter's
involvement in the alternative group's healing sessions and was
apparently uninterested in considering such events or pursuing
any action over them. The episode raises disturbing questions
about the role of some alternative lifestyle groups, the phenomenon
of repressed memory in allegations of sexual abuse and the role
of CASA in unquestioningly accepting these allegations. Psychologist,
Louise Samways, who has taken up the case of the parents strongly
criticises the behaviour of the two social workers who conducted
the meeting. And a barrister and professor of law at La Trobe
University, Ian Freckelton, warns that the centre risks legal
action by conducting such meetings. Freckelton, who prosecuted
the Children of God in 1992, says repressed memory of sexual
abuse has been largely discredited and workers who have held
similar meetings in the US have been sued.
Monash Medical Centre, to which the south eastern unit of CASA
is attached, refused The Age permission to interview a CASA representative
or any hospital manager. In a written statement, the hospital
stated that "staff are all professional trained and undertake
additional ongoing professional development regarding sexual
abuse. The [CASA} service includes psychiatric, psychological,
medical, nursing and community education expertise.
The service does not accept referrals from people with no memories
of sexual assault, it only sees people reporting a clear experience
of sexual abuse." The statement expressed concern that the
family was unhappy.
Jo Fuller, public officer for the Victorian CASA Forum, defends
the practice of believing victims. She says CASA units see people
daily who claim to have recovered memories of sexual abuse, and
disputes Freckelton's view that there is no scientific evidence
for repressed memory of abuse. "Twenty-five years ago people
didn't believe sexual assault against children happened either,"
The couple had held out so much hope for the meeting. When their
daughter asked them to the meeting, the parents felt that at
last she was seeking mainstream help.
When they lost contact with their daughter, the couple consulted
psychologist, Louise Samways after reading her book, Dangerous
Persuaders. The book details the methods used by gurus, personal
development courses and cults to influence people.
"There are so many hundreds of these little groups out there,"
says Samways. "The techniques described to me by [the couple]
are classic, healing sessions and meditation that goes on for
hours and cutting people off from their families."
The Tantra Centre which featured the young woman in its newsletter
is run by Ian Oshlack who now also calls himself Rajeev. In a
conversation with The Age he said the young woman was a "personal
friend" who was "absolutely not" connected with
the centre. He said she had been engaged to dance at the function
where the picture was taken. He then said "she has actually
come here and facilitated workshops".
Repressed or recovered memory is based on Freud's theories of
the unconscious, says Royal Melbourne neuro-psychologist, Dr
Andrew Gibbs. The theory has it that traumatic events are repressed
because they are too painful to remember. Families have been
ripped apart as a result of false recovered memories, says Gibbs,
who is on the professional advisory board of the Australian False
[Edited to reduce space.]
AFMA holds successful seminar
More than sixty people attended the seminar and Annual General
Meeting held at the Unitarian Church, Melbourne, on Saturday,
18 September. Following the President's welcome participants
heard paper's read by Dr Andrew Gibbs, a member of AFMA's Advisory
Board on the subject of Memory Mechanisms and Moral Panic, by
Phillip Priest QC on The Devil Sometimes Appears as a Barrister!
and by Gordon Waugh of New Zealand's Casualties of Sexual Allegations,
on The New Zealand Scene.
Full details of the papers read will appear in the next issue.
AFMA holds successful seminar
Sydney Morning Herald 17/9/99
A drop in calls to Operation Paradox have police concerned
that community apathy could cause many children to suffer on-going
sexual abuse. �..only 475 calls were recorded yesterday,
down from 764 last year.
Child Protection Agency Commander John Heslop said the rural
response appeared better than the city's, mainly due to strong
media support in regional areas����.
Police had not made any arrests but were following up several
leads, including one case in which a woman called because she
believed her husband was abusing their daughter.
The agency made 485 arrests and 2361 charges on child protection
matters last year.
One can only wonder how many of the arrests and charges
resulted in convictions, how many convictions were based on uncorroborated
evidence and how many calls were malicious reports by partners
wishing to obtain custody of the children in relationship break-ups�ED
Readers interested in supporting those caught up in the justice
system may wish to volunteer to assist at the Visitor's House
at Sydney's Long Bay Gaol. Visitor's House is a drop in centre
for family and friends of prisoners when they come to visit and
operates on Sundays from 10 am to 3 pm.
Ring Lyn Bond or Donna Elazzi for further information on 02 9564