Massive child abuse ring smashed with 44 Australians arrested

More than 40 Australian men have been charged with possessing child abuse material and sharing their material online via a cloud storage platform.

Federal police on Friday said they’d filed 350 charges in total against 44 men in every Australian state and the ACT, with 16 children removed from harm’s way.

The cloud storage platform was allegedly used by thousands of sex offenders around the world, with some alleged Australian offenders also producing their own abuse material.

The AFP said its Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation has in the past 12 months intercepted more than 250,000 child abuse material files online, while 134 children – including 67 in Australia – were removed from harm in the 2019/20 financial year.

Source: Massive child abuse ring smashed with 44 Australians arrested

Law reform could welcome specialist courts, end to jury in sexual harm trials – Lawyers Weekly

Victoria’s Law Reform Commission has posed a number of questions to the profession on whether the courts should be updated to better manage sexual harm offences.

The New Zealand law commission found there was some value in giving the decision-making function to a professional body rather than a jury and recommended including the model as part of the specialist sexual offences court in future.

The Victorian commission’s research revealed two areas of concern around jurors that sit on sexual offence trials. For one thing, often jurors will bring their own attitudes into the courtroom, including common misconceptions around sexual harm. Some studies suggested that jurors are more influenced by their own attitudes over the evidence.

“Another concern is that the presence of a jury may be harmful for complainants,” said the commission, adding: “It can be difficult to give evidence in front of a group of people and especially in small communities where complainants and jurors might cross paths. The need to persuade a jury may also lead to more intense questioning than needed.”

Source: Law reform could welcome specialist courts, end to jury in sexual harm trials – Lawyers Weekly

No shortage of sexist moments in 2020, but here’s who takes the cake

Of course, there were the usual suspects. Those repeat offenders (cough *Mark Latham, Malcolm Roberts) who seem to relish being as noxious as possible at any given opportunity.

But there were also some new faces including top gong (Gold Ernie) going to Jayson Westbury, CEO of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents who sickeningly suggested that Tracey Grimshaw deserved a “firm uppercut or a slap across the face” for her reporting of a travel industry refund scandal.

The Political Silver Ernie went to the previously mentioned, Senator Malcolm Roberts for his commentary on the family law system (and apparent defence of perpetrators of domestic violence) when he said:“But when you’re a father, and you can’t get access to your kids, and you can’t get access to the legal system properly, what else is there to do other than check out or hurt the other person?”

There was a dead heat for the Celebrity/Clerical Silver Ernie going to the Council of the Order of Australia for awarding Bettina Arndt an AM for her “significant service to the community as a social commentator, and to gender equity through advocacy for men”.

Ironically, Bettina Arndt was awarded her own Ernie (AKA ‘The Elaine for remarks least helpful to the sisterhood) for her commentary on the devastating murder of Hannah Clarke and her children in which she congratulated “the Queensland police for keeping an open mind and awaiting proper evidence, including the possibility that Rowan Baxter might have been ‘driven too far’.”

Unsurprisingly, Pauline Hanson stepped up for joint acquisition of ‘The Elaine’ for her comments as Deputy chair of the Family Court Enquiry, in which she suggested that women were fabricating stories of domestic violence:“A lot of the women out there abuse the system by instigating false DVOs against their former partners or their husbands. They use that to further their needs… Domestic violence orders have got completely out of hand”, she claimed.

And, in case these recollections aren’t enough to have you tearing your hair out to the point of baldness, let’s not forget the wonderful Shore school boys who also scored a Silver Ernie for their recent ‘Triwizard Shorenament’.The ‘muck-up day’ challenge manual that included instructions for students to have sex with a woman over 80kgs; aged over 40; or who was deemed to be a ‘3/10 or lower’.

Source: No shortage of sexist moments in 2020, but here’s who takes the cake

Popular children’s L.O.L dolls sold at Kmart are under scrutiny again

Bianca Stone, from Queensland, bought the L.O.L Surprise! doll from a local Coles for her daughter on Monday before getting an X-rated surprise.

The line, marketed for children aged six and up, features little girl figurines that are stylised to look like adults.

Disturbing sexualised outfits appear on dolls bodies once dipped into icy water, including shackles around the wrists, nipple coverings, skimpy underwear, tattoos, suspenders, long black boots and body nets.

Louise Newman, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne, said the dolls fall into a longstanding culture in marketing practices of sexualising young children.

She said the practice is dangerous as it can de-sensitive children to adult sexuality, potentially making them more vulnerable to predators.

Source: Popular children’s L.O.L dolls sold at Kmart are under scrutiny again | Daily Mail Online

Social justice firm says bishop’s comments put children at risk of sexual assault

Lawyers have condemned a Queensland bishop who encouraged priests to break new laws and risk prison time rather than break the “seal of confession” to report suspected or known cases of sexual abuse against children to police.

Social justice firm Maurice Blackburn Lawyers has slammed Bishop Michael McCarthy over his comments encouraging priests to break new laws and risk a three-year prison sentence rather than break the confessional seal to report child sexual abuse to police.

Under changes passed into law in Queensland, priests can be jailed if they fail to report confessions of child sexual abuse. The new legislation means that priests are not able to use the confessional as a defence or excuse in child sexual abuse matters.

Source: Social justice firm says bishop’s comments put children at risk of sexual assault – Lawyers Weekly

Scores of WA sex assault victims will never be heard after lost emails were deleted, WA Police confirms

At least two years of emails sent to an email address set up for victims of sexual assault to reach Western Australian police have been permanently deleted, the force has confirmed.

Dr Rachael Burgin, chairperson of Rape and Sexual Assault Research and Advocacy, an outfit that has previous called for an independent inquiry into the ordeal, said confirmation that the emails had all been lost was “an appalling breach of public trust and safety”.

“It’s unacceptable that the moment they discovered the error they did not immediately alert the public in order to salvage reports from affected survivors,” Dr Burgin said.

“The police only ever publicly admitted fault after media exposure. That long delay in alerting the public means that evidence will have deteriorated. People’s memories also deteriorate and this could jeopardise future trials.”

Source: Scores of WA sex assault victims will never be heard after lost emails were deleted, WA Police confirms

“Men know what a woman is in Holbeck.”

I’m often asked how I would feel if I was born in the wrong body. And I say, I’ve been feeling like that every single day for as long as I can remember. You only have to go into a shop, turn on the TV, open a magazine, click on the internet and women are assaulted with GET A BIKINI BODY, 12 WEEKS UNTIL YOUR CHRISTMAS PARTY BODY, GET THE BODY YOU DREAM OF, THE BODY OF SOMEONE 20 YEARS YOUNGER, THE BODY YOU DESERVE. Botox, surgery, hair removal, Photoshop, permanent makeup, designer vagina. We get it.

I don’t think all men are rapists. I don’t think all men are intrinsically violent, creepy or degenerate. God knows, I love my dad and my brother and my dear nine-year-old son. But 98% of sexual violence is committed by men. And there is no way to tell the good ones from the bad ones. There never will be. That’s why we need our spaces and services and boundaries, for our privacy, our dignity and our safety. It’s why we need to preserve the social norms which generally prevent men from entering our spaces and preserve our confidence to challenge men who do so. Bad men will do anything to gain access to women and girls. That’s why every institution in the world attracts those who will use power and access to abuse us. If they do it in schools, the care system, churches and families then they will sure as hell do it in prisons, toilets, refuges and changing rooms. They already are.

In terms of protecting females from a significant minority of dangerous males, these reasons don’t cease to operate when males self-identify as women. And self-identification removes any gatekeeping, safeguarding or requirement for any man to do anything other than complete a cursory administrative process via an online form.

I’m truly sorry for any man who feels imprisoned and tortured by masculinity. But that is something for men to deconstruct, to dismantle and to overthrow. And there are men doing it. There are transsexuals and crossdressers and allies against the male stereotypes which damage everyone. But it is not the moral duty of women to facilitate that. If your feminism prioritises the internal identifications of men over the material conditions of women then you are not a feminist. In a world of structural and systematic oppression, and an epidemic of male violence, we owe it to women and to the legacy of every feminist who has fought before us, to stand for ourselves.

Source: “Men know what a woman is in Holbeck.” – The Daily Glinner

ACT Victims of Crime Commissioner calls for examination of territory’s sexual abuse response

Support services have seen an increase in new and complex matters, but the opposite has been recorded by police.

The number of assaults reported to police by women was seven times higher than men, and almost 90 per cent of women who experienced assault by a man in the past decade did not report it.

Ms Yates said adopting recommendations made by the Sexual Assault Reform Program in 2005, including giving victims the ability to choose the gender of the police officer they report to, would make reporting easier.

She said the ACT was well-placed to adopt an international model of creating a “one-stop shop” for victims of violence to report the matter and access support services.

Source: ACT Victims of Crime Commissioner calls for examination of territory’s sexual abuse response | The Canberra Times | Canberra, ACT

Australian women in their late teens more likely to be victims of sexual assault

A new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reveals young men were most likely to be the perpetrators of sexual assault.

In 2018–19, 97% of sexual assault offenders recorded by police were men, the report found. The Personal Safety Survey does not rely on police data, but collects information directly from men and women aged 18 years and above about the nature and extent of violence they have experienced since the age of 15, whether they reported it to police or not.

The CEO of Gender Equity Victoria, Tanja Kovac, said despite the high-profile MeToo movement, high-profile prosecutions of men and increased investment in behavioural change, statistics around violence against women were worsening.

The CEO for Our Watch, Patty Kinnersly, said sexual assault is “devastatingly common in Australia”.

“It is also a highly gendered issue,” she said. “As the data consistently shows, what links all forms of violence against women is that they are overwhelmingly perpetrated by men.”

She said more needed to be done to address individual men’s attitudes and behaviours as well as attitudes embedded across society.

Source: Australian women in their late teens more likely to be victims of sexual assault | Australia news | The Guardian

Parramatta Girls Home Employed Child Sex Offenders

The Parramatta Girls Training School was an institution sadly run like many others throughout the 1950s to the 1970s.

Sexual abuse, psychological abuse and state-sanctioned slave labour weren’t just accepted regular practice at Parramatta Girls Home – these crimes were built into the foundation of the organisation.

Superintendent Percy Mayhew ruled Parramatta Girls Home like a ruthless warlord. He taught new officers to fondle, beat and rape the girls.

Parramatta Girls Home was the largest institution in New South Wales for girls.

Inmates were a mix of juvenile offenders, girls charged with exposure to moral danger and those deemed “uncontrollable” by the Children’s Magistrate.

Attempts to fight the system led to solitary confinement, or worse – the girls would be threatened with a trip on the overnight train to the dreaded Hay Institute (a maximum security prison for girls in the Riverina district that remained a guarded state secret until the early 2000’s).

Source: Parramatta Girls Home Employed Child Sex Offenders – Kelso Lawyers