What is wrong with courts in Australia?

When rapists are let off, and journalists are jailed…

There was an awful story in the paper today about a girl who was raped for years by her father, she made it to court, and the piece of shit was let off by the judge on a good behavior bond. This man raped his own child for five years. He even raped her in the bed with the mother there. Yet somehow, the judge feels that he didn’t deserve jail time.

Even worse, this isn’t an isolated case. Time after time, Judges are not even giving the minimum sentence to rapists and child molesters. They are continually giving them a simple slap on the wrist, and then, once they’ve been to court, they are protected by the courts. The names and crimes are suppressed. The community doesn’t know who these sexual deviants are. They are allowed back into the community, where they are free to continue their predatory ways.

Meanwhile, people like Derryn Hinch, who dare to try to protect the community, by naming and shaming some of these people, gets sent to jail. He was arrested again last week, because he named a man who was on parole, and should have been back in jail. Instead, the man was out, and he raped and murdered another woman.

Can somebody please explain to me why somebody who rapes a child is allowed to go free, while someone who names a rapist is sent to prison? Where is the logic? Why do we keep protecting these people? Why are we so concerned about the rights of these people, who clearly aren’t concerned about the rights of their victims?

Something needs to be done. We can’t continue to allow sexual predators a free pass, while punishing those who try to make the world a safer place.

Side note: I wonder how a lawyer can feel so concerned for the rights of the victim in the above case, when the following day he’s representing somebody charged with rape? How can you honestly represent both sides of the debate? Can you really give your all to a victim of a rapist, and the next day argue that another rapist is innocent?


Illegal Immigrant Sex Offender protected by Democratic Senator

Elections are more important than laws….

According to police records, Sanchez was 15 when he was arrested on a charge of aggravated sexual assault in 2009. The records show he was accused of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old boy at least eight times and sentenced to two years’ probation and required to register as a sex offender.

Dem Sen Robert Menendez

He was working as an intern in the office of New Jersey Democrat Senator Robert Menendez. When he failed to update his sex offender registration, local prosecutors considered arresting him. At that time, immigration officials learned that Sanchez had applied for the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which would have allowed him to stay in the country and legally work for two years. He did not disclose his arrest or status as a sex offender on the application and was eventually denied, according to the documents. – Which means he applied for the Dream Act that we keep hearing about.

So what’s interesting, is that Sen. Menendez is known to be very pro-immigration. He claimed they didn’t do a background check on Sanchez, since he was a volunteer. – I’m going to call Bullshit on this one. No matter where you volunteer these days, they do background checks on you. I can’t imagine anyone who is allowed near sensitive documents, is not going to have been put through a background check.

Then, when ICE moved in to arrest him, they were asked to delay it till after the election. – Which the Senator won.

So, there’s a few issues here. The Dream Act. Anyone who works on the border can physically see this one is a bad idea. When they announced it, we saw a flood of people running the border. At least they managed to catch the fact that he wasn’t a desirable.

Politicians. Time and time again we see them putting their own agendas ahead of anything else. Hey, this guys a sex offender and an illegal? No worries. Let’s just hold off till after my election, eh?

The fact that ICE did hold off on arresting him instead of doing their job.  They categorically denied this was the case. Yeah, right. I’m sorry, but I have trouble believing anyone who uses the term “categorically deny”.

So we’ve got all the shit going down in England with Savile, who apparently was sheltered from very high up, we’ve got Senators in the US hiding their sex offenders. For years people in Australia have been protected. When will people start to see that sometimes you just have to say fuck it, to hell with my job, I’m going to stand up and do whats right?


The Royal Commission

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….


How to catch a Predator

Why we need better tracking of Pedophiles

Jimmy Savile

There was an interesting article on news.com.au today about Jimmy Savile. Most of it seemed to repeat a lot of my rant from yesterday. There was one particular paragraph that really stood out to me though:

Youngsters made several complaints to police over the years, none of which led to charges. The chief of London’s Metropolitan Police, Bernard Hogan-Howe, has apologised, saying police failed to piece together Savile’s “pattern of behaviour” from the disparate complaints.

How many different cases now have we heard of kids reporting something to the police, only to have it brushed over as not significant, or worse, buried on purpose, and then other kids going to the police, having the same thing happen, and then finally something explodes and somebody finally pays attention? Then, there’s no denying there was  a pattern of abuse. There was a definite MO. That maybe if somebody had listened the first time the kids spoke up, that other kids might not have been abused.

In the US, the system is screwed up. I know, I work in an Intel Office. I see first hand that an area may be covered by a Police Dept, a Sheriff Dept, a few different Federal agencies, and these guys don’t share very much information between themselves. Something could be reported to the Police, and the next time it gets reported to the Sheriff. Until it hits further up the chain, somebody may not connect all the dots…. But, that’s why they have Intel centers. Everyone sends in their reports, they get looked over, put into a map, sent up to analysts, and also re-distributed back down to the field, where boots on ground can also see what’s going on in their area.  It may be an analyst that sees a pattern, it may be someone like me putting it into the system, or it may be a cop reading my weekly paper that sees something of interest. They can see a pattern. We might notice the same name popping up again and again, even if it is for small stuff. Or it may not be a person, but it’s the same incident, over and over.

Now, I have no clue what kind of system England has, and I’m not going to pretend I do. I’ve never worked in a law enforcement setting in Australia either, but I do know each State has ONE Police Dept, and then there’s the Australia Federal Police, who are more like the FBI. So I’m sure there’s not quite as much red-tape on sharing information between different agencies. So how hard would it be for someone to set up some kind of database that tracks complaints on sex offenders? Not just on kids, but all sex offenders. It could be a completely internal system, that’s not shared with anyone else. But my suggestion would be that anytime a complaint is made, that the whole complaint and the name of the offender is put into the system. Then, anytime a new complaint is made, the system could be searched to see if that person is in there already. Even if you only have 2 complaints, if the MO is similar, and chances are good that the kids didn’t collude, you can assume there’s something going on. The person could be investigated further, not just dumped into a pile of “not enough evidence”. If you’ve got 2 people telling you about the one person, you’ve not got a pattern, and evidence.

Maybe there already is a system in place in Australia like this, and I just don’t know about it. But it seems like there’s lots of cases where multiple kids have been to the cops about a person, but nobody connected the dots till somebody went public….

Now, after the person has been convicted, they need to go on a public sex offender register. Then normal civilians can look at it and see if the nice neighbour offering to babysit their kids is a genuinely being nice, or if they’re just trying to access their kids….


ICE arrests convicted sex offenders

ICE teams throughout Texas arrest 50 convicted sex offenders and other criminal aliens

This is awesome! Every day at work I read reports of aliens caught on the Border who have some kind of criminal conviction, usually pretty terrible ones. The USBP Agents and the other law enforcement Agents do their best, but so many just keep on slipping through. The US Marshals do round ups, and sometimes we just get them by chance, while they’re doing something else stupid, like Drinking and Driving. It seems like ICE has had their hands tied for a while, but after they came out against the Administration a month or so ago, complaining they were being prevented from doing their jobs, they’ve been going into overtime, making up for lost time. It’s super busy right now. Since Obama announced the Dream Act, it’s a non stop flow of people trying to make it over….

So here’s this press release from ICE. Of course, since they were targeting sex offenders, you know I’m a super happy camper. Kinda awesome it came out the same day as Bravehearts put out a statement on their views on convicted sex offenders having passports.

Here’s a snippet of the ICE press release:

Following a five-day Texas-wide U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operation, 50 convicted alien sex offenders and other criminal aliens were arrested by officers with ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).  ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) also assisted with this operation.

The goal of this operation, dubbed “SOAR” (Sex Offender Alien Removal), was to identify, locate and arrest aliens who have convictions for sex crimes, especially sex crimes against children.  This is the first statewide operation that specifically targeted this criminal element. This operation was coordinated with ERO’s 16 Fugitive Operations Teams throughout Texas, and Texas DPS.  Four Fugitive Operations Teams operated from Dallas and north Texas.

Of the 24 men arrested in north Texas, 15 had prior convictions for sex crimes such as:  indecency with a child, sexual conduct; unlawful sexual intercourse with a child, aggravated sexual assault of a child; sex offense against a child, fondling; and sexual battery of a minor. Seven of those arrested in north Texas had been previously removed from the country and illegally re-entered the United States, which is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison.

Bravehearts Position Statement on Child Sex Offenders and International Travel:

Recent media reports have highlighted the issue of hundreds of convicted child sex offenders travelling overseas.  In just the first two months of 2012, Australian Federal Police (AFP) statistics reported that 195 of the 143,000 offenders registered on the Australian National Child Offender Register (ANCOR) travelled internationally, with many offenders travelling to known, vulnerable countries.Australian Federal Police statistics show that over a quarter of these offenders travel to Denpasar, with Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Nadi, Hong Kong and Manilla among the ‘top ten’ destinations.

While the Australian Federal Police Child Protection Operations Intelligence Unit assists in monitoring individuals who are recorded on the Australian National Child Offender Register travelling overseas, tracking offenders in many countries remains exceedingly difficult.

The Australian Federal Police work closely with local authorities, alerting them when a registered offender is travelling to their country and deploying liaison officers to many international jurisdictions. However, in some cases local authorities do not have the resources, support or experience to appropriately respond.

Bravehearts position on child sex offenders and international travel is that:

On release, and until such time as the offender is no longer under supervision orders, all child sex offenders must forfeit their passport.

Where the offender is no longer under a supervision order, as long as they remain a registered person on the Australian National Child Offender Register, the offender must inform police within at least 7 days advance if they intend to travel outside of Australia.

So ICE wants sex offenders to go home, and Bravehearts wants them to stay home. If only I could get the two to team up together…

Oh, and I just noticed my face on the Bravehearts page! Cool. Hope everyone had a great White Balloon Day. I hope when the case is over, I can come back and attend some events at the next one.


Middle Class Outrage

Middle Class Outrage & First World Problems

As I read through twitter, and I’m amused by pictures of peoples cats, read through news links and see people’s sandwiches, I’m also struck by the amount of outrage over petty stuff. At least most of those people know they’re being wankers by putting the little hashtag #FirstWorldProblems Then there are the people who are genuinely upset over things. Normally things that irritate me. Maybe that’s why their tweets stick out. So it’s my turn to be outraged on the internet. Oh, the irony,

I’ve learnt a few things in life. Some because of situations I’ve been in, others because of my work. Others because they should just be common sense.

Two things that strike me the most, besides the amount of absolutely worthless people on Twitter who obviously have nothing better to do all day that to cyber bully people, is the amount of whining that people do about stuff they could probably just go out and fix. Or at least do something other than sit on the computer all day and complain.

I understand not everyone is given access to all the information they need to make an informed decision all the time. However, usually a little Googling will give you some knowledge. I for example, work in Border Security. I don’t get to carry a gun and sit on the line like others in my facility do. Instead, I’m a desk jockey, writing reports, working with intel and watching the cameras. I get to call the guy on the line and give him a heads up about what’s coming. I understand I get access to information that gives me a completely different opinion than most on what goes on on a border. It’s not all refugees seeking a better life. It’s not all poor Mexicans coming to pick lettuce. For the most part, it’s not even Mexicans. It’s drug and currency runners, and other people who are running the border because they can’t get a visa because they’ve been deported 3 times for rape or murder charges. So when I read tweets about those poor, poor people who are just looking for a better life, I’m a lot more skeptical than most. I know why people don’t apply for visas. I know why people pay people smugglers. I know why people “loose” their documents. What pisses me off more though than middle class folks who want to complain about the big bad government protecting their rights by wanting immigrants to go through proper channels is how people complain about their government. Your government is protecting you. They’re trying to make sure the person who was already busted on 5 felonies who then escaped isn’t coming back to kill your kids. They’re making sure they’re not terrorists trying to pass themselves off as refugees. Also, if you’re so damn upset about the rights of said refugees, you could do something about it. Instead of complaining on twitter, or writing some snarky blog about how awful things are, get off your arse and go do something about it. I wonder how many of the complainers have bothered to go sign up and do some volunteering? When I lived in Australia, I went and did a course at TAFE that certified you to teach ESL to new migrants. It was free and only took a couple of days a week. Here, I joined a medical unit in the guard. Every year, they do a big trip to the border where they provide free medical care to people who can’t afford it. It’s right before school goes back. They give free shots to kids and adults. They do health screenings for the adults. They provide translators for those who can’t speak English. It’s all free. The people in the Guard don’t get paid. They sign up because they want to give back to their community. When there’s a fire or hurricane, the guard goes out and sets up shelters. They provide food, shelter and medical care. Instead of complaining on twitter, go join some organization that actually does something to help people.

Then there are people that complain the other way. If someone says something, like they were bummed they couldn’t afford the new iPad, some other internet hero will lambast them with how other people are starving in 3rd world countries and they shouldn’t be complaining about a lack of an iPad. I wonder if these people have ever lived in a 3rd world country. Not just visited some tourist town, but actually lived. I spent a year in Honduras. It’s the 2nd poorest country in the Western World (behind Haiti) and has the highest murder rate in the world. People there might not have had solid walls, but they all had cable TV…. People who wanted to work found work. Even if it was pushing an ice-cream cart. Others just wanted to sit at home and watch novelas all day and send their kids out to beg for money. Yes, Honduras sucked. However, if you choose not to get a job, I choose not to give your kids money on the street. I don’t need some middle class suburbanite telling me I’m an awful because I choose to have a job and choose not to hand over my hard earned money to someone who watches TV all day. If I want nice things, and I work hard to buy nice things, I shouldn’t have to feel guilty for it.It’s not much different on the south side of San Antonio. People come to the mall with their kids. They’ve got tattoos all over. They’re wearing a bunch of gold. They’re paying cash for perfume. Their kids have black teeth. Those people will complain the can’t afford to take their kids to the dentist. They can, it’s just not on their priority list.

Lastly, I want to touch on Needs, Wants and Rights.

People just can’t seem to grasp the difference between a need and a want. Just because you want something, doesn’t mean you need it. When I worked promos, the amount of people who told me they needed another sample, or shirt, or free trinket amazed me. They’d say, I need another one. I need it for my sister, and I need another one for my Aunt, and one for my cousin. If I run out, they’d say, well give me your shirt. Seriously, I had people who literally wanted the shirt off my back. I’m giving you something for free, which you’re either going to throw away, or go around the corner and sell. It’s free shit. It’s not stuff you need. Same thing applies for that cute designer handbag, shoes or any other luxury item. Needs are basic stuff, like shelter, food, water. Then there are rights. A lot of people need to read up on what their rights really are. Or what other peoples rights are in other countries before they start complaining.

For example, the US is not a signatory on the UN refugee program. They don’t have to take anyone as a refugee. Australians are not guaranteed the right to free speech. People seem to think because something applies in one country, it’s true for ALL English speaking countries. No country has to give you a tourist visa. It’s up to that country to decide if they want to let you in or not. Just because you want to visit a country, doesn’t mean you have a right to.

Lastly, there’s Need to Know. People seem to think they have a right and a need to know everything. Just look at the Wikileaks fanatics. Actually, people don’t have a right or a need to know everything. Especially when it’s sensitive information that could put other people’s lives in jeopardy. Just because you’re interested in knowing the details of something, doesn’t mean you have the right to hack somebody’s computer and find out.  (Or hacking their voicemail) Your interest in a subject is not more important than making sure justice is done. It’s not more important that keeping other people safe. When the time is right, and it’s safe for everyone, information will be released. It’s not like Joe Public reads that stuff anyway. Shit, even most journalists don’t actually do any research on their own these days. For the most part, it’s the bad guys who are reading over the classified stuff. Yes, there’s plenty of stuff we get at work marked classified that I don’t think should be, I think it would be in the public interest for people to know. But where do you draw the line? It’s not my decision to decide what gets released and what doesn’t. I accept that there’s a reason it’s not being released. Just like my case. There are some details that have been released, and some stuff people will just have to wait till we go to court to hear about. Just because you’re interested in the details, doesn’t mean we’re going to spill the beans on everything before justice is done. Some things need to stay confidential till it’s over. I know that goes against my first point of educating yourself before ranting, but sometimes people just talk about stuff they have no business getting involved in. There’s also the hypocritical factor. Why is it not OK for News of the World to hack celebrities phones but it is OK to steal State secrets? Are the private messages of Hugh Grant really more important and need protecting than where a platoon of troops is? If you’re going to advocate for one, you have to accept the other.

Well, now that’s I’ve been that crazy person I’ve been bitching about, and I’ve vented and feel better, I’m going out. Tomorrow when I wake up and read twitter I’ll just tell myself everyone is being sarcastic when they tweet about shit, or they’re also just having a vent. If that doesn’t work, I’ll keep telling myself that ignorance is bliss and there’s lots of happy people out there.


I’m confused

Julian Assange, Roman Polanski and extradition cases

So now that I’m watching London and the extradition hearing set for the 19th of September for my own future case, I’m also fascinated by the Julian Assange extradition ordeal, which then led me to think about the Roman Polanski case and his attempted extradition from Switzerland in 2010.

Here’s what I understand from the Julian Assange case. Feel free to write in the comments below and tell me where I may be wrong.

Julian Assange

Assange, who we all know is really wanted in the US because he posted a whole bunch of classified documents on his Wikileaks site, is being charged by the Swedish Govt with raping two women. Two women who claimed they had consensual sex with Assange. But apparently sex without a condom is illegal in Sweden. So, they charged him, dropped the charges, reinstated the charges and now they’re trying to extradite him. There appears be be several different stories on the matter, some ranging from it was simply consensual sex and he didn’t use a condom, to he forcibly raped one while not using a condom. It depends which piece of propaganda you read.  Some sites claim that one of the women has ties to the CIA and is just trying to frame him. Other sites claim he had sex with one of the women while she was asleep. When she awoke, she asked if he was using a condom. When he said no, she asked him to stop, and he didn’t. At this point, I’d like to point out that if someone tell you NO, even if you are already having sex, it become rape. Whether a man or woman says no, if the other person holds one person down and continues to have sex with them, it becomes rape. Yesterday I was convinced that it was all some trumped up charges by the government to get Assange back to Sweden so they could in turn hand him over to the US. However, the more I read, the more I think that maybe there is something going on. I mean, if the US really wanted Assange, they could formally apply for extradition for Assange from England. They don’t need him to go back to Sweden. It also scares me the way the women have been vilified by the media. Because Assange has done some good things, like create Wikileaks and help to promote truth, he’s a hero and above rape. Kind of ironic that a guy all about exposing the truth won’t face the courts and let the truth come out. If he’s innocent, he should go back to Sweden and prove it.

Whether he did it or not, the women involved have been labeled as crazy man haters, only angry because he had sex with them both over one weekend. That they were only upset because they were worried about STD’s. That they are just being used by the government. Lots of people are simply dismissing their claims because they think that just because he’s famous, he couldn’t possibly have committed rape. Lets not forget that plenty of famous men have been charged with rape. Mike Tyson anyone? He served 3 years for raping an 18 year old beauty queen. Kobe Bryant was accused of rape. Even Errol Flynn was taken to court but later acquitted on raping two underage girls. Rape charges rarely stick if you’re rich and famous.

Roman Polanski

That brings me to Roman Polanski. Here’s a man who raped a 13 year old girl. He gave her drugs, champagne and then forcibly raped her and sodomized her. The whole time she begged him to stop. He was charged with rape. He admitted to the rape. Then, he didn’t like that he was going to have to actually serve time, so he fled the country. What amazes me most about this case, is not that he’s managed to avoid extradition to the US all these years, with Switzerland refusing to extradite him, but the fact that so many people believe that it’s ok that he raped a 13 year old girl because he’s an “Artiste“. You’ve got idiots like Whoopi Goldberg who say shit like, It’s not Rape-Rape. You’ve got people who still want to hire him as a director. Kate Winslet said “If Roman Polanski invites you to join in any project, you really don’t say no”  Is that because he doesn’t listen anyway? People feel bad for him because he can’t return to America to collect an Oscar in person. Oh boo fucking hoo. He RAPED a 13 year old. I’m so tired of famous people getting a pass on heinous crimes just because they’re famous. I’m sick of people saying that it’s OK to do bad things just because you’ve got a skill in some other area. Just because you’re good at something, doesn’t make it ok to break the law. Even if I was still an actor, I would NEVER work with Polanski. I won’t watch any of his films either. I won’t contribute to him earning a living in the field I used to work in. It’s because of assholes like him that the notion exists that rape and sexual assault are just part of the entertainment industry and if you want to be a part of it, then you should just deal with it.

If Julian Assange has been wrongly accused of rape, I feel bad for him. I think if Sweden is serious about the charges, they should guarantee they’re bringing him to Sweden to face court on those charges, and guarantee that he won’t be extradited to the US. However, if he did indeed rape those women, then I feel terrible that they’ve been swept aside as mere pawns by society. I think they have a right to their day in court. If Julian Assange really cares about the truth, he’ll go to court instead of hiding in an embassy.

The US needs to let Assange go to Sweden, unafraid of being sent to the US. They need to let him face those charges there. Then, once that’s over, and he’s left Sweden, they can go ahead and do whatever they want. But this whole case right now is blurry, with everyone throwing blame at everyone else. No-one is going to get anything done, and it’s going to create a political and diplomatic minefield.

Meanwhile, we need to leave the two women alone. None of us know the truth yet, so lets stop dragging them through the mud.


Gay Marriage

Why does it matter if gays get married?

I’m sure I’m going to upset a lot of people with this post. Gay marriage rights are such a divisive issue. But, it’s something I feel pretty strongly about, so I’m going to just put it out there…. Why start holding back now, eh?

I’m pretty amazed that in the year 2012, we are even having a discussion about gay marriage rights. I wonder if this is how people felt back in the 1950’s in the American south while they were trying to create equal rights for black people. Today it seems crazy that colored people had a separate bathroom, or had to ride at the back of the bus.

In South Africa, where Nelson Mandela is now a revered figure, it’s crazy that there used to be apartheid. Way back before my time, women weren’t allowed to vote. People couldn’t migrate to Australia if they weren’t white. People used to be burned at the stake for being a witch. My point is, there’s a lot of things in the past that people were pretty passionate about that just seem ridiculous now.

In 20 years, kids will be incredulous that gays had to fight for the right to be married. I mean, what is marriage anyway? I’d like to be all romantic and think it’s the binding together of two hearts, but really, marriage is nothing more than a legal business contract. It always has been. It’s the tying together of two people financially. Back in the day, and still today in many third world or middle eastern nations, it is a way for a man to essentially purchase a woman. The man was now responsible for his bride. He had to provide for her. Even in England a hundred years ago, women did nothing more than look for a good husband who could provide her status and money. (Pride and Prejudice anyone?) Shit, women still do that today. That’s why marriages now have pre-nups. If marriage was only about love, people wouldn’t have to sign financial contracts before they said I Do. There wouldn’t be dowries. There wouldn’t be arranged marriages.

Marriage also provides other financial benefits, like health insurance, life insurance and being  recognized in a will, should one party die. It also means if one party goes to hospital, the other one is recognized as the next of kin and gets to make life altering decisions for the other one. I couldn’t imagine if I was taken to hospital and I was told that Matt couldn’t make decisions for me, that they were going to defer those to my mother. I haven’t spoken to her in over 2 years. What would she know about my wishes? When Matt was in hospital and on life support, there was a misunderstanding over whether he could have a transfusion or not. Matt and I had often talked about worst case scenarios, and I knew what he wanted. His parents had different ideas. The hospital stepped in and said as his wife I had the legal and ultimate decision over what happened to him. When he woke up, he was grateful I had been there to make the call, and stand up for what he wanted. I’m sure there’s many other people in the same position.

I love Matt more than life itself, and couldn’t imagine being without him. However, getting a Greencard so we could stay together was a pretty big push for us to get married. If we didn’t, I’d have had to keep flying back and forth. I can’t imagine being a gay or lesbian who is told that because I can’t get married, I can’t be in the same country as the one I love.

I don’t believe in the Church’s view of one man and one woman. For starters, I don’t believe in the church. I think it’s nothing more than a corrupt institution that was used back in the day to control the masses with it’s oligarchy. These days most churches are still corrupt and self serving. Look at the Catholic church. It’s all about real estate and covering up child abuse.  Evangelicals and TV churches will pray for you for money. Sects of the Mormons think it’s ok to have 5 wives, but no gay marriages? Others will kill each other because they don’t believe in the same God. Religions are always picking and choosing which bits are relevant and which bits they’re not going to listen to anymore, so it’s all pretty pointless and self serving anyway.

If you need an invisible friend to talk to and that’s your thing, then power to you. I however belong to the Church of Me. I believe in myself and that’s all I need. I don’t need someone preaching to me about something that may or may not have actually occurred over 2000 years ago. I don’t need to tithe to some institution who uses it to pay off lawyers, or buy the preacher a nice house and car, while they never give anything back to their community.  I don’t need to kill people in the name of my God, or think less of someone because they believe in a different God. I know right from wrong, and don’t need the promise of heaven or hell to make me stay on course with my moral compass.

Gay marriages aren’t going to erode the sanctity of marriage. People like Kim Kardashian and Ana Nicole Smith have both done that. Elizabeth Taylor couldn’t keep it with one man. JFK wasn’t loyal to Jackie O. Jackie O married Onassis for love? Yeah, right. Plenty of hetero couples make a joke of the “sanctity of marriage”. It’s up to the couple to make a marriage, it’s not up to others to judge it and approve of it.

Most of my favourite people in this world are gay. My dad was a fashion designer, and we were exposed pretty early as kids to gays and lesbians. I grew up loving “Uncle Pierro”, who was with Harold until Harold died. I was so excited when Pierro was at my brothers wedding. At channel 7, a huge number of the crew was gay. It was almost a requirement to work in the props dept. I don’t know what I would have done without Gordon. He was always there with a packet of Tim Tams and a hug. He was also the one who finally stood up to the director when she thought it was OK to hit me with a cane on set. He was the one who told her if she hit me again he was going to report her to child protective services. The cane disappeared. My best friend growing up, Kate, had a mum who was a lesbian. She lived with her partner.  My favourite in-laws are Uncle Pete and Aunt Steve. I don’t know how I would have made it through some of the family get togethers without those two. My publicist Stephen lives with his gorgeous partner, Ben. Those two have done so much for me. (Although on bad days I curse Stephen for making me go public) These are all people I love, and I don’t see anything wrong or different about them. They just happen to love someone who has an inny or an outtie that matches their own. That doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be in an equal relationship with the one they love. If Steve gets sick, Pete should be allowed to make decisions for him. If a partner dies, the one left behind should be treated as a spouse, and not have to jump through hoops with what’s left behind.

I think gays and lesbians should be allowed to have kids on their own or adopt them. Kate lived with her dad, but her mum and her partner were always there for her. What’s the difference between a couple having a kid, then one of them realizing they’re gay, and a gay couple already together having a kid? Either way the kid ends up with a blended family. I had a mother and father. Then my father died. Lots of women are single mothers. Their kids don’t have a father and mother. Saying kids need one of each is such bull-shit rhetoric. Are we going to round up all the pregnant women whose husbands died on the battlefield and tell them they can’t keep those kids because they don’t have a dad? What about women who don’t know who their baby daddy is? It’s not like a couple is an island. Kids are exposed to people of both sexes. Other adults step up. Kids seek out what they need. As long as both parents love that child, raise it properly, teach it manners and respect, who cares if they have two mummies or two daddies? So many kids these days already have 2 mums and 2 dads, or 3 or more, because their hetero parents keep getting divorced and re-married.  Matt and I have chosen not to have kids. Ever. Does that mean we shouldn’t be allowed to be married? According to some religious folk, the only reason to get married is to have kids. Should infertile couples have their marriages annulled?

I don’t think it’s right, or constitutional, that town Mayors told Chick-Fil-A that they can’t open new restaurants in their cities,  but you can bet your arse I won’t be eating at a Chick-Fil-A ever again. I don’t tell them they should be open on Sunday instead of going to church. Companies should make products, not spout religious views. I’m an Athiest, but I don’t try to deny people rights based on my non-belief of a deity. I don’t begrudge religious people their right to their beliefs either. I just think people should keep their religious beliefs out of politics and legal issues. Go ahead and pray before dinner, or at the rodeo, or the football game. I won’t begrudge you that right to pray in public. Just don’t expect me to say the words with you, or believe any of it.  But religious people shouldn’t begrudge others their rights either. I will take those people that I love, and who have always been there for me, and who treat me with love and respect over some imaginary person and whatever crap people spouted thousands of years ago any day. I hope that Australia and America both move past the Church v’s State issue, and realize that the love/financial contract between two people shouldn’t be a religious issue.

If Matt’s uncles, Kate’s mum, or Anderson Cooper want to get married to their partners, then they should be allowed. Maybe one day people will look back and think not allowing Pete and Steve to get married is as silly as not allowing a mixed race couple to marry. What a grown couple does in their own personal life has absolutely no effect on me whatsoever. If another couple gets married, gay or straight, it’s none of my business what they do in their bedroom. It doesn’t infringe on my right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

People are people. We shouldn’t be defined by the colour of our skin, by our choice of invisible friend or by who we fall in love with.


Protecting the Guilty

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.


Report finds Joe Paterno aided Sandusky

Joe Paterno and the Penn State Coverup

So now that Jerry Sandusky has been found GUILTY of  45 child molestation charges and will hopefully spend the rest of his life behind bars, an investigation has found that Joe Paterno, who died last year of cancer, was guilty of covering up for Sandusky. His actions would have allowed Sandusky to molest many more kids than if he had done the right thing and stopped Sandusky when he first heard about it. Several other members of the Penn State board have been found to be negligent also. Here’s a link to the report that TMZ obtained.

I was happy to see that Nike is going to be removing Joe Paterno’s name from it’s Child Care Center. His name has no business being associated with a Child Development Center. I don’t care if he’s dead and I shouldn’t be dancing on his grave. The man knew what Sandusky was doing, and he was more worried about his precious football team and the Penn State name than he was about these innocent kids.

Here’s an piece from the report:

The most saddening finding by the Special Investigative Council is the total and consistent disregard by the most senior leaders at Penn State for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims. As the Grand Jury similarly noted in the presentment there was no “attempt to investigate, the identify Victim 2, or to protect that child or any others from similar conduct except as related to preventing it’s re-occurrence on University property.”

Four of the most powerful people at The Pennsylvania State University – President Graham B. Spanier, Senior Vice President-Finance and Business Gary C. Schultz, Althletic Director Timothy M. Curley and Head Football coach Joseph V. Paterno – failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade. The men concealed Sandusky’s activities from the Board of Trustees, the University and authorities. The exhibited a striking lack of empathy for Sandusky’s victims by failing to inquire as to their safety and well being, especially by not attempting to determine the identity of the child who Sandusky assaulted in the Lasch Building in 2001. Further, the exposed this child to additional harm by alerting Sandusky, who was the only one who knew the child’s identity, of what McQueary saw in the shower the night on February 9, 2001.

These individuals, unchecked by the Board of Trustees that did not perform its oversight duties, empowered Sandusky to attract potential victims to the campus and football events by allowing him to have continued, unrestricted and unsupervised access to the University’s facilities and affiliation with the University’s prominent football program. Indeed, that continued access provided Sandusky with the very currency that enabled him to attract his victims. Some coaches, administrators and football program staff member ignored the red flags of Sandusky’s behaviors and no one warned the public about him.

It then goes on to say that by not promply and fully advising the board about the sexual abuse allegation against Sandusky, the men failed in the jobs. Its then continues with:

Taking into account the available witness statements and evidence, the Special Investigative Counsel finds that it is more reasonable to conclude that, in order to avoid the  consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at the University – Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley – repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse from the authorities, the University’s Board of Trustees, the Penn State community and the public at large.

When will people get that a predator is a predator, and that if you let them get away with it once, they’re going to keep trying to get away with it. By not stopping to problem, you become an enabler. You’re effectively helping the predator to continue. It’s a cliche, but If you’re not part of the solution, the you’re part of the problem”.

Eventually, someone is going to speak up. Someone is going to have the balls to come forward. Then, others will also find their voice. The children will find strength in numbers, and then the shit will hit the fan. All of the douchebags who let it happen will be exposed. They will be shamed just like the predator.

Joe Paterno got off easy. He died before the shit really hit the fan. His memory will forever be tarnished. Hopefully the others, Schultz, Spanier and Curley will also have to face the music and pay for their ineptitude to save those kids.

I don’t give a shit how fabulous you think your football team is, or how wonderful your organization is, or how high your TV show is rating. If you allow a child predator to continue their deeds because you’re protecting a cash cow, you’re just as big a douchbag as the predator. You deserve to also face jail time and should be publicly named and shamed. In the case of these three remaining Penn State idiots, they should be fired, jailed and never allowed to work near kids again.