Empathy cannot be taught. If it does not exist within it does not exist at all. The current politician who has been sent for empathy training is nothing less than a smokescreen to protect a parliamentary majority that is whittling itself away day by day.
Our Parliament is a cesspit of male misogyny, as is our society, it is beyond time for real change.
Crikey has published an appalling confection, promoted by others in the media, to cast doubt on the victim’s account and engender sympathy for alleged perpetrator Attorney-General Christian Porter, writes Dr Jennifer Wilson.Crikey’s malicious attempt to discredit victim in Porter rape allegation
A double-digit deterioration in perceptions of Scott Morrison’s personal attributes has been wholly driven by female votersRape allegations have shaken Canberra to its core – and may now be hitting the PM in the polls | Peter Lewis | Australia news | The Guardian
Journalist: A second woman has been raped. Prime Minister: I don’t need to know who that is. Imagine for one moment the tremendous privilege Mr Morrison enjoys that allows him to choose not to know. By any measure this is a bizarre reaction to such news, and one wonders why the Prime Minister felt compelled to let everyone know that he doesn’t know the name of the second victim, and, even more oddly, that he does not need to know.“Don’t tell me her name…” – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Another thought At some time in the human narrative… in our history, man declared himself superior to women. It must have been an accident, or at least an act of gross stupidity. But that’s men for you. ( John Lord )A tale of two wrongs: A rape and the Prime Minister’s response – » The Australian Independent Media Network
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange goes public for the first time with his version of events surrounding a rape allegation made against him.
The young African refugee known only as S99 says she was in the midst of an epileptic seizure when she was set upon and raped.
A 23-year-old “vulnerable and traumatised” Somali woman who was raped on Nauru is pleading with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to allow her to come to Australia to have an abortion.
Rapes, sexual assault, drugs for favours in Australia’s detention centre on Nauru: independent Moss review
The Moss Review found compelling evidence that at least three women have been raped inside the Nauru detention centre.
The Moss Review found compelling evidence that at least three women have been raped inside the Nauru detention centre. Photo: Angela Wylie
The full Moss Review report
Analysis: Taking out the trash but too clever by half
Someone owes someone an apology
An independent review into sexual abuse inside Australia’s detention centre on Nauru has found evidence of rape, sexual assault of minors and guards trading marijuana for sexual favours from female detainees.
The review, conducted by former integrity commissioner Philip Moss, found no evidence that Save the Children staff on Nauru had coached detainees to embarrass the Abbott government.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton shrugged off criticism that the damaging report was released under the cover of former prime minister Malcolm Fraser’s death on Friday.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton shrugged off criticism that the damaging report was released under the cover of former prime minister Malcolm Fraser’s death on Friday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Former immigration minister Scott Morrison called the Moss review in October 2014 after he removed Save the Children staff, based on the advice of his department, amid suspicions they had encouraged self-harm, facilitated protests and fabricated assault allegations.
New Immigration Minister Peter Dutton shrugged off criticism that the damaging report was released on Friday afternoon under the cover of the death of former prime minister Malcolm Fraser but acknowledged the contents of the review were “concerning”.
Mr Moss found compelling evidence that at least three women have been raped inside the detention centre and raised concern that sexual assault is likely to be under-reported due to a climate of fear and detainees worrying about their future refugee status.
“The review became aware of three allegations of rape (two female and one female minor), one which the Nauruan Police Force is investigating and two which the victims do not want to pursue by making a complaint. These allegations are concerning. They are also concerning because two of the victims do not feel able to bring forward these allegations to relevant authorities,” the report states.
The report confirmed that one of the suspected rapists, a male detainee, has been given refugee status and settled on Nauru.
Many of the complaints by female asylum seekers revolve around Nauruan guards employed by Australian contractors Wilson Security and Transfield Services, with allegations of drunkenness and lechery. Twelve guards have been sacked by those companies for misconduct.
Female detainees live in an environment of fear, according to the review. It details instances of guards spying on women as they lie inside their tents in their underwear due to the tropical heat of Nauru.
A female detainee reported a guard “drunk and on drugs” stopping her in front of a tent. “Then he suddenly grabbed my arm and he said ‘you are so sexy and you’re so beautiful’,” she told Mr Moss.
An incident in which a guard demanded to see a female detainee naked in return for allowing her an extra two minutes in the shower with her young child was confirmed.
Mr Moss found evidence of “sexual favours being exchanged for marijuana is possibly occurring” based on interviews with detainees.
A Wilson intelligence report of June 2014, obtained by the review, suggested that “organised prostitution … in relation to trading of contraband” was happening.
The review obtained information from intelligence reports authored by Wilson Security staff, highlighting possible “subversive” activity by Save the Children staff.
“None of this information indicated conclusively to the review that particular contract service provider staff members had engaged in these activities,” it found.
Mr Moss has proposed that the department find a way to resolve the unfair deportation of the staff.
Save the Children chief executive Paul Ronalds said the charity was sure from the start its staff had done nothing wrong.
“The idea that they could do anything to put children in harm’s way is absurd. We have said this right from the very beginning. The Moss Inquiry shows beyond a doubt that there was and is no basis to these claims,” he said.
“What’s deeply troubling is the evidence uncovered by the Moss Inquiry supporting allegations of sexual and physical assaults on Nauru including allegations of rape, one of which was against a child.
“There was never any need for fabrication or exaggeration by Save the Children staff – the evidence is clear.”
Mr Dutton said the government accepted all 19 recommendations of the Moss Review and said Nauru would work to solve problems highlighted.
“They don’t have a tolerance for illegal behaviour, including in particular sexual assault. I find the thought of anybody, in particular children, being sexually assaulted completely abhorrent,” he said.
“It’s not something that we would accept in Australia and it’s not something that the Nauruans accept in their community either.”
The Australian Lawyers Alliance said the Commonwealth cannot outsource care of asylum seekers and could be liable for a “swathe of future compensation claims”.
“The nature of allegations raised in the Moss Review of sexual harassment, rape, trading sexual favours for marijuana and cigarettes and children being touched inappropriately, if proven, show that the Commonwealth has failed in its duty to take reasonable care of asylums seekers.”
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A gang-rape victim has been denied more than half her victim-of-crime compensation because the law was changed retrospectively during the six years it took to process her claim.
Katrina Keshishian, who was raped by three men at Windsor in Sydney’s outer-west in 2008, has told her harrowing story to 7.30 in the hope that the New South Wales Government might reassess her case.
Ms Keshishian, then 20, was out with her family at her local Leagues Club at St Mary’s when she decided to stay on and have a drink and a flutter on the pokies after her parents left. She was approached by a young man.
“He seemed like a really nice guy, we started talking, we had a lot in common at the time, so I had no reason to be in fear of the man,” she said.
“I was having a good time.”
The man suggested that they go out to a nightclub to go dancing and she agreed. He brought two friends along for the ride.
Ms Keshishian said she started to feel nervous as the car drove 20 kilometres to Windsor down dark roads, but she suppressed her gut instinct.
Instead of the nightclub, the men took her to the riverbank at Windsor. It was dark and deserted, but they said they just wanted to hang out and have a few beers before going dancing.
One thing led to another and Katrina went off with the first man she had met at the Leagues Club. They had consensual sex.
“And after we finished, I opened my eyes and his friends were standing behind him and he turned around to his friends and said, ‘Sharing’s caring, get down here’,” she said.
“That’s when the other two took turns at raping me,” a sobbing Ms Keshishian told 7.30.
“They just had sex with me. It was horrible.”
The men then took Ms Keshishian back to St Mary’s, where they dumped her at a petrol station.
She went inside, crying and covered with mud and told the attendant about the rape. They called the police immediately, who took her to hospital for a rape examination.
Government slashed compensation available to crime victims
Two of the men, who had prior criminal convictions, were charged with rape and were held on remand.
But fearing the humiliation of cross-examination in court, Ms Keshishian eventually pulled out.
Even though the men were not convicted, Ms Keshishian applied, as was her right, for victim’s compensation.
“My rape was classified as a category three sexual assault because there were two or more offenders … so I was meant to receive a sum anywhere between $25,000 to $50,000,” she said.
To me, it says to me is that the Government doesn’t care about victims. All it cares about is money, saving some money.Katrina Keshishian
After waiting six years, finally, in June this year, Ms Keshishian’s claim was approved – the assessors found that she was raped.
While it processed her claim, the NSW Government retrospectively changed compensation awards for victims.
But there was a catch. Her payout had been slashed from up to $50,000 to $15,000.
“I don’t think it’s fair,” Ms Kershishian said.
“Not to me and not to the hundreds or thousands of other people that are going through the same thing that I’m going through.”
Now she has started a Change.org petition which has attracted thousands of signatures.
“To me, it says to me is that the Government doesn’t care about victims,” she said.
“All it cares about is money, saving some money.”
Twenty-four thousand victims of crime had their compensation retrospectively cut last year when the law was enacted.
Many were female survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, and child abuse victims.
Attorney-General defends move to save budget expense
Despite being asked repeatedly, Attorney-General Brad Hazzard would not be drawn on the morality of changing the law retrospectively – a decision made by his predecessor.
At the end of the day we also have to make sure that we’re providing a scheme, a system, that’s sustainable, financially, for the State.Attorney-General Brad Hazzard
But he insisted the Government needed to save money.
“Each of us who are in that difficult position of having to look at whether or not a particular compensation scheme is appropriate or not, agonise for people like Katrina and people in the same situation – it’s awful,” Mr Hazzard told 7.30.
“And it’s almost unbelievable that there can be animals out there that can do these sorts of things to people.
“But at the end of the day we also have to make sure that we’re providing a scheme, a system, that’s sustainable, financially, for the State.”
NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge fought the Government’s compensation cuts.
“I think that (the Government) just took a political view of it,” Mr Shoebridge said.
“They realised that victims of crime, they’re damaged, they’re often isolated, they’re very disparate, they’re scattered around the state.
“They find it very hard to politically organise and, in the eyes of the Government, here was an easy way of taking $40 million and getting budget savings and they won’t be able to collectively organise to make much of a fuss.”
Compensation changes present double standard: advocate
NSW Rape Crisis Centre chief executive Karen Willis said there was a double standard when it came to victims of sexual assault.
“If someone has a terrible car accident and permanent injury, we would say, of course, they should be compensated for that,” Ms Willis said.
“When someone experiences sexual assault the psychological impact is trauma.
“Just because you can’t see the injury, just because it’s a psychological injury does not mean it’s not incredibly painful and that we shouldn’t be looking at compensation to assist that person to recover.”
Ms Keshishian said no amount of money will undo the rape, but it would help ease the financial strain of years out of the full-time workforce and counselling bills.
She is slowly getting her life back together, but will never forget that night by the river.
“This rape, this gang-rape ruined my life – they took away something from me something that was mine to give, not theirs,” Ms Keshishian told 7.30.
“I see their faces every day. Every night I go to sleep I have nightmares, every night. It’s not like I can just forget.
“It’s horrible being a victim of a rape, let alone a gang-rape where there’s multiple offenders and I can hear them laughing, in my dreams, every night, laughing at me.”
AMANDA VANSTONE 7:34am The media response seems to be rather different for Bill Shorten.
Once an idiot always an idiot. Amanda Vanstone’s article on Bill Shorten is proof positive of Vanstone’s disregard for truth. She begins with not knowing Shorten’s age. He was born in 1967 Amanda you either failed math or you just make it up as you go along. He is not 44!!!
Shorten was far from kidding himself and very wise raising the issue before your mob could savage it like the mongrels you are. Unlike you kidding yourself that that you can bring any new incite to the story other than keep it running. Get a life your a lazy commentator Amanda Vanstone. Shorten was fully aware what you media trolls could do with it. Particularly those of the Newscorp and the 2GB variety. He came out first and removed the pounce you would all have done banging heads in the hope to run with it.
What saints you all were running your personal little jihads of restraint
‘there has been a good deal of restraint excercised by both the media and members of parliament in the lead up to and since.’
There is no comparison with Tony Abbott as there were witnesses to the fact that he scared the shit out of Barbara Ramjan. If you deny that you might just be asked to make a court enforced public apology as did Andrew Bolt,Michael Kroger and Alan Jones when they tried to deny that it was truth. So go ahead Amanda deny it publicly please.
If a similar complaint were made against Abbott with his track record of abuse and violence maybe it wouldn’t be held back. There is a clear history of misogynist behaviour by Abbott not by Shorten. However we know for sure if it was Tony you,Newscorp or 2GB would not have said a peep. Would the ABC and Fairfax the leftist media you work for break the news? Do they have your over blown sense of integrity?
What a load of speculative lazy codswallop you write. You have plagiarised idea from Andrew Bolt’s self aggrandisement on the Bolt Report That was his excuse for not breaking it. You are the Australian journalist that Frank Sinatra once failed to compliment. I’ll say no more and show restraint b***h.
You all weren’t fast enough nor were politicians. Why don’t you name and shame those investigative journalists those trolls with no morals you allude to in your commentary? Wouldn’t it be sweet revenge for catching you out for taking $$$$ to change a known Mafia persons immigration status and allowing him to remain in this country on compassionate grounds. Another moment of personal jihad was it Amanda Vanstone?