Apr 222014

Hollywood sex rings

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Bryan Singer dressed as a priest. That’s not creepy at all…

I want to do more research on the Bryan Singer scandal, but I can’t read any of the sites that have comments. Same BS I got 4 years ago, with everyone saying the victim is only in it for fame or money. When will people learn that there’s absolutely nothing to gain financially or career wise by coming out as a victim of abuse? On what planet do people think that admitting you were molested could be “good for your brand”? It also doesn’t help anybody else who is thinking of disclosing, because they see all the hatred towards the victim, and they don’t want to have them directed at them.

I was finally moving on with life, and having fun with a hobby of filming my scuba diving. So when I was asked to talk about what happened on Hey Dad..! everyone jumped up and down saying I was making shit up to try to sell my scuba series. Nobody has been able to explain to me yet how coming out as a victim of abuse in Australia could possibly help me sell a scuba series to a network in America. Not one person.

Time and again, we see a person who publicly discloses get called a media whore or money grubber. Like Simone, Ben and I, they are all blacklisted. Look at the people in the US who have disclosed. They are all publicly discarded. Corey Feldman was hugely popular when I was a kid. He’s still trying his best to work, but now that he’s threatened to out some of the major pedo’s in Hollywood, he’s not exactly landing a bunch of roles is he? There’s are dozens of kids in Hollywood who have mentioned the problem, and they are all quietly pushed aside. If we’ve learned anything from my case, it’s that the studio doesn’t give a shit about kids, as long as they’re making money.

I wish people would realize that when someone has the courage to try to make a change, they find the balls to stand up and say No More, that they were taken seriously. Instead of having thousands of internet hero’s claim that said person is just trying to make a name for themselves, they would maybe step back, and see that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

There are LOTS of pedophiles in Hollywood. I hope that the kids there start to stand up and shout. I hope that the Hollywood entertainment reporters, as well as the serious reporters cover the issues. I am so grateful I was given the chance to tell my story. I hope that the kids in Hollywood are also given a chance to tell theirs. I hope that some of those high ranking scumbags are taken down. I hope they make studio sets a safer place for kids worldwide.

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Apr 142014

A Current Affair – Not just for ratings

There has been literally thousands of comments over the last few years on the coverage of our story about being molested by Robert Hughes. A lot of people have seen it for what it is, a great piece of investigative journalism, that has helped to expose the dirty secrets of the industry.  Throughout the last four years, A Current Affair and it’s staff have been nothing but gracious professionals. They’ve been polite, they’ve been diplomatic, and more importantly, they’ve been friends.

When the story first broke, other networks tried to get in on it. I refused to work with a network that had put me in a position to be continually molested, and so they took great pride in slamming me several times throughout the process. Then, they’d think I had forgotten and ask me to do another interview. I especially loved the hypocrisy of them saying “whatever they’re paying you, we’ll double it”… They never understood it wasn’t about money. I simply wasn’t going to work with a network that let me down as a child, and then slammed me every time I refused to work with them as a result. Here’s a tip network execs, if you want someone to work with you, don’t publicly slag them off.

This whole journey has never been about money. Something some networks just don’t understand. The team at Channel 9 has been amazing. Tracy Grimshaw, Ben Fordham & Pete Stefanovic have been great to talk to on camera. You have to be able to trust someone to talk to them on camera, and I never for a minute doubted any of them. Behind the scenes, ACA has some of the kindest, most wonderful producers and staff around.  (That’s you Stef and Grant) They literally held my hand, hugged me, and walked beside me through this whole process.

It saddens me when bitter trolls think that the only reason A Current Affair did this story, or continued with this story was because of the ongoing rivalry between 7 & 9 and think ACA just used it as a means to slam 7. I’m sure it was a great side effect that 9 could slam 7, but let’s face it, 7 deserves to be slammed…. However, what people don’t realize is there was much more to the story than just a dig at another network. People at ACA knew what was happening. They had heard accounts of abuse, and wanted to bring the story to light. They didn’t just cover the story, then disappear until it was over. They’ve stayed in touch over the years. (Unlike so many others) They were genuinely vested in the story. Ben McCormack was in court during the verdict, and called so I could hear it straight from him, while he was there.

I’ve got nothing but love and respect for the whole ACA team. In this episode, chronicling the journey of the last 4 years, they’re not grandstanding or gloating. They are genuinely happy and proud of what ACA has done. They’ve helped me find my courage and strength to bring my perpetrator to court, where he was found guilty. That’s a wonderful thing.

If you can watch this, and think that ACA is only about ratings, and not about justice, then it says a lot more about you than it does about them…

A Current Affair – A Predators Downfall

I think they deserve a medal for their work. Hopefully, they’re remembered at award season. ;-)

 

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Guilty

Posted by Sarah on April 14, 2014 at 5:01 pm Australia, hey dad sex scandal No Responses »
Apr 142014

Guilty in a court of law!

Hey_Dad_predator

Well, it’s been a very long time coming, but the jury has found Robert guilty on 10 counts.

It’s been a very difficult few years, and the trial was very emotionally draining. I started on Friday afternoon and finished on Wednesday afternoon on the stand. Even though I only had the one charge, I guess his lawyer focused on me, since I was the one who brought the situation public. In the end, it was worth it, because now he’s in prison, awaiting his sentencing.

I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone involved in the case. The members of Strike Force Ruskin, the DPPs office, the wonderful women who volunteer their time at the VWCCS. I’d like to thank the jury who really paid attention during the case, and asked questions, before making a decision.

I want to thank Ben and Simone for backing me up. I know the last four years have been hard for you, and now that it’s over, I hope the industry rewards you for being good people. Also to the other cast and crew who took the stand to give evidence.

I’d like to thank Steve Jackson and Woman’s Day for doing the original article, and I’m forever grateful to Tracy Grimshaw and Ben McCormack for all your investigative journalism and keeping with the story for four years. Also to all the production team, who worked so hard behind the scenes.

I know that my case was not unique; there are others out there in the industry who have been affected, and other predators are being protected. Hopefully though, now more people will have the courage to speak up. Don’t stay silent. You never know how many other people are in the same situation, and you also don’t know how many have already been to the police.

It’s been a long hard journey, but in the end, it was worth it.

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Should all pedophiles be named and shamed?

When I first went public, as in to the media, and not just people around me, I talked about the abuse, and I even said who it was, but the media chose not to name the perpetrator. This caused much controversy, and a lot of heated debate.

Many people believed I should name and shame or shut the fuck up. I was told that by not coming out with a name, I was damaging an entire show, that everyone who ever worked at seven was under suspicion. That I was irresponsible and damaging people’s lives and careers.

Corey Feldman is talking about his abuse. He wrote a book detailing his abuse, and what it was like growing up in Hollywood. He too is copping flack about not naming names. He originally put the names in his book, but the publisher decided to remove them, and his lawyers have advised he NOT publicly name them.

There are two reasons you don’t just run around naming alleged pedophiles.

Number one is the litigious aspect. If you can’t prove it, if you can’t afford better lawyers than them, if you don’t have people backing you up, you’re going to be sued and possibly charged with defamation. Not naming initially gives you a chance to have other people come forward, to corroborate your statement. When I went public, look at how many people came forward, not only as witnesses for me, but other victims. I knew there were others, but I didn’t know who they were. (I still don’t know who they are.) I wouldn’t have known where to direct police. I couldn’t have remembered every potential victim or witness. But by going public, I allowed others to say, Me Too! There’s also the very real threat of retaliation. If you go super public, and then you wind up dead in  a ditch somewhere, people are going to know you probably didn’t have an accident…

There’s lots of former child stars who suddenly end up dead outside a nightclub from an overdose when they start mumbling about abuse. I named my perpetrator  when it was legally safe to do so. Unfortunately for Corey, and other actors in the US, there’s a statute of limitations. He actually did talk to police back before it ran out. Their police chose to ignore it. – Sounds familiar…

The second reason, and this was actually the one that mattered to me:

When you talk about what happened to you in the industry, in general, without naming names, people do raise their heads and look around. People do start to look at everyone with suspicion. Parents start to wonder who is working with their children. This is NOT a bad thing. People who push their kids into the industry should be looking at everyone who works with their kids, and keeping their guard up. Parents should assume that the industry is NOT a safe place for kids.

Before I went public, everyone was worried about potential offenders. Once he was named, everyone just went back to their business, thinking OK, we know who that one person is. We’ll keep our kids away from him, and they’ll be safe.

No, they won’t. There’s way more than one pedophile in the business. By naming ONE person, all these parents have let their guard down, and are exposing their kids to potential harm. By not naming the offenders, Corey is letting people know that there are some seriously high ranking people in Hollywood who are dangerous predators, who are after your kids. Parents need to keep being vigilant, and not focus on just one person.

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Aug 092013

Mayumarri – a Magical Place

Back in March, I made a short trip home to Australia. It had been a while since I had been home, except for quick fly in fly out things that weren’t a lot of fun.

Australia didn’t feel like home anymore. It was a place where I had grown up, but I didn’t have the most normal childhood, or the most enjoyable one. When I moved to Texas, at first it felt foreign, but I started to feel at home. I started to let myself live my own life, where nobody knew my past. Nobody judged me as being some has been former child star. I was just Sarah.

Right as I was really starting to form a new life here, and I was slowly working on moving back to being comfortable with cameras, I had found a passion in making a new series, Going Down, I was contacted about coming back to Australia and talking about my old life.

At first I said no. I thought I was moving forward. I didn’t want to go back. A few months later, I was asked again. I said no, again.

Then I was teaching acting classes, and I had a mother ask me questions about the industry. There was an incident with her daughter. Hearing the story made me so mad. Matt said he had never seen me so angry. It was like every piece of anger and hurt that I had buried from my childhood came bubbling up, all at once.

I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to fix it. But this time when I was contacted about talking about my past, I thought even if I have to go back, even if it means letting down the facade of being “just Sarah” something had to be done. Somebody had to stand up and say something. Somebody had to be willing to stand up and tell people what the industry is really like.

Now, I really didn’t expect what happened next to happen. I had spent years in Australia being told I was a nobody now. Just another washed up has been former child star off some sucky sitcom from the 80′s.  I honestly thought it would be a miracle if anybody read the story. I hoped a couple stage parents might see it and think twice about letting their kids in the industry. I purposely didn’t name who it was, because I didn’t want it to be about me and him. I wanted it to be a story about what can happen to ANY child in the industry.

Well, I miscalculated. Apparently people read the story. Then all hell broke loose. It became bigger than me, and I wasn’t in control of it. All of a sudden there was people at my house, then I was on a flight to Australia. It all happened so fast. I was being pushed and pulled. I was once again being told what to do. It seemed like everyone was talking about it. It was on the news, in magazines, the in flight newscast. Basically, it was insane.

It also made Australia seem like a scary place again. Everybody there was judging me. They all knew who I was again, and everybody had an opinion. Most people didn’t have a nice one either. Everyone seemed to think I had some kind of ulterior motive; That I only spoke out to revive my career, or make some money. I’ve since noticed that happens anytime someone speaks out. Nobody wants to think that maybe there really are Pedophiles out there, and it’s easier to knock the victim, than admit bad things happen.

After all the media hoopla, and my life was completely changed, and I didn’t know who I was anymore, I thought about the few people who had actually taken my side during the ordeal.

There was Hetty Johnston and Bravehearts. There was several people behind the scenes. Then there was Liz Mullinar. She had been the casting director for Hey Dad, and she had been on TV several times to talk about what she knew.

I hadn’t seen or communicated with Liz since I was a teenager. But I felt the need to write everyone a letter and thank them for standing by me over the last two years.

I wrote to Liz, and she wrote back. She asked me if I would accept her invitation to come to Heal For Life. She knew how hard this journey was, and wanted to make sure I was going to be OK. I had read about Heal For Life. It seemed like an awesome place, and I had wished I was in Australia to attend it. There was several programs to choose from. Liz invited me to the private retreat, or the regular healing week. Something told me this was something I really needed to do. You know how the little voice inside you just screams sometimes? So, I worked out when I could get leave. I knew I had enough frequent flyer miles to do the trip. I just had to work out when there was a healing week and flights….

So in March I finally made it back to Australia. Funnily enough, it was the one week of the year that Liz wasn’t at Heal For Life. She was on a cruise with her sister, but it was still amazing.

My brother drove me up a long winding road out into the Hunter Valley. There was trees, and birds, and a whole lot of quiet. It was far away from the city, and any potential of anybody seeing me. I didn’t have to worry about any rogue photographers, or ending up in the paper.

Heal For Life was the most amazing thing I have ever done for myself. I arrived on Sunday afternoon, not knowing what to expect, and I left the following Friday as a completely different person.

Every morning we were greeted by kangaroos and wild birds. We got up and made breakfast, before starting our day of healing. There was a group of ten of us at that week. We were all apprehensive, and then we opened up. We realized we all had own own issues, and nobody else was going to judge us. It wasn’t like a group therapy session, where everyone spent an hour talking, and then had to go back to their normal life. This wasn’t like talking to a shrink, who just sits there and writes in a book, and doesn’t understand what you’re really going through.

All of the carers at Heal For Life are survivors themselves. They’ve been through the journey. They don’t judge, or give you a simple pat on the back and say “there, there, it’ll all be ok”. Instead, this was completely the opposite. You were encouraged to scream, shout, cry, talk, punch things. Do whatever you needed to do to let the pain out. We learnt about triggers, and what happens when we are triggered, and how to de-trigger. We learnt how what we went through as kids can affect our decisions as an adult.

I knew I was working stuff out when I decided to go swimming in the pond. Even though I scuba, I’m actually quite terrified of water. I’m fine with the air tank, once I’m under water, but fresh water, and being on the surface freak me out. By Wednesday, I was swimming around in the pond….

I’m not a crier, or an emotional person. I’ve always just pushed it all deep down inside. I learnt to cry at Heal For Life. I learnt to let my emotions out, instead of just bottling it all up. Even my masseuse has noticed the difference. I no longer have giant knots in my back.

When my brother picked me up, we had a long hard talk. We talked about things I never would have talked about before. And I was fine. I had already worked out so many issues, I could handle our conversation.

Before Heal For Life, I wasn’t sure if I could handle coming back to Australia again. Now I miss it. It feels like home again, like it no longer only holds bad memories. It also made me realize I was strong enough to get through the next year, and going to court. I know there will be bad days, but now I know how to respond to those moments, and move past them.

Heal For Life made me a better person. It made me strong, it made me happy again. I wish everyone who had been through some kind of childhood trauma could go there.

I can never thank Liz Mullinar enough for creating Heal For Life, and for inviting me to come down and experience it. It has completely changed my life.

I encourage anyone who needs to heal to look into attending a healing week. It seems scary, but it really will be an amazing thing to do for yourself.

www.healforlife.com.au

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Jan 122013

A chance for ALL our voices to be heard

I’m so happy that Julia Gillard is pressing on with the Royal Commission into child abuse. I’m so grateful for people like Detective Inspector Peter Fox who had the balls to go on television and talk about it when no-one else would. I’m grateful to all the people from all the different support groups that kept up the fight for all these years.

When I was asked to go public, I wasn’t sure about it. I was tired of seeing other kids in the industry falling to pieces after all they had been through. I knew I didn’t want any other kids to go through what I did. I was very fortunate that I was able to speak in magazines and on television about my abuse. I copped a lot of shit about it. Hell, people on the whirlpool forum are still bitching about me having gone on TV to talk about it. I’m glad I did it though. The last three years have changed me so much personally. Being able to talk about it, being able to let it go and not keep it inside anymore has changed my whole outlook on life. Sure, there were super hard days, there were days when I was so heavily criticized I wondered if I had done the right thing.

I was grateful I had started a discussion. I was happy that people were finally openly talking about abuse, even if they were bitching about me while doing it. The main point was, it was no longer a taboo subject.

My only sadness was when people commented that while it was great that I could talk about it, because I was given that platform where I could, what about all the other victims out there. The ones who weren’t famous enough to go on TV and talk about it. What about them? Would they ever be given that opportunity to speak? It’s true, it’s not fair that some people get the opportunity to be heard while other don’t.

Well, now they have. I’m so glad that EVERY victim of child abuse out there will be given the opportunity to tell their story. That we can all go forward, we can all add our piece. We can all seek a little bit of justice.

I hope that everyone uses this opportunity to be heard. I know it can be tough. It can be very scary to talk about your past. It can be horrific reliving it while talking about it. It can be soul baring. But it’s totally worth it. It might take a while for you to realize the difference the talking has made, but it will make a difference.

I urge all of you to take this opportunity to tell your story. Do it for yourself. Do it for the others before you, and do it for the others behind you. If we all stand up and talk about the past, hopefully the ones in the future won’t have to….

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Oct 222012

Elvis is Alive and I’ve pissed him off!

I’ve been too busy to do anything to my website lately, but today I had a few minutes and I thought I’d clean out the tonne of spam. There was a couple of legitimate comments in there, including one from Elvis…. Apparently he’s not a happy camper.

We all had a good laugh about it at the office. I guess if I piss the Pedobears off this bad it means I’m doing something right.

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Jul 272012

Connecting with famous people through Social Media.

I love the internet. I love Social Media. I even used to work at a SEO company, and actually got to sit on FaceBook and Twitter all day long. I wrote blogs for several companies and helped  others understand Social Media and how to incorporate it into their business.

Since going public with the past a couple years ago, Social Media has been a mixed bag of fish for me. It was pretty vindicating using television as a medium to share my story. I had been abused in a television environment, so using it as the tool to go public and share what happened to me was a great way of taking that tool and re-purposing it.

As the story broke in Woman’s Day, I was still in Texas. I didn’t even know it had been published, till I saw it online on the WD website. Internet forums starting to go crazy with the story. I was watching the ACA and TT websites as they had coverage of interviews with other people. Then ACA sent Peter Stefanovic to my house in Texas to interview me. We used Skype to stay in contact with people in Australia, trying to figure out just how crazy big things had blown out of control. We were all watching forums like Whirlpool Hey Dad scandal thread. (Which is now several hundred pages over 3 different threads) Twitter went crazy. Hey Dad actually trended for a little bit there. People made all kinds of FaceBook pages. It seemed like everyone who had access to a keyboard had an opinion on the issue.

I got lots of emails, both good and bad. I had people commenting on my website. I was watching the twitter feed to see what people were saying.

I am now very sensitive about what I say about other people on Social Media. I know that people, even celebrities and famous people, or those like me who are simply in the news, do actually read the internet. We do use Twitter. We can see what people are saying about us. Unfortunately, about a good 80-90% of it is negative…

Before saying how much you hate someone on Twitter or in a forum, think about how YOU would feel if someone said that about you. Then imagine you’re reading that while you’re already under a whole heap of stress. It was hard enough going public, laying my soul bare, telling people about my past, without then having thousands of people judge me and post everywhere that I was simply a money grubbing publicity whore seeking an extra 15 minutes of fame and a way to sell Going Down. I was trying to do the right thing. I was trying to speak out about abuse. I was using the medium I was comfortable in, since that was what I knew. I was trying to make an impact, getting the message out there. I had expected there to be some negative reaction, I didn’t expect to see people slamming me on places like Expecting Mothers message boards. I could only imagine what they would be like if their kids came to them for help one day….

Anyhow, over the last couple of years I’ve changed a lot. I have a new outlook on life, and a new outlook on Social Media, as well as celebrities.

I just want to remind people that celebrities and other people in the spotlight are people too. They have good days and bad days. They have feelings, just like you and me. Just like you wouldn’t like it if a bunch of people talked shit about you, celebs aren’t immune to people talking smack about them. I’m sure Liesel doesn’t appreciate people talking about her figure while she’s preparing for the Olympics, (she’s a fucking swimmer people, not a Victoria’s Secret Model) or even Rihanna tweeting that her performance sucked in Sweden, when they didn’t know her Grandma had just died. There are so many cases I can think of when people are coming down on others when all they really need is a hug. I love that Sophie Monk, Piers Morgan and Ricky Gervais are witty in replies, but I’m sure they’re not totally immune either.

Being mean on Twitter is just another form of cyberbullying. Celebs aren’t immune.

So, I thought these Jimmy Kimmel clips were funny. It’s a great way to remind people that Celebrities are human just like us. It’s presented in a funny way, but it has a good meaning behind it. There’s a few of them on YouTube. Go watch, and next time, think before you tweet.

BTW, I’m @shrimptank on twitter.

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Protecting the Guilty

Posted by Sarah on July 22, 2012 at 12:41 pm hey dad sex scandal, Laws, Life, media 6 Responses »
Jul 222012

What about the victims rights?

So when I went public with my case, there was a couple of things I wanted to achieve. I wanted to make parents aware of what really goes on in the industry, I wanted people to take better care of their kids, and I wanted to change some laws. That was over two years ago. I’m not supposed to be blogging or talking about the case. I’m supposed to be silent while the police are investigating. At first, it was frustrating. I had been asked to go public, I did. It turned into a media circus that I wasn’t prepared for. However, I found my strength, and made it through a couple of the hardest weeks of my life, and I found the courage to stand up and scream. Unfortunately, right as I found that courage, I was asked to shut up and go hide under a rock. At first I was pissed off. Why ask me to go through that, get me fighting, and then ask me to hide again? It was very frustrating. Occasionally I would break my silence, only to get angry calls from Australia, reminding me to be quiet. Eventually I simmered down. I’ve changed a lot over the last 2 years. I have found a quiet strength in myself I didn’t know I had. I’ve also learnt patience. I now figure I waited 17 years to go public, what’s a couple more years for the police to do a thorough job? Thankfully Australia doesn’t have a Statute of Limitations on rape or child assault cases, unlike the US.  The Jerry Sandusky case took investigators 2 years, and that guy is never gonna see light again, so I’m ok with the wait. At least I got to scream his name out load. I got to tell everyone. I got to warn others of what he’s like. I also empowered many more girls to come forward and speak of their own abuse. I’ll never be able to express how awesome it is to receive emails from other girls who tell you that you gave them to strength to tell their own stories. Other women and men tell me that because I spoke up, they found the strength within themselves to tell their families of their own abuse. Many have been to the police and laid charges against their attackers. Some of them have even already been to court. Knowing you started a chain reaction makes you feel that you had a purpose in life. I still hope to change laws in Australia. I want to make the entertainment industry a safer place for kids. I want to make the world a safer place for kids. I would like Australia to set up a sex offender registry like we have in Texas. I want offenders to have their faces, names and addresses on a website where people can go and see if there’s any bad people living around them. I don’t believe any of the bullshit about vigilantes. We used the site when we had our exchange student so we could make sure she was safe on her way to school. We saw there was an offender on her route. We advised her to avoid going near that house. We showed her the photo of the guy so she would recognize him in case he tried to approach her. It wasn’t to scare her. It was just a self defense system. I use it when I’m on the road to make sure I don’t have some rapist next door to me, who seems nice asking for a cup of sugar…

I also don’t believe the crap about naming the offender will let people know who the child is. Considering that most pedophiles molest about 60 kids before they’re even caught, how could naming the one offender lead to his victim being known? The registry just has a general offense, such  as lewd act with a minor, or aggravated sexual assault of a child. It doesn’t name the child. It doesn’t say whether it was a relative or stranger. All it does is warn others that the person is a threat and to keep their kids away from them.

I hope one day to also get rid of the stigma attached to being a victim. I hate the world victim. I am no longer a victim. As a small child, a very sick individual did bad things to me. That is in no way my fault. I tried to do something about it. I told other people. Unfortunately, some equally worthless adults, much like Joe Paterno were involved. The culture of the stigma surrounding child abuse led to the silence, and therefor allowed more abuse to occur. We need to teach kids it’s not their fault. We need to empower them to speak up. We need to stop treating people like victims and like they’re contagious. We need to help them find their strength again. We need to teach them that shit happens, and we’re going to help them get over. I have no doubt that what happened to me made me who I am today. I’m also sure that speaking up 2 years ago has changed me tremendously. I found my strength. I found my voice. I became a warrior.

So while I spend my days being a literal warrior wearing my uniform, and channel my energy into my job in a Law Enforcement Intelligence Center, which is great because I get such a buzz every time we send out a BOLO and we actually capture some predator, occasionally I read some article which makes me want to come out screaming again. It’s hard to be patient when I read shit like this:

US girl faces jail for naming attackers

A KENTUCKY teenager is facing contempt of court charges for tweeting the names of the two teens who pled guilty to sexually assaulting her, in a case that inspires questions about the uses of social media in the legal system.

Seventeen-year-old Savanna Dietrich tweeted the names of the boys in response to the frustration she felt over her attackers plea bargain.Now, Dietrich could face an $US500 ($481) fine and up to 180 days in jail for the act if she is found guilty of being in contempt of the court. Her contempt hearing is scheduled for July 30. According to Dietrich, the sexual assault occurred when she passed out at a party last year.

Her attackers then molested her, and they also allegedly videotaped the incident and shared it with their friends online.

After Dietrich visited police with her parents, the juvenile defendants were charged with first-degree sexual abuse and misdemeanor voyeurism, reports the Louisville Courier Journal. But Dietrich says she was extremely unhappy with the “slap on the wrist” plea bargain her attackers were given.

Enraged, she took to her Twitter account determined to publicly expose the boys for their act. “They said I can’t talk about it or I’ll be locked up,” one of her tweets read. “So I’m waiting for them to read this and lock me up. ____ justice.

“Protect rapist is more important than getting justice for the victim in Louisville.”

She reiterated in a Courier Journal interview that she was fully prepared to pay the price for her actions. “I’m at the point, that if I have to go to jail for my rights, I will do it,” Dietrich told the Louisville paper. “If they really feel it’s necessary to throw me in jail for talking about what happened to me … as opposed to throwing these boys in jail for what they did to me, then I don’t understand justice.”

Here’s a girl was was attacked, the guys taped it and posted it online. So not only did they violate her originally, but then she was humiliated again by having it shown to others. She went to the police, and the guys were given a slap on the wrist. So she goes public, and names her attackers, who one would assume would already be known, given they themselves used public domain to share their video of the attack, and she’s the one facing jail?

What the fuck is wrong with society? If these douchebags are using the internet to share their attack, she should be able to use the same internet to shame them. Their names and faces are already out there. Give her the chance to reclaim her power, her voice. Let her vent. I don’t care if her attackers were also teens and should be protected. They’re not going to turn 18 and suddenly become model citizens. They’re going to go off to college and prey on girls at frat parties.

We need to stand up as a society and change the laws. We need to start protecting the innocent. We need to teach kids to protect themselves. We need to give those that have been victims their self worth back. We need to take it away from those that do wrong.

I’ve received emails from actors here in the US letting me know they’re following my case in Australia. Unfortunately the US has a Statute on childhood abuse. However, I’m pretty sure if my case goes well, you’re going to hear a lot more people stand up and start talking about their own abuse. Hopefully then the younger ones will feel empowered to stand up for themselves too. It sucks to be a test case, with the fear of letting people down, but it’s also wonderful knowing I’ve had a positive impact on so many people, and could change some futures.

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Aug 232011

If you can’t be a good example, you’ll have to be a horrible warning.

I know what it’s like to be in the media. After going public last year, I really know what it’s like to be in the media. I know what it’s like to have every thing you say dissected, questioned, checked over and then be re-quoted incorrectly.

There’s thousands of pages on forums and blogs with people talking about what I did last year. A lot of them aren’t nice. If you have a few hours of your life to waste, drudge through the 100+ pages on the Whirlpool site. Do a Google search on me or the Hey Dad Scandal and then click blogs or discussions. It’s amazing at how many sites there are. Some of them are very supportive of me, some of them are downright scary. Like a site for expecting mothers who all call me a publicity whore. I hope their babies never come to them looking for help…. Then of course, there’s Andy Blume.

Now, at first look, Andy really is a professional c*nt, as he puts it. The first time I found his site in April of last year, as I was in the middle of the media circus, I couldn’t believe what he wrote about me. Then, as things settled down, I read through the rest of his site, to see what kind of troll he was. To be honest, a lot of Andy’s posts made me laugh, as they do a lot of other people. Andy says what a lot of people think, but don’t have the balls to say. Sure, he’s rude. Yes, he’s tasteless. But 10 years ago when I left Australia, being Politically Correct wasn’t in full swing yet. People could still take the piss out of themselves. My favourite are when he writes letters to big companies complaining of their terrible service or products. I never know if he really sends off what he’s written on the blog, or a toned down version of it, but a lot of us wish that’s what we could say. It’s what we tell our friends. It’s what we’re thinking as we write the polite version. So, after about 6 months, I forgave Andy. I understood his posts about me were part of his online character. If he had said something nice about me, people would have said, WTF Andy? We tweeted back and forth and when I did the one year update on ACA, he actually sent me a message warning me he was now going to have to do another post. I was prepared for it. It was actually pretty tame. Some of his friends made fun he had gone soft….

I’ve been working in SEO and Social Media for a few years now. Maybe it’s because I get to read so many white papers and sites on What Not To Do in Social Media and how to not lose your job with what you post on Twitter, but I thought everyone understood that what you do online affects what happens to you in real life. Employers are now looking at what you post on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites before they hire you. What you do online can get you fired. Maybe it’s not fair and maybe it’s not catching on that fast in Australia, but in the US, many companies will give you a fact sheet on “appropriate use” of social media, and give regular reminders throughout the year. Lots of people here are laid off because of something they did online.

You don’t have to be tweeting at work. You don’t have to say anything bad about your employer. But, if you post pictures of your late night binge at some club and then call in sick the next day saying you have the flu, expect someone might see it and you’re going to get called on it.

Back in the day, there was a lot more anonymity on the internet. Today, it’s all open. A lot of young people don’t realize that what they post now will come back to haunt them. The best phrase I ever heard was “Once tweeted, never deleted” because even if you delete it off your stream, it’s cached somewhere for someone to find. You don’t even have to post something, one of your buddies could do it and tag you. Or, you could post something anonymously, but through the powers of IP tracking, the IT gurus can still work out it’s you.

Pictures on FB are held on a server for over 6 months, even if you delete them. Pick a photo, copy the URL of that page, then delete the pic. A month later, go back to that URL… Your pic is still there. Also, a lot more people have access to your private pages, and even private messages than you think. I know the police have been reading my private messages. Basically, never say anything on the internet that you wouldn’t want on a postcard or displayed on a billboard.

I’m conflicted on the Andy Blume situation. At first I thought it was funny he got caught out. But I also felt bad for him. I try not to harbor resentment against anyone and I made my peace with Andy and his blog posts about me last year. I think he should have known better than to tweet while tramming, but he was called up on it a month ago and had stopped. I give him credit for using his real name on the Internet instead of hiding behind some fake alias to be such a huge douchebag. It’s a sign of how politically correct Australia has become when you can’t just have a laugh and move on, but instead have to get offended over every little thing. All of us have done something that someone else would think makes us a horrible person. ALL OF US. Before we judge others and hate upon them, we should think about ourselves and what we’ve done in life that others might not approve of. (You know, that whole glass houses thing)

I’m sure Andy will be OK. Someone will probably offer him a job on TV…. but it’s got to suck being fired in this economy.

At this point, I’m not sure if everyone will see Andy as a warning not to tweet about their jobs and make sure they’re always PC, or if this will make people go back to having anonymous avatars and fake names. Frankly, I’m not sure which of the two is worse.

Good luck Andy. I hope you find a new job. Just remember, people are watching you now….

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