Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Fringe of Darkness

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  • steven crawford,

    Its, Is the man who is tall happy? I recommend this film. It’s a great circuit breaker.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4016 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Finding A Voice,

    Well done you. With you finding a voice I believe you are on your way. Best wishes on your difficult journey. Kia Kaha.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Hat, in reply to Finding A Voice,

    Thank you for sharing your words here. I send you all of my hope and strength for the restorative process you seek.

    Since Oct 2015 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Finding A Voice, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    How very true. I don’t see how any of these adults could see themselves as “good and loving” – if they do they are worthless – still thinking only of themselves; their own selfish vanity. They deserve only scorn.

    I think it is far more complex and nuanced than that. I feel a lot more for them than just scorn. Many of these passive by-standers are our mothers and fathers, whom we have ongoing relationships with, relationships which we must navigate as we live our lives and raise our children near them, under the shadow of Centrepoint. While it is tempting to just throw them away with contempt, it is not tenable for many of us, and not conducive for our own wellbeing.

    Were I there at Centrepoint as an adult, striped of my internal and external resources, struggling with some recent grief like a divorce or separation, parenting alone and perhaps with a significant mental illness, bullied by people in the community which much greater strength and desperate for support, I too may have made some very compromised choices to protect my interests in that position of weakness. The nature of Centrepoint was that it attracted very vulnerable people who were drawn to a community who often did a very good job of supporting people that society didn't look after well, at a time when solo parents and people with mental illness (and other outliers) were very socially peripheral and judged highly. These vulnerable people were often referred there by respected professionals who thought the therapeutic approach CP had could provide a healing environment for people who were often very damaged.

    The things that motivate people to do - or not to do - what they do are complicated. Some of those adults did try at the time, within their constraints, to change things for the children. It wasn't enough, and it didn't alleviate the suffering that we endured, but I would be very careful not to judge them for actions (or lack of actions) in the past that we simply cannot understand well. Judgement is easy. Mercy and forgiveness, on the other hand, are hard.

    Those who actively engaged in predatory behaviour are in one camp (the Bert Potters of the community) - and I don't have much hope of reaching into their damaged psyches to try to draw out some sort of repentance from them. The other camp however holds those people who participated in a system which both served their interests, and also damaged them as well, and they now live with the knowledge that their engagement in this system has left people like myself and my fellows with enduring brokenness... Well, they are the ones I would like to reach out towards.

    Do you have any thoughts on how to facilitate that?It’s good to have you here on this public forum. We live under an umbrella culture, that prefers to deal with these ugly truths behind closed doors – in ACC funded rooms, psychiatric hospitals, Adiction treatment centers and prisons.

    I do have thoughts on this; it isn't enough that these adult participators said something remorseful at one time or another to a child victim here or there; this remorse needs to be public, enduring, and it needs reach. Without reach it would fail to connect with people like me (who have no contact at all with CP people now). There is enormous power in my pain being truly seen, acknowledged and honoured, and especially by the ones who contributed to it. They have the choice about whether or not they engage in a process that makes them deeply vulnerable to attack, but offers that healing gift to us the victims. I am developing an idea for an on-line platform for this process of connecting those who were damaged to those who could have done more to protect. A platform that avoids condemnation, attack, anger and aggression, but instead works towards reconciliation and redemption. I am not sure if there are enough brave CP-victims, and brave CP-collaborators to make this work, but I think it is worth trying. This is a shameful part of our history - why not fight to restore it?

    Since Nov 2015 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Finding A Voice,

    I think it is far more complex and nuanced than that. I feel a lot more for them than just scorn. Many of these passive by-standers are our mothers and fathers, whom we have ongoing relationships with, relationships which we must navigate as we live our lives and raise our children near them....

    You saying that helps me, becouse your basically telling my story. Thankyou.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4016 posts Report Reply

  • putting the pieces together,

    The nature of Centrepoint was that it attracted very vulnerable people who were drawn to a community who often did a very good job of supporting people that society didn’t look after well, at a time when solo parents and people with mental illness (and other outliers) were very socially peripheral and judged highly. These vulnerable people were often referred there by respected professionals who thought the therapeutic approach CP had could provide a healing environment for people who were often very damaged....

    I went to CP age 21, after returning from an O.E in an anxious and depressed state after some difficult events. I had also not disclosed or sought help for my own childhood sexual abuse. Feeling lost and dislocated, an unsuspecting family member suggested I "try the hippy commune up the road". I was drawn in by the 'love bombing' as I know recognise the cultish behaviour to be, and naievely thought it might be a healing environment for me as you mentioned ...
    I was involved off and on for ten or so tumultuous, confusing years of attraction and repulsion, to do with my particular issues/vulnerabilities. I did start to try and get support for my mental health issues. I regret I didn't have the understanding or strength to really recognise or effect the abuse going on with the younger generation there, preoccupied by my own particular confusion and grief and influenced by dominating power plays perpetuated there. Its still a confusing time to look back on. But thank you for talking about it and your brave ideas for a forum to listen and be heard. I am only just now bringing my childhood abuser to account, so am aware of the time and work it takes to take these steps. But heartening to see how much people do care and want to change the culture.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2015 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to putting the pieces together,

    But thank you for talking about it and your brave ideas for a forum to listen and be heard.

    Thank you for coming here and sharing this with us. I know it can't be easy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Anke Richter,

    Thank you, "Putting the pieces together" - I am also really grateful for this ongoing discussion and that more people have come out of the shadow since my story was published. Feel free to contact me directly and confidentially if you like (richter@weltreporter.net) and I can help to connect you with others who also want to heal those wounds from their past. It looks like more projects will be happening now where the CP saga and dilemma can be addressed from different angles. If you want to contribute to shed some light on it, then please let me know.

    Lyttelton • Since May 2007 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Finding A Voice, in reply to putting the pieces together,

    I regret I didn’t have the understanding or strength to really recognise or effect the abuse going on with the younger generation there, preoccupied by my own particular confusion and grief and influenced by dominating power plays perpetuated there.

    Thank you so much for opening yourself up to the introspection required in responding to this conversation. I appreciate how vulnerable this must make you feel. Exploring the mistakes you made while you were in a place of personal struggle and the impact your lack of action and inattention may have had on others will be a hard experience to go through. It must be very confusing indeed to unpack it all now.

    There is a community of people that has persisted since Centrepoint closed; the shadow community of those who have been branded by the experiences they had whilst they were weak and unprotected whilst there. You were considerably less weak than I, but you were still damaged and in this we can be allies. I'm really not sure how this community of damaged people can journey towards restoration together but I am glad you have taken a step here to participate and I encourage you in your journey

    Since Nov 2015 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Finding A Voice, in reply to putting the pieces together,

    If you are still checking in here and are interested 'Putting the Pieces Together' then have a look at this and consider getting involved
    http://thecentrepointrestorationproject.blogspot.co.nz

    Since Nov 2015 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    The New Zealand Herald published this in an article over the weekend."Some people who have been sexually abused as children will go on to become offenders. Studies suggest anywhere between 33 per cent and 75 per cent of child sexual abuse victims will later become offenders." It must be true becouse it's in the newspaper and the author linked to one study.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4016 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    PS: The claim that victims of sexual abuse are probably sex offenders ("anywhere between 33 per cent and 75 per cent") is a blatant case of making shit up.

    Can anyone tell that I am very pissed off?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4016 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Right, so this shit doesn’t see much sunlight, becouse chicken shit.

    Here’s a little known fact:

    It was left to a comedian to convince the American government that distributing child pornography on the Internet should be illegal. The comedic part was that he had to do the job, given his personal history.

    "I was in Washington to say that I valued our freedoms dearly, but that child pornography was not protected speech: it was evidence of a crime."

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4016 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Has anyone here ever made a complaint to a major news paper about journalistic accuracy? Would there be much point me doing it? Do's anyone even care?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4016 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    OK, I’m going to say whats bothering me, then I’m going to let it go. I disclosed my childhood experience of abuse in this thread earlier on. Now I’ve pointed out how an article published in our countries largest news paper has published a story thats basically silences people like me. People like me who suffer from social anxiety.

    When main stream news papers publish stuff like this – total fantasy crap that has no scientific basis what so ever, without anyone even questioning it, people like me become really anxious about how they are being judged, and what people in the community might do to them if they find out whats happened in there childhood. This can lead to all sorts of mental problems depression. This can then mean people like me thinking about leaving this world prematurely.

    I want to make something really clear. Most children who get sexually abused, do not go on to abuse people in any way.

    OK, good.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4016 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I mentioned this to the New Zealand Press Council, and I am pleased to say that I received a response from the Herald, that reassures me that thay take this matter seriously.

    The worlds not full of bullshit cowardly people after all :-)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4016 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Now the Herald says there’s nothing to worrie about.
    The person that emailed me from the Herald says that they contacted the company who supplied the story. That company assured this person from the Herald, that anywhere around 33% and 75% of children will become sex offenders.

    This is the supporting material that arrived in the email. It's from the linked ” study’s” in the offending Herald article.

    "Retrospective self-report studies of child sex offenders indicate up to 75 percent report a history of CSA, with Hanson and Slater’s (1988) review of 18 studies showing that 33 percent of perpetrators reported experiencing CSA."

    I was asked what my problem was and I was invited to ’ write a letter to the editor.
    My response was that there is a difference between sex offenders who claim to have history of CSA and there victims.

    The press council agreed there was a problem with articulate from the outset. Which is lucky. Otherwise I might be starting suspect myself of being an idiot.

    The article is still inactive on the Herald web-sight as I write ( gratitude to the Herald people for that much).

    Here is my complaint:

    My complaint is about the assumptions and inaccurate statements made that lead to stigmatising victims of childhood abuse, (who are not abusers).

    I find the two paragraphs below troubling. While it is true that some people who have been sexually abused as children might go on to become offenders, the actual percentage compared to the general population is nowhere near as high as the article states. Those numbers refer to studies of convicted sex offenders who have retrospectively claimed to have a history of sexual abuse as children.

    “Some people who have been sexually abused as children will go on to become offenders. Studies suggest anywhere between 33% and 75% of child sexual abuse victims will later become offenders.

    The practical application of this information is that preventing child sexual abuse will reduce, but not eradicate, some occurrences later.”

    The study referenced in the article actually says:

    "While the majority (99%) of male and female victims of CSA were not charged for a sexual offence, CSA victims were 7.6 times more likely to be charged with sexual offences than the general population."

    Stigmatising people who have been sexually abused in this way (ie. drawing a long bow that they may also be sexual abusers), is offensive and unhealthy.

    When the country’s largest newspapers tell their readers that people who have had experiences of sexual abuse as children, are highly likely to becomes sex offenders themselves, they create harmful myths. Given this is such an emotionally charged topic of concern to many in society (rightly so), it is even more important that accuracy is maintained.

    Regards Steven Crawford.

    PS: I didn’t just let it go, becouse some things are to important.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4016 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Press council just sent my complaint of the editer as a formal complaint, requesting a responce.

    I will see the responce in due course and get the opportunity to add a further short comment.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4016 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Good work Steven. Again basic innumeracy at the Herald - they seem to jump from the cited figures that 33-75% (ridiculously wide so probably dubious anyway - especially at the high-end which is 'self-reported') of CS abusers were victims of CSA (at least a tiny bit plausible) to 33-75 of CS victims will become abusers - which is a completely different category.
    A/ they've got the wrong end of the stick, and b/ it's damaging and it's complete nonsense. (You only have to consider that most victims of CSA are female, and most abusers male, to see how this can't make sense.)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2078 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Thanks Rob, it's like having to clean grease out of the London sewers.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4016 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to steven crawford,

    it’s like having to clean grease out of the London sewers.

    Fatbergs.

    I didn’t just let it go, because some things are to important.

    Respect, Steven.

    PS. Thanks from those who failed to live down to their expectations...

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1325 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    PS. Thanks from those who failed to live down to their expectations…

    No worries, like I said a while back, It's probably going to be a hundred years or more before intellectuals start to talk openly and rationally about child sexual abuse.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4016 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    So here’s a news paper article published in 2012 Surprise findings in sexual abuse victim study. This artical is about the study that was cited in the Herald publication as justification saying that any ware between 33% and 75% on children why have been sexually abused will become offenders.

    I worrie that I am being hysterical – that it’s only a minor error on the authors part. But when I went to the original version, published in The Conversation, I read in the comments thread that my exact same concern was brought the attention of the author. I couldn’t say anything there becouse the discussion had already been closed. So I went the authors blog and left a comment, which hasn’t been responded to.

    When we have an important study that even highly educated people – I mean doctoral level qualified professionals like the author, who can’t be bothered to try to understand, it’s lucky that somebody paraphrased it for a general audience several years prior. But they still managed to put the boot in.

    The 2012 article about the study seem to go off on a mission to insidiously twist the study findings to help maintain the popular myth that, sexually abused children are likely to become sexual offenders. That less bizarre articulate, that people with 12 year reading ages could understand, uses the study’s finding to say sexually abused children will be five times more likely to offend than the general population. What it avoids doing is pointing out that the offending includes all offending, not just sexual offending.

    It’s interesting how many sexual abuse victims are convicted of drug offences!

    Out of the 2759 CSA victim cohort 31 had convictions for sexual offending, and out of the 2667 comparison cohort 4 sexual offenders.

    Bad public behaviour 302 compared to the comparison 60 :-)

    Then we get to the re-victimisation numbers…

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4016 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    PS: I wish I didn't have explain stuff like this, my writing ability is fucked. I am dyslexic.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4016 posts Report Reply

  • Susan Snowdon,

    PS: I wish I didn’t have explain stuff like this, my writing ability is fucked. I am dyslexic.

    I appreciate your thoughts and writing about this Steven. Thank you.

    Since Mar 2008 • 109 posts Report Reply

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