Monthly Archives: August 2018

Memories 😬


I take permission from the fact that Carolyn wants her hymn to be shared and we need to sing these sorrows.

By Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 8-23-2018
Author’s Note: This new hymn is in response to the latest news of abuse by clergy; it was written with input from survivors and counselors. The hymn also references Pope Francis’ Aug. 20 letter, using in particular: “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26). Please share the hymn with priests, pastors, church musicians, counselors, friends and others who might find it helpful. Permission is given for its free use. Prayers, including sung ones, and actions are needed to “Bring healing, love and mercy; Bring justice, God of truth.”

PASSION CHORALE 7.6.7.6.D (“O Sacred Head, Now Wounded”)

O God, when trust is shattered
by wolves among your sheep,
when youth and children suffer,
when those remembering weep,
when victims tell their stories,
when leaders hide abuse,
bring healing, love and mercy!
Bring justice, God of truth!

When leaders side with evil,
when people do their worst,
may we reach out to victims
and put their healing first.
If any member suffers,
we all will suffer, too.
Bring healing, love and mercy!
Bring justice, God of truth!

WATCH: Hymns for Our Weary World
We pray that the abusers
will learn sin’s awful cost,
and — making no excuses —
will know that they are lost.
Then may they find redemption—
as we all need it, too.
Bring healing, love and mercy!
Bring justice, God of truth!

May all who serve in churches
be careful, watchful, wise.
May we prevent abuses
and hear your children’s cries.
We pray that institutions
will seek your way anew.
Bring healing, love and mercy!
Bring justice, God of truth!

Tune: Hans Leo Hassler, 1601; harmony by Johann Sebastian Bach, 1729
Text: Copyright (c) 2018 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: bcgillette@comcast.net New Hymns: http://www.carolynshymns.com

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette
Carolyn Winfrey Gillette is the author of over 400 hymns that have been sung by thousands of congregations around the world, and are found in 20 books and thousands of web sites, including http://www.carolynshymns.com. Many of her hymns are published at Sojourners and are also found in Christian Century magazine, The New Yorker, National Public Radio, and PBS-TV. She and her husband Bruce are Presbyterian ministers who have served congregations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey.

Why are we trusting repeat sex offenders to be of good behaviour and to comply with their conditions of release? 🤐🤐🤐🤐

Why are we trusting repeat sex offenders to be of good behaviour and to comply with their conditions of release?

No matter how strict those conditions may be, surely there comes a time when we realise as a community that some people are just not worthy of our trust and the risk is just too great to bear, no matter what precautions we take.

Recently a 54 yr old man who has been declared a dangerous sex offender under West Australian legislation, appeared in the W.A Supreme Court via video link from Casuarina prison.

He was approved for release.

Now release for him will look somewhat different to release for most sex offenders as he has over 50 restrictions placed on him, including he must live at a specific address, he must take particular medications and he must have no “unauthorised” contact with children.

No “unauthorised” contact with children……now that must be a mis-print.. he should never again be allowed to go near ANY child.

This man, who we are not allowed to know the name of, “to supposedly protect his victims from being identified”, was serving a sentence of 5 years and 3 months for sexually abusing his Granddaughter in 2009/2010…… she was 6 years old.

I won’t even get into what a joke that sentence is… but obviously grossly inadequate and here is why…

Whilst he was being interviewed by police he also admitted to raping his half-sister in the 1980’s.

Before that admission his sexual offences were known to go back to 1997 and included convictions for molesting his daughter when she was 11 years old and his step-daughter when she was 12 year old.

Now, I’m just putting it out there, but I don’t care how many conditions are imposed on this man, I don’t believe he deserves the opportunity to destroy another life.

Four lives…… that we know of……, over at least a 20 year period… leopards don’t change their spots and repeat sex offenders don’t stop offending unless they are physically restrained from doing so. i.e prison.

So why do we take chances with children’s lives?

Sadly, this is one of the better outcomes in our “Justice” System. He was declared a “Dangerous Sex Offender” under W.A legislation which allows for offenders to be kept in custody beyond their release date and to have these special conditions applied to their release back into the community.

Most sex offenders don’t have such strict conditions placed upon them and as we know child rapists don’t stop just because we make it difficult for them.

Surely it must be time that our courts realise when a child sex abuser shows us what they are and what they are capable of doing, we should believe them and not give them the opportunity to continue adding to their list of victims’ lives ruined.

As Maya Angelou would say,
When someone shows you who they are, believe them… the very first time.
(TC)

#facaa #ProudFacaa #Justice #LegalReform #Child #ChildAbuse #Rape #ChildRape #GuardiansOfTheInnocent #VoiceForTheVoiceless #FromHellWeRise #HopeForTheHopeless #EndingChildAbuse #RaisingAwareness #ChangingLives #HealingSurvivors #ChangingLaws #JuliasJustice #PhoenixProgram #MayaAngelou #WeWillFight #StandUp #SaveTheKids #FromHellWeRise

Mark Harvey who sexually abused 4 children and raped a child in his out of hours school care program, is eligible for parole after only 6 years behind bars.🤐🤐

Mark Harvey who sexually abused 4 children and raped a child in his out of hours school care program, is eligible for parole after only 6 years behind bars.

The childcare worker whose crimes ruined the childhood of four girls and revealed systemic government failure in dealing with sex abuse cases is eligible for release next month.

Sadly both the SA government and opposition have taken a “wait and see” approach to Harvey and his release. This approach has angered every child advocate out there including longtime friend of FACAA Hetty Johnston of Bravehearts who said sex offenders “should not be taken lightly”.
“These aren’t people who steal your car, they destroy human lives,” she said.
“Politicians seem to take this really lightly, which I don’t understand at all given society expects them to ensure dangerous predators aren’t released into the community.
“We should never keep people in jail longer than needed, but nor should we be allowing sex offenders out until they pose a low, or better yet no, risk to the community.” – Well said as always Hetty.

Harvey, 47, began offending against children in his care in January 2007. As the leader of a suburban school’s OSHC he rewarded children with lollies and physical contact so he could condition them to be receptive to his touch.

His crimes included blindfolding victims for sexually-explicit “taste tests” and softly biting their toes to satisfy his foot fetish. His offending continued until December 2011, when he was arrested and charged with a sex crime committed 12 months earlier.

Funnily enough the SA education department chose NOT to tell parents about Harvey’s offending, they cited suppression orders and due process for not telling parents but the fact is none of that was in place and they should have told them !

The way this case was handled kicked off the Debelle enquiry, which was an inquiry by retired Justice Bruce Debelle. It found the Education Department had been wrong to keep those details from parents. It further uncovered multiple communication failures between the department and the then-Weatherill Government in its handling of child sex cases.

To make matters much worse Harvey was convicted of all crimes in May 2014 but made eligible for release in May 2015, prompting an appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions. Thankfully it succeeded and he was resentenced to 11 years jail – his non-parole period was extended until August 2018.

We are not exactly sure how that works, an 11 year sentence having a 4 year non parole period but it was a LOT better than the original sentence of not even a year behind bars, that he originally received.

Parole Board chair Frances Nelson QC confirmed Harvey “will be considered for parole” in the ordinary course – which included assessment.
“He will be interviewed by the Board before any decision is made,” she said.
“I cannot give you a time frame but, the way we are going and because of our workload, it probably won’t be for a few weeks.”

So here he is a child sexual assaulter who betrayed the trust of vulnerable children in an horrendous manner, being released after just 6 years behind bars, that’s barely 1 year per child that he horrendously abused !

His original conviction was hidden from the parents of the school that he worked at and then he was given only 1 year behind bars. Thankfully on appeal 1 year became 11, but just who does this guy have dirt on to get all this preferential treatment ?

Thank god for the Debelle enquiry ! Without it the SA state government would more than likely still be covering up child abuse cases in it’s departments !

#FACAA #ProudFACAA #SA #SAPOL #SAPolice #ChildSexualAssault #ChildAssault #Child #Abuse #DeBelleEnquiry #SaveTheKids #CoverUp #Deception #GuardiansOfTheInnocent #VoiceForTheVoiceless #HopeForTheHopeless #ChildrensChampions #EndingChildAbuse #RaisingAwareness #ChangingLives #HealingSurvivors #ChangingLaws #Legal #Law #LegalReform #JuliasJustice #PhoenixProgram #WeWillFight #StandUp #FromHellWeRise

Damen Stephens has finally been sent to prison after being found guilty of child exploitation material, stalking and stabbing offences. Why did it take so many charges to put him away ?

Damen Stephens has finally been sent to prison after being found guilty of child exploitation material, stalking and stabbing offences. Why did it take so many charges to put him away ?

Oh yeah he also bit his mum on the thumb so badly it literally mutilated it and then came back and set her house on fire.

Damen’s offences began all the way back in 2012 when he stalked a fellow psychology course alum in his Melbourne university course. Imagine if the system had come down as hard as they should have back then, all these crimes could have been prevented.

He approached the woman and addressed her by name, even though she had never met him before. It would later be revealed he first saw the victim on a tram in Chapel Street a year earlier. By July 2014 the victim’s repeated request to stop him messaging her over social media had failed and the court granted the victim a personal safety order.
But this only made Stephens’ messages aggressive, and they now totalled several thousands words.

“Just a red rag to a bull,” he wrote.

“You’re worth me spending the rest of my life in prison for.

“You shall become the hunted.”

Eventually our system took it seriously and police raided his house, when they did they found 519 images and 27 videos of child exploitation material. Sadly he was not sent to prison for these charges as we all know what our legal system thinks of child exploitation material charges.

After the raid the stalking messages ceased until August 2016 when Stephens’ messaged the victim saying: “I’m more on edge than I have ever been” and “my entire life is dedicated to destroying yours”. He also referred to her home address and her mother. He was soon arrested and charged but in May 2017 was released on bail. During this trial his defence team tried to have his child exploitation material charges suppressed as they thought it would have him targeted during the prison sentence. This request was thankfully rejected.

Once again Damen stopped stalking his victim, for a while…. Five months later the messages became even more aggressive with Stephens’ saying his life was dedicated to slicing her face off and “my life for yours”. So everytime they let him out he stops for a while then eventually starts up again. DOES THIS NOT TELL YOU TO SIMPLY KEEP HIM BEHIND BARS ?

On October 6, Stephens was living with his mother as part of his bail conditions when he began assaulting her after a fight about her pet dogs, biting her thumb so hard it was partially severed before he left the house. Hours later he returned.

This time setting the house on fire, causing $420,000 damage, while filming the act and sending it to his stalking victim. Imagine her fear when she viewed the video of this maniac burning down his mother’s home… but yes let him out of prison one more time… that was a great idea.

The court heard that on the following night, October 7, Stephens’ was seated at a table outside St Kilda Cellars in Fitzroy Street when he called the men sitting nearby “f—wits” and lunged at them with a 30-centimetre knife in front of other members of the public.

Two men were stabbed in the arm and one in the stomach, back and torso as well. One of the victims underwent surgery to remove part of his tricep muscle and needed 22 stitches. The entire attack was caught on CCTV.

Stephens’ was arrested two days later and charged with stalking, committing an indictable offence while on bail, possession of child pornography, arson, failure to answer bail, contravention of a personal safety order and intentionally cause injury.

He sat silently throughout his sentencing and looked only at the judge. Since his most recent arrest he has shaved his head and grown a long, white beard. Ms Hannan sentenced Stephens, who pleaded guilty, to 11 years and one month in jail with a non-parole period of eight years. He must also pay a $1600 fine and will be placed on the sex offenders’ register for eight years.

So finally a decent sentence, one that might actually make him think twice about offending against his stalking victim again (we say might but we doubt it very highly) however we can’t help but wonder, what if the initial judge would have just done this in the first place ?

Shouldn’r the judges and parole boards who let Stephens out of prison be charged with accessory to the stabbing crime ? Considering if not for their actions the crime would never have occurred in the first place ? …. Ahhh if only hey

Isn’t it time our legal system took stalking and child exploitation material charges as seriously as they did the assault charges ?

Why don’t they take these charges seriously ? is it because the stalking and child exploitation material possession happened in secret and not publicly ? The stabbing offences were very public as was the system’s reaction.

Ok so let’s make child exploitation material and stalking charges made very public ! Let’s make it well known when someone has been convicted of these offences, so we can get a good sentence finally !

Yeah we doubt it will happen too… Should happen but then again a parole board who release a psychopath against advice should be charged with accessory charges to any crimes they subsequently commit.

If our system had taken child exploitation and stalking charges seriously Stephens mother’s home would still be standing and no one would have been stabbed. When is our legal system going to recognise the seriousness of pre-cursor offences ?

#FACAA #ProudFACAA #VIC #VICPOL #VICPolice #ChildExploitationMaterial #NotChildPorn #PornImpliesConsent #GuardiansOfTheInnocent #VoiceForTheVoiceless #HopeForTheHopeless #ChildrensChampions #EndingChildAbuse #RaisingAwareness #ChangingLives #HealingSurvivors #ChangingLaws #Legal #Law #LegalReform #JuliasJustice #PhoenixProgram #WeWillFight #StandUp #FromHellWeRise #TakeChildExploitationMaterialChargesSeriously #CouldHaveAllBeenAvoided

It’s okay to fall down now and then – what matters is that you get back up.💥💥

It’s okay to fall down now and then – what matters is that you get back up.

As survivors and supporters of survivors of abuse, we are inundated with messages that praise strength. Social and mainstream media all seem to portray strong willed, resilient people as heroes, people to look up to and imitate. Of course, that is very true but it can also be very tiring to keep on being strong when inside you feel like everything is spinning out of control.

I am sure that I am not the only one who has soldiered through the day, proclaiming to be fine, then cried in the shower, been unable to eat, woken petrified in the dead of night from nightmares and so on. I can well recall many times when I felt so sick and tired of being strong, and just wanted to give up completely. Those who call me strong don’t know about the times when I still lay awake for hours with my heart and mind racing, or about the silent tears I shed. Almost every other survivor or supporter that I have spoken to admits to much the same things.

Let’s make it clear though – getting through abuse and being strong is not about never feeling depressed or angry, it’s not about being permanently in control and calm. It’s about facing and accepting all of the self doubt, the fear, the frustration, anger, trauma and pain and deciding that those things are not going to beat or define you. It is not a straight or easy path to follow and there is no map or GPS to guide you, but you struggle on anyway, sometimes taking wrong turns and getting lost but always finding your way back eventually – that is surviving.

Whether you have lived through abuse yourself or you are supporting someone who has, self care is very important. You cannot be there for others or for yourself without being kind to yourself.

Some of the things that you can do to help you deal with stress, trauma and anxiety are; practice mindfulness – living in and appreciating the moment, eat well and regularly, get some exercise, get outdoors for a while each day, go barefoot, do something you enjoy, learn to appreciate being alone and quiet sometimes, be creative, listen to music, accept the support of others, avoid negative people, try to get enough sleep, speak to your GP if you are struggling and need some professional help. Most of all, don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. There will be days when even getting out of bed seems like an insurmountable hurdle – celebrate the little victories unashamedly.

We all fall down sometimes, what matters is that we get back up and grow stronger from it. Life may not be easy but it is worth it. One step forward and two steps back doesn’t have to
be a failure, just make it part of the dance. (GE)

#survivors #roughbutworthyroad #reachout #ProudFACAA #FACAA #ruok #keepondancing #fighters #GuardiansOfTheInnocent #VoiceForTheVoiceless #HopeForTheHopeless #ChildrensChampions #EndingChildAbuse #RaisingAwareness #ChangingLaws #HealingSurvivors #ChangingLives #NeverGonnaStop #WeWillFight #SaveTheKids #SevenTimesDownEightTimesUp #GetBackUp #GetUp #NeverStayDown #JuliasJustice #PhoenixProgram

Brian McHugh 💣💣

Brian McHugh pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a child. Magistrate Koula Kossiavelos kept him out of prison, off the sex offenders register and ordered tax payers to pay $3000 to cover his travel costs to court…. WHY ?

Brian McHugh a Christian brother who indecently assaulted a 9 year old student in his care by his own admission has not only avoided a prison sentence for doing so, but also avoided being added to the sex offender’s register and even somehow has gotten his travel costs covered by the taxpayer.

I bet you feel great knowing that thanks to Magistrate Kossiavelos $3000 of your tax dollars went to funding the flights of a convicted child abuser. If it were a wrongfully convicted person I could understand the state footing their travel bill but this guy was convicted ! How the hell does that work ?

A court says Brian Anthony McHugh should be compensated because of SA Police’s delays in prosecuting his “unfortunate, one-off” crime.

In sentencing Adelaide Magistrate Koula Kossiavelos said McHugh had spent his life “serving the disadvantaged” and was “guilt-ridden” by his actions.

“It’s a difficult situation when one is dealing with child sex offending,” she said.

“However, McHugh has led an exemplary life — more so than others — and his likelihood of reoffending is nil”.

“He does not require rehabilitation.”

McHugh, 69, of Maylands in WA, pleaded guilty to one count of indecent assault.

WRONG MAGISTRATE WRONG, WRONG, VERY WRONG !
HE DID NOT LIVE AN EXEMPLARY LIFE, HE ABUSED A CHILD, THAT IS FAR FROM EXEMPLARY !

Child abusers ARE NOT people of good character and for a magistrate to say that one has lived an exemplary life more so than others, just shows she doesn’ get it. Whether it is 1 victim or 20, he has abused a child and does not deserve credit for not abusing more.

If he was really “guilt ridden” he would have handed himself in ! Someone who is “guilt ridden” doesn’t go about their days as per normal like nothing at all happened ! Someone who is guilt ridden doesn’t initially plead innocent, they apologise and beg forgiveness from their victim and their family !

The offence occurred more than 30 years ago, in the school’s sports shed, where McHugh — then the hockey coach — had sent the boy as a punishment. Brevet Sergeant Amanda Sparnon, prosecuting, said McHugh assaulted the boy from behind.

“McHugh forced him to remain in a bent-over position … (the boy) could hear his heavy breathing but McHugh did not say anything,” she said.

“The force of McHugh’s assault was so great it brought (the boy) to his tiptoes … he felt worthless, vulnerable and ‘like nothing’.” She said McHugh denied the offending when he was first interviewed by police. Someone who is “guilt ridden” does not lie about the offending when asked about it. Magistrate you could not have gotten this one any more wrong if you tried, so I must wonder, what is it about this case that you are so willing to basically let him off with less than a slap on the wrist, in fact he came out of this case with a $3000 payout !

The Sergeant urged the court to place McHugh on the national sex offenders register and ordered he serve a prison term. Barrister David Edwardson QC, for McHugh, said his client had earned only a meagre wage as a Brother, (how does someone on a “meagre wage” afford a QC ? It appears someone is looking out for him ), and had lost his job due to the court case. He said McHugh had no prior convictions of any kind and was highly regarded by friends and the Brothers. He urged the court to act “as mercifully as possible”. Well Mr Edwardson the court did just that, maybe that’s how he did it. Maybe Magistrate Koula Kossiavelos listens to QCs, maybe she likes the work of the Christian Brothers.

“This is an isolated, one-off offence, there was no skin-to-skin contact, there was no ongoing conduct and only one victim,” he said. (That you know about)

His QC went on to say “This is a man who was drawn to the ideals of helping those less fortunate, and that is effectively what this man has done his entire life. “He does, through me, publicly apologise … patently, he poses no danger to the community and there’s no justification for a custodial sentence.”

Hold up, he didn’t even apologise himself ? He got his lawyer to apologise for him ? Come on, how can that possibly be called the actions of a man who is “guilt ridden” if you really are so racked with guilt you would at least make the apology yourself ! This is getting more and more ridiculous by the minute !

Mr Edwardson asked SA Police be ordered to pay McHugh more than $3000 to cover his expenses, which included the cost of flying to Adelaide from WA.

Ms Kossiavelos said the boy suffered ongoing trauma into adulthood, resulting in a loss of self-confidence and a failure to reach his full potential in life. She said he continued to feel “put down” and “humiliated” by the indecent assault.

So she knows that this is not a victimless crime and even acknowledges the pain and suffering this Christian Brother has caused, yet still she agreed immediate imprisonment was not warranted for McHugh.

“This was an unfortunate incident, but it was a one-off incident,” she said.

NO NO NO NO NO ! CHILD ABUSE IS NOT AN “UNFORTUNATE INCIDENT” IT IS A DELIBERATE, COWARDLY, SELFISH ACT THAT DAMAGES CHILDREN AND CHANGES WHO THEY ARE, FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. IT CAUSES A RIPPLE EFFECT THAT TOUCHES THE LIVES OF EVERYONE SURROUNDING BOTH THE VICTIM AND THE OFFENDER !

How dare you say this is an unfortunate incident, the only unfortunate thing is it took so long to come to court and that you chose to let McHugh off scott free.
Clearly you have no clue about child abuse or the pain it causes to those who survive it !

Magistrate Kossiavelos imposed an eight-month jail term, suspended on condition of a 12-month, $500 good behaviour bond. She declined to place McHugh on the sex offenders register and ordered police to pay his travel costs.

It is not often a convicted sex offender is left off the register and I did not believe it could be possible in this case but sadly it is, sadly she really did let him totally off the hook and then ordered that tax payers foot the bill for his travel expenses.

What has this nation come to ? What depths has our legal system fallen to that we now reward child abusers by paying their travel bills even though they are found guilty, we used to send them to prison and put them on the sex offender’s register. Now apparently we don’t.

This decision is an insult to child abuse survivors, the police involved in making the arrest, the public defenders and most of all to the little 9 year old boy who has spent his life trying to recover from this “unfortunate one-off incident” perpetrated by a man of such good character who has led such an “exemplary life” that he not only deserved to avoid prison and the sex offender’s register but apparently also deserved to be financially compensated . This surely is a bad joke.

#FACAA #ProudFACAA #WA #WAPOL #WAPolice #GuardiansOfTheInnocent #VoiceForTheVoiceless #HopeForTheHopeless #ChildrensChampions #EndingChildAbuse #RaisingAwareness #ChangingLives #HealingSurvivors #ChangingLaws #Legal #Law #LegalReform #JuliasJustice #PhoenixProgram #WeWillFight #StandUp #FromHellWeRise #Magistrate #Abhorrent #OutOfTouch #ChristianBrother #IvoryTower #NoClue #NoIdea