Friday, 29 April 2016

Nauru Rape Victim

As abortion is illegal on Nauru they should give some thought to making rape illegal as well. The same goes for Papua New Guinea who have 7 year jail sentences for having terminations and also a horrific culture of sexual assault. Both countries must have women pregnant from violent sexual assault being expected to bear children from those assaults.  How does this concern Australia other than being an issue women can relate to.

A female refugee was raped on Nauru whilst barely conscious after an epileptic seizure. She is pregnant from the sexual assault and wants a termination. Abortion is illegal in Nauru so for some inexplicable reason the Australian Government have transferred her to Papua New Guinea where abortion is also illegal.

It is beyond belief that the Government can be so intransigent in the face of what has a simple solution.  Fly this woman to Australia and allow the absolute misery she must be experiencing carrying a child she does not want.  So what if the doctors refuse to send her back to Nauru.  Her situation is hopefully rare being violently assaulted whilst in detention by the Australian Government and becoming pregnant from the violent assault.

Write to the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and also Peter Dutton, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and let them know your views.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Treatment of Boko Haram survivors

It seemed outrageous when Boko Haram abducted young girls to provide sex for the men who fight for them. They have abducted thousands but the ones we all remember are the 276 teenagers abducted in 2014.  At the time the Nigerian Government did not seem to put a lot of effort into rescuing the young women even knowing that they would have been being raped on a regular basis.

Now some of these young women and others have escaped, or been rescued, following a series of Nigerian Government military operations.  These young women have returned home with babies fathered by their rapists.  They now face discrimination and suspicion.  Many of them live in displacement camps run by the Nigerian Government. For many there is no other place to go as their villages were destroyed and their families killed by Boko Haram.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in 2015 rape in Nigeria was not just an outcome of the general chaos of war but was a calculated "tactic of terror."

These women and their children deserve better treatment than a Government run displacement camp.  Prisoners of war have regulations about their treatment. These young women have been prisoners of war who have returned to their country.  The Government needs to set up proper programs to resettle them and assist them to look after their children.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Bad Behaviour

In the past twenty-four hours there have been media articles about bad behaviour at Melbourne University and the University of New South Wales Baxter College.  Melbourne University students have an offensive Facebook page and there has been commentary about how the “Hotties of Melbourne Uni” Facebook page perpetuates rape culture by normalising predatory behaviour towards women. Baxter College undergraduates have been the subject of a 7.30 Report on the ABC about misogynist and sexist chants which took place on a ‘Boys Night Out.’   Both the Facebook page and the sexist behaviour have been roundly condemned.

The problem is however that these young men think this behaviour is even remotely acceptable.   These young men are in the privileged position of attending tertiary institutions and will become leaders in our community in decades to come.  By allowing these attitudes to continue universities are not taking responsibility for the upholding of societal norms and the strengthening of an equal society. Universities need a campaign across the country aimed at male undergraduates about acceptable behaviour and suspension or being expelled for bad behaviour of this nature.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

New Centre for Ballarat

It is good to see Cardinal Pell acknowledging that many victims of childhood sexual assault have long term psychological damage that needs assistance so they can get on with living meaningful lives.  It is not, however, good to suggest new ways of assisting people, possibly funded by and attached to the Catholic Church, by the establishment of a new centre for victims of sexual assault in Ballarat.  Churches, other institutions and bureaucracies  have long had a conflict of interest when dealing with criminal activity by their own people.  Sexual assault needs to be dealt with by independent organisations who can advocate fearlessly for their clients.

Adults and children in Victoria, who have been sexual assaulted or have had family members and friends assaulted, have had a extensive professional sexual assault service system for decades.  This system is currently under pressure due to the large number of people disclosing sexual assault, not just by clerygy, in fact predominantly by family and friends.  The increase in referrals is related to the ongoing publicity generated by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the Victorian Parliamentary Enquiry into Child Abuse prior to the Royal Commission. The Centres Against Sexual Assault need more funding so that they can deal with the volume of requests they are receiving and also have capacity to undertake preventive work and research.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Malka Leifer

Malka Leifer was the school principal of the ultra orthodox school Adass Israel.  She has been accused of sexual assaulting students.  She fled to Israel in 2008 and has been under house arrest since 2014.  Mrs Leifer has failed to appear in the Jerusalem District Court 7 times and now has her lawyers asking for the case to be adjourned for up to two years.  This is insulting to victims  and is treating the Israeli judicial system like a joke.  This woman should return to Australia, show some respects for her alleged victims, and talk to Victoria Police