Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ex-Air Force sergeant found guilty of rape

Ex-Air Force sergeant found guilty of rape

Robert Richard Roper was found guilty at Auckland District Court. Photo / File
Robert Richard Roper was found guilty at Auckland District Court. Photo / File
An ex-Air Force sergeant has been found guilty of more than 20 sexual charges against five girls, and police have revealed more women have come forward since his trial began.
Robert Richard Roper, 69, went on trial at Auckland District Court last month on 23 sex and violence charges stemming back to the 1970s and 1980s when he worked at the Royal New Zealand Air Force base in Hobsonville in the transport division.
Late last night, a jury found him guilty on 21 of those charges - all the sex allegations.
He was acquitted on counts of male assaults female and assaulting a child.
The officer in charge of the case Detective Bryony Brown said that since Roper's name was published at the start of trial, other women had been referred to police.
"I'm not willing to go into numbers at this stage but what I will say is that we encourage anyone who has been a victim of sexual offending to talk to us," she said.
Roper's offending came to light only at the end of 2012 - 23 years after leaving the Air Force - when the first victim came forward saying he began abusing her at the age of 6, progressing to rape as regularly as once a week when she was a teenager.
By May 2013, police charged him, as friends of the first woman gradually approached police with similar statements.
One victim told the court about a night when Roper offered her a lift home.
He kissed and groped her as soon as they were in the car, before driving her to an area known as "the bombing range" at the base.
Roper reclined her seat and locked the doors as she tried to escape.
He bound her hands with the seatbelt and raped her, the court heard.
Ms Brown said the victims were "very relieved" with the guilty verdicts.
"This was obviously a very difficult time for them and we are very grateful to the victims in this. Many of them were understandably very traumatised by Roper's offending and it is because of their actions of coming to us to report his offending that we were able to put him before the courts and get this result."
Roper will be sentenced in February.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Dentist has registration cancelled after sexual offences

Sophie Ryan

Sophie Ryan is an NZME. News Service reporter.

Dentist has registration cancelled after sexual offences

The dentist said his offending had been a 'lapse of judgment', and his actions weren't sexually motivated. Photo / Thinkstock
The dentist said his offending had been a 'lapse of judgment', and his actions weren't sexually motivated. Photo / Thinkstock
A dentist who was convicted of sexual offences last year has had his registration cancelled.
The dentist, who has name suppression to protect his victims, was sentenced to eight months' home detention in the Auckland District Court last year.
The court heard that in 2011 the man showed his son and two friends of his son pornographic material while he was present.
On two occasions he encouraged them to masturbate while he was in the room.
The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal heard the dentist wished to keep his registration so he could work again after he had served his home detention.
The dentist told the tribunal his family had suffered significant financial hardship since the charges had been laid. He had also suffered depression and anxiety.
The dentist said his offending had been a "lapse of judgment", and his actions weren't sexually motivated.
His wife said she stood by her husband and called his offending "negligent parenting".
The tribunal decided to cancel the dentist's registration.It also imposed the condition that the dentist must provide evidence that he had competed a psychological treatment course, and a report that he was not a risk to the public, if he was to apply for re-registration.
The tribunal also said the dentist could not practice alone for three years after his re-registration.He was censured and ordered to pay $5958 in costs to the tribunal.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Man who spiked children's drinks

Man who spiked children's drinks with sleeping pills jailed

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald
An Auckland man who spiked children's drinks with sleeping pills to sexually abuse them has been jailed for more than six years.
The man, whose name was suppressed because it might identify one of his six victims and his wife, approached North Shore police in May to disclose eight and a half years of sexual offending.
He subsequently pleaded guilty to 20 charges - eight of which were for "stupefying".
The 40-year-old moved to New Zealand more than 15 years ago and was prescribed Triazolam - a sleeping pill with hypnotic and sedative properties - after struggling to sleep while doing shift work.
The court heard how he would combine the medication with milkshakes rendering children incapable of rebuffing his sexual advances.
And in one case, when two young girls were staying at his house, he spiked his wife's drink sending her to sleep.
While she was comatose, he did the same to the girls so he could lift their night gowns and look at their underwear.
The most serious offending came against a boy, who was 7 when the defendant "befriended" him.
He admitted grooming the boy for years, taking him on camping trips and helping with his homework.
By the time the victim was 14, the pair would go camping where the man plied him with whiskey and molested him on several occasions.
The defendant had previous convictions for indecent assault of a girl and a boy under the age of 12, for which he received a sentence of home detention.
At sentencing, at the High Court in Auckland last week, Justice Brendan Brown said the man acknowledged his deviant urges.
"You describe yourself as having a sexual addiction which you are learning to control to prevent further offending," he said.
Justice Brown jailed him for six years four months and recommended he be placed on the Te Piriti child sex offender treatment programme at Auckland Prison.
Probation assessed the 40-year-old as being a high risk of reoffending and harm to others.
The judge rejected any sentence discount for remorse and highlighted the fact the man had committed sex crimes for almost the entire time he had lived in New Zealand.
He imposed a minimum-non-parole of three and a half years.

Fast food worker: 'They refused to let me go home'

Fast food worker: 'They refused to let me go home'

File photo / Christine Cornege File photo / Christine Cornege

A fast food worker alleges she was forced to carry on working despite suffering broken ribs and coughing up blood in front of customers.
The incident has been described by a union as an "absolutely appalling" example of the impact zero hours contracts have on staff across the country.
Stephanie Phillips said she was admitted to hospital and immediately placed on an IV drip with "half my lung filled with blood" after working four hours at McDonald's in Orewa.
The staff member who eventually let her leave was allegedly reprimanded for disobeying orders for her to stay the full eight hour shift.
A McDonald's spokesman said neither McDonald's nor the frachisee had been contacted by the former employee or her union, Unite, regarding the alleged incident.
"We question why Unite Union has chosen to raise the alleged incident via the media, rather than directly with us.
As always, we would investigate any claims put to us."
Ms Phillips' story came to light at a Unite conference in Auckland today, in advance of a new campaign against zero hours contracts.
The union -- which represents the food service industry, casinos, call centre and security staff -- said such contracts not only risked workers' job and financial security, but also affected their personal lives and created a climate of fear within the workplace.
Staff were afraid to take sick days or turn down a shift for fear their roster would be dramatically cut the following week. Some were forced onto benefits because their work hours no longer covered the bills.
At the conference, one fast food worker stood up to say restaurant chains "ruled by fear".
Unite national director Mike Treen said such contracts were about companies holding power and control over staff.
"Because you know that as a part-time worker that you've got to beg for those shifts, you've got to suck up to management, that's the reality of life that they want to impose on those workers when there is absolutely, technically and otherwise, no reason for that.
"They can, and they should, give the vast majority of their staff secure hours."
Next year the union would launch a campaign, dedicating 2015 to "putting an end to zero hour contracts", and telling companies "no longer will they be able to treat you like some disposable commodity".
Telling her story, Ms Phillips said she had been told she was a "valued employee" who could rise to management level, but when she broke three ribs and punctured a lung she was expected to continue working.
She was given an assurance that if she needed to leave work for medical reasons she would be allowed to, she said, but that was not the case when she started her shift one day by coughing up blood.
The stand-in manager tried to cover the shift, calling the restaurant manger for permission to send her home.
"He refused to let me go home," Ms Phillips told the packed hall.
"In total I did four hours, a customer saw me cough up blood ... They solved the problem by putting me on [back room duties]."
The stand-in manager eventually sent her home, but "got into a lot of trouble" for doing so.
"I got that week off work and I was still asked to cover shifts during that week," she said.
"They were ringing me at 5.30am saying, 'can you come in and work a shift at 6am?"'
Robert Reid, national secretary of First Union, which has joined forces with Unite to campaign against zero hours contracts, described the case as "absolutely appalling", but said while it was an extreme example, it was "not irregular".
"This sort of thing happens all the time," he said.
Restaurant Brands, which operates KFC, Pizza Hut and Carl's Jr in New Zealand, said it appreciated the opportunity but would not be commenting.
Zero hours contracts are casual contracts which allow employers to hire staff with no guarantee of work. Some contracts will have a minimum number of hours, such as eight or 16 hours, but hours and days of work can vary dramatically from week to week. Employees work only when they are needed, often at short notice.
Employers argue this type of contract provides flexibility to staff who often do not want to work full-time hours, in industries which see a fluctuating demand for services, such as hospitality and tourism.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


 Protesters at Auckland High Court (Photo: Caitlin Smith/3 News)

Protesters swarmed the Auckland High Court today to take a stand against rape culture in New Zealand.
The National Day of Action to Bust Rape culture is in its second year and organiser Jess Belle says the recent handling of the Roast Busters case has sparked action nationwide.
"The catalyst for organising this was the very public Roast Busters case and the outcry about it," says Ms Belle. "It was a crack in the wall of silence around this issue and an opportunity to push for change."
The Roast Busters case shocked the nation last year after it was revealed a group of teenagers in Auckland allegedly got underage girls drunk and sexually assaulted them.
Last month police announced they weren't going to lay charges against the boys allegedly involved with the incidents despite receiving multiple complaints.
This decision sparked another debate about rape culture in New Zealand.
Three women chained themselves to the front of the Auckland Central Police Station earlier this month in protest against the handling of the case.
Ms Belle believes the actions of the Roast Busters and the handling of the case is not unusual, it just had more publicity.
"When we were coming up with a name for last year's march we didn't want to centre the Roast Busters too much because that implies that they are aberrations rather than a product of rape culture, which is the larger issue we want to address."
Executive director of Rape Prevention Education, Dr Kim McGregor, says the Law commission has recommended a number of proposals for improving the justice system and she is calling for it to be released to the public.
"At the moment with current criminal justice system, rape survivors are the only ones put on trial. Their cross examined by hostile defence lawyers, while the defendant can sit there in silence and have his defence lawyers brutalise the rape complainant."
Ms Belle hopes the protest will help prompt changes that will make it easier for victims of perpetrators of rape to face justice.
"New Zealand hasn't had the imagination to deal with rape beyond either ignoring it or, very rarely, incarcerating someone," she says. "Of 100 rapes, maybe one will result in a conviction."
A sister march is was also held in Wellington where more than 300 people were expected to attend.
3 News

Saturday, November 29, 2014

By killing himself, my father denied me the relief of justice. That's why I can't remain silent about his abuse

Sexual abuse happens in everyday homes; abusers aren’t untouchable celebrities, they’re ordinary fathers, step-fathers, uncles. Speaking out is the first step towards freedom
Fi Read
‘The only thing that kept me going was this overriding drive to not let him get away with it again’. Photograph: Greg Martin
Last Sunday, my dad killed himself.
It was a Remembrance Sunday I won’t forget, but not for the reasons you might think. My father was not a nice man. Some people would say he deserved to die for what he did, but I don’t believe in capital punishment. I believe in justice. Justice, however, is a slippery fish. And although the British judiciary system is often hailed as an exemplar, it’s not always a fair cop.
So last Sunday, all I could think was “you bastard”. For nearly two years, I’d been put through hell and back. I had endured brutalising investigative and legal processes, not to mention a lifetime of suffering as a result of having been sexually abused by him as a child, to come this close to finally seeing him locked up in jail where he belonged ... But then he went and did this.
Two years ago, the media was saturated with stories of Jimmy Savile and the terrible crimes he committed as an untouchable celebrity paedophile. The shocking nature of his depravity was splashed everywhere – on TV, the radio, in all the papers – it was inescapable. For someone like me who has tried so hard to bury my past (you can’t, it’s always there), done my best to forget (it haunts you daily), run away from it as far as I possibly could (it catches up and finds you) and move on (it won’t let you), the media frenzy opened up deep wounds. But it also made me realise that if I chose not to do anything, if I continued to remain silent, my father would die too and get away with it. He was 73. It felt like now or never.
Fi Read
The author, aged seven. Photograph: Fi Read
My father wasn’t famous, but he was a respected academic believed to be a fine upstanding citizen. To complicate matters, the abuse had taken place halfway round the world more than 40 years ago. But it gave me a glimmer of hope to know that it was still possible to have this monster held accountable for his actions, and punished for what he did.
On 9 January 2013, I happened to be in Penzance’s police station reporting the theft of my son’s bicycle. After filling in the relevant forms, shaking like a leaf and in a half-strangled whisper, I somehow managed to get the words out to say that there was something else. I wanted to press charges against my father.
I didn’t know I was going to spill the beans that day; hadn’t considered the legal ramifications fully, or the very real repercussions it would have on my life – it just came out. Since then, I have sometimes wished I’d stayed silent, as the price I’ve paid to speak the truth has been phenomenally high.
The trauma of having to provide numerous statements and video evidence and re-live the nightmare shook me to the core. I became anxious, depressed, suffered from extreme insomnia. My partner of three and a half years eventually dumped me as he couldn’t handle me being “emotionally needy”, which sent me right over the edge. I spiralled into bulimia again (I was anorexic and bulimic as a teenager), had a complete mental breakdown, and even contemplated suicide myself, ringing the Samaritans twice. But I’m a single parent of four and couldn’t bear to do that to my children, even if they are all grown up now.
Small wonder so many women drop the charges, as the court process is horrific, victimises you all over again, and as with the initial abuse, leaves you feeling utterly powerless.
fi read
The author as a child. Photograph: Fi Read
The only thing that kept me going was this overriding drive to not let him get away with it again, and my own need to try to achieve some sense of justice and closure.
The tyranny of distance meant Devon and Cornwall Police had to liaise with Interpol before handing the case over to the South Australian vice squad, so it wasn’t until June 2013 that he was actually arrested and charged with persistent sexual abuse of a child. The offences included inappropriate touching, kissing, digital penetration, fellatio, cunnilingus and anal rape. This happened as I was between four and eight years old.
He was released on bail. Then during the criminal investigation proceedings, three more victims came forth.
The prosecution process dragged on and on and on, with delay after delay, adjournment after adjournment, until finally the trial was listed for 13 January 2015. In August of this year, The attorney general’s department informed me that he was prepared to plead guilty to the charges in relation to me, but there were hold-ups due to legal arguments concerning the other victims, as we were all part of a joint case.
For me, my father’s guilt was crystal clear. I’d confronted him when I was 16, and he’d admitted it. But being anorexic and depressed at the time, I was not in a position to do anything with that knowledge. Sent to see a shrink, I disclosed to this psychiatrist who did nothing, but wrote me a script for heavy duty anti-depressants.
As a 12 year-old, I read virtually the entire collection of Agatha Christie’s murder mystery novels (there are 66) in the hope of finding the perfect way to kill him without getting caught. As an adult, I’d kept waiting for the phone call saying he’d died, so I could pop the champagne and shout “hurrah!” Since his arrest, however, I’d wanted him to stay very much alive. To be found guilty in the eyes of the law, incarcerated, and most importantly, named and shamed. As victims, the very nature of our abuse silences us. This was my opportunity to finally have a voice, to be heard, and for the truth to be told at long last.
But I was robbed. Just two months before having to face the music, he took the cowardly route out. This was so not the outcome I’d anticipated or hoped for. Had I gone through all this for him to be marked by an insipid few lines in an obituary about how he “sadly passed away aged 74”? I don’t think so.
fi read with her dad
The author with her dad, aged 10. Photograph: Fi Read
My life has been a car crash. Ditto the other victims. It didn’t seem fair. If this was justice, it was rough. And the others abused by this man whom we don’t know about (I don’t doubt there are others as he was a predatory paedophile) didn’t deserve it either.
So I went public. I contacted the press in Australia to ensure the truth was told, and that the former dean of dentistry at Adelaide University, professor Roger Joseph Smales, had taken his own life to avoid facing multiple charges of persistent child sexual abuse. The tragedy wasn’t this man’s suicide; the tragedy was the many lives he’d wreaked havoc upon. Nobody should feel sorry for this man.
And if just one person who sees that article – either someone assaulted by him or by another abuser – is able to gain some sense of closure from this and that he didn’t, after all, get away with it, then I have done the right thing. And if it prompts others to come forward with their own injustices, then maybe there’s hope for us all.
Just because my dad wasn’t Rolf Harris doesn’t mean my story doesn’t matter. Wherever and whenever child abuse occurs, it is wrong. The reason why abuse continues to happen is because it’s a taboo subject that no-one is prepared to talk about.
Coming forward as a victim is no picnic, believe me. It’s not necessarily the path for everyone, and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have lots of support systems and networks in place, as it damn near broke me. And clearly, the outcome isn’t always the outcome you’d expect. Too often abusers are acquitted on technicalities, or because the jury can’t come to a unanimous decision.
But if you or someone you know has been affected by similar issues, then rape and sexual abuse centres might be a place to turn for help. My local one, the Cornwall Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, was a lifeline at the time: they offered me free counselling sessions when I needed them most, and I was also part of a self-help group that they run specifically for survivors of sexual abuse.
But mostly, it has been my amazing friends who have been there for me through all this who kept me from going under, and I can never thank them enough. And as one of them said to me, “now you are free”.
  • Due to the sensitive nature of this piece, the comments are being pre-moderated
  • A version of this article first appeared in The Cornishman
If you are a victim of sexual violence, you can contact 1800 737 732 (RESPECT) in Australia, RAINN in the US, Rape crisis in the UK.
In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 08457 90 90 90. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. Hotlines in other countries can be found here.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Woman to appeal against 'fun' bum slap ruling

Photo / Thinkstock

Cherie Howie

Cherie Howie is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.
Woman to appeal against 'fun' bum slap ruling

A boss who slapped his employee's bottom has praised the Employment Relations Authority for not automatically favouring the woman complainant by finding it was not sexual harassment, but a "fun slap".
In a judgment released this week, authority member Anna Fitzgibbon found The Plant Place owner Bruce Sanson did not sexually harass former employee Ella Newman.
This afternoon Newman responded that she was "disappointed ... but feeling strong" and would appeal.
The 23-year-old resigned the day after the December 2013 incident, and then alleged Sanson had previously sexually harassed her during the two years she worked at his Hamilton garden centre.
Fitzgibbon rejected those claims, calling Newman an unreliable witness and questioning why she did not complain earlier.
The December 2013 bottom slap was "inappropriate and should not be repeated" but took place during a joke, Fitzgibbon said.
"Ms Newman was being cheeky about Mr Sanson's floppy hat and he slapped her on the bottom. It was a one-off slap, which I accept was a 'fun slap'."
Mr Sanson told the Herald on Sunday the finding was "groundbreaking".
"I assumed there would be too many precedents before it that would disallow it [being thrown out]. I don't think many [sexual harassment] cases get thrown out .. that was my only worry, that the girl would get more believed than the guy."
The slap was his first and last to a woman.
"It was something that just happened and you wished afterwards it probably shouldn't have happened ... I always thought she was a good friend and the relationship would've handled that."
The slap was "never a real case of sexual harassment".
"Wise counsel should have been brought to bear and good advice given in the earlier part of the year by people that should've known better than to let it go on."
Other incidents alleged by Newman were not true. They "bumped each other" in the small work space, but it wasn't sexual, Sanson said.
"She wasn't my type."
The single dad of adult children had offered Newman her job back.
"I still respect the girl. She's still a very good employee, I think it was just a youthful mistake. I thought she would've managed the garden centre within a year or two ... just because she's made a silly mistake doesn't mean that she's a bad person."
Newman stood by all her complaints and said the Roger Sutton case had convinced her "that I need to fight on".
Sutton, the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Authority chief executive, was found to have committed serious misconduct after a female staff member complained of unwanted hugs and comments.
Newman said she felt "let down" by the authority. She had not complained about earlier incidents - which she alleged included bottom slapping - because she thought it might have been accidental.
She had glared at Sanson to make her feelings clear and a text sent after her resignation showed he knew what she was talking about, she said.
The "fun slap" was "unprovoked and forceful".
"I had to go to the doctor. I cannot reconcile what a 'fun slap' is, let alone in what ''context" an employer now seems to be able to do it ... I am 23, he is 61. It is simply not appropriate in any context ... I still can't understand how an employer can turn up to court, admit he assaulted me by slapping my bottom, and walk away thinking he has done nothing wrong."
Equal Opportunities Commissioner Jackie Blue said the Sutton affair put such behaviour in the spotlight.
"One of the things I would like to see come out of all of this is that woman should come forward," she said.
But she cautioned that incidents of a sexual nature had to meet a high threshold to be deemed as sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment was usually a repeated incident, and if it was a one-off incident it had to be quite significant and cause harm and detriment.
- additional reporting NZME.

I wrote to the Reporter .

Dear Cherie,

Thank you for your article. I am the writer of "Cry the Oppressed Women", women suffer from FUN slaps, women suffer from smite remarks.

35 years ago, fresh from university, in my first job, a manager was a feely touchy type. Once he gave me a Fun Slap on my bottom, I was very upset and couldn't concentrate on my work. Eventually, I went to his office and told him never to do it again.

If it had happened today, I would have sued him for sexual harassment.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Breast screening


Every two years, I go to the Breast Screening Remuera centre to get my breast mammogram. I am thankful to get this free screening with is available to women over 45 to 69. In Singapore, I had to pay for this service.

Many women are scared of being screened. For a little pain, it worthwhile to get the peace of mind.

After each screening, I do a blog post to thank the receptionist at the centre, to thank her for friendly disposition. Some women are apprehensive.

I tell my adult students to go for their screening.

Breast screening awareness low amongst Chinese women in NZ

Breast screening awareness low amongst Chinese women in NZ

Chinese women in New Zealand have low levels of awareness about the national breast screening programme and limited engagement with preventative primary care services, according to research published in the June edition of the Journal of Primary Health Care.
The study is one of the first attempts to identify factors affecting the understanding of, and access to, breast screening and breast cancer services by Chinese women. Breast cancer is the most prevalent female cancer in New Zealand and currently accounts for more than a quarter of all cancer diagnoses in women, and although Asian women in New Zealand have a lower rate of breast cancer registrations than the New Zealand population as a whole, they also have a lower uptake of mammography screening at 57 percent versus 69 percent.
The study found that while primary care providers are obvious sources of information about breast screening, not all migrant women are registered with a GP, and the preventive role of primary care providers is not well recognised.
Communication was repeatedly raised as the key issue when seeing a doctor in New Zealand, as was a limited understanding about Chinese perceptions of ill health and traditional Chinese medicine by New Zealand health professionals. A Chinese-speaking GP was preferred by most participants if available, not just for the language, but also for a ‘shared philosophy’ in relation to health.
The research has found that addressing communication barriers for Chinese migrant women has the potential to raise awareness about breast cancer and breast health, and to increase successful participation in breast cancer screening. The study recommends that health professionals working in primary and secondary care services make greater use of Chinese-language resources to assist migrant Chinese women to engage with and understand the role of primary care providers. The study also calls for a better understanding about Chinese perceptions of ill-heath, including complementary use of traditional Chinese medicine.
The research paper, called ‘Breast cancer and breast screening: perceptions of Chinese migrant women living in New Zealand’, has been published in the June issue of the Journal of Primary Health Care, which is on the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners’ website at:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

auckland council

Sibu-Born Author, Ann Chin Kit Suet Promotes Books

Kiulap: A Press conference was held, for the Sibu-born author Ann Chin Kit Suet to promote her three books, which was held at Ximply Chriz Café in Regent Square, Kiulap yesterday. Ann who is an English teacher, teaching English as a second language …
Publicnick Analytics for the Web.

Boomerang Books

Boomer - Boomerang Books mascot

Boomerang Books - Australia's Online Bookstore

Cry of Oppressed Women by Ann Kit Suet Chin-Chan


Book Description
Women suffers from oppression. This story traces the life of Nadine who overcomes her own problems of oppression, grows up to be a social worker and helps women who have suffered from physical and mental violence, domestic violence, rape, pornography, swinging, sex slavery, human trafficking and child sex victims.
Buy Cry of Oppressed Women book by Ann Kit Suet Chin-Chan from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details
ISBN: 9780473287153
ISBN-10: 0473287153
Classification: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Format: Paperback (210mm x 145mm x mm)
Pages: 292
Imprint: Ann Kit Suet Chin-Chan
Publisher: Ann Kit Suet Chin-Chan
Publish Date: 1-Jul-2014
Country of Publication: New Zealand
Boomerang Books - Australia's Online Bookstore

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Facebook Must Block Illicit Images and Videos of Children

An old school mate sent me this.  I not only signed the petition, I am blogging about this. In my book, I wrote about the bad things about pornography.


Ray Sison has invited you to sign the petition:

“Your voice will make a difference. Please sign the petition.”

A petition from the campaign to

Facebook Must Block Illicit Images and Videos of Children



Sign the Petition to

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook

As a Facebook user, I was appalled to recently learn of the extent of child pornography on Facebook. I was even more disturbed to learn that Facebook does not currently have a comprehensive or effective strategy to prevent or address crimes against children on the site.
Keeping children safe from sexual abuse should be of primary concern for Facebook as a responsible, ethical, publicly traded, and law-abiding company. Therefore, I ask Facebook to take the following steps:
- Devote sufficient financial, technological, and personnel resources technology necessary to prevent these images, videos, and profiles from being posted, at no less than 0.05% of annual profits;
- Establish a Facebook-initiated user reporting system for child abuse material within the existing abuse reporting system, with an option to directly contact law enforcement and a transparent strategy to investigate those reports;
- Develop and maintain an open channel of communication with INTERPOL, the FBI, and the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, including designated Facebook liaisons to all entities;
- Remove files of identified child pornography from Facebook servers, so that those those images are no longer accessible via direct linking or cached web browsers; and
- Designate a Facebook staff member whose sole duties are oversight of Facebook's child pornography reduction efforts, including technology and software acquisition, collaboration with law enforcement and NGOs, and prevention efforts.
As a Facebook user, I strongly encourage you to take these steps. By refusing to take action to address child pornography on Facebook, the company will be implicated in the facilitation of this heinous crime, and thus alienate millions of users.
Heroes Rising

How this will help

Facebook is a household name for millions of people around the world who use it to make friends, share pictures, and discuss common interests. But increasingly, those people include pedophiles who...

Saturday, November 8, 2014

John Paul Center

I detoured when I saw this sign, and remember a friend in another country where she used to volunteer in her Catholic church, and helped young girls who got pregnant.

In my Mail Order Bride and Cry Oppressed of  women. wrote of teen pregnancies.

Family Life International NZ's Founder and National Director, Dame Colleen Bayer, established the first John Paul II Centre for Life in Auckland.  The  pro-life, pro-family organization also has John Paul II Centres for Life in Wellington and Dunedin.  Each John Paul II Centre for Life has the blessing of the local Bishop.
The Centres provide a physical place where mothers and families facing a crisis pregnancy can come for practical help, support and friendship; so that they may choose life for their babies.  This offer of support is also extended to the sick, disabled, elderly, lonely, and those who may find themselves targets of euthanasia-type practices.  The Centres are also a hub for prayer, education and research on life and family issues.
The Auckland John Paul II Centre for Life is the administration hub for Family Life International throughout New Zealand.  In addition to the Crisis Pregnancy Centre, publications are produced, events organised and educational materials researched and compiled.   On site is also a gift shop Family Life Catholic Gifts, which has a large range of statues, rosaries, medals, Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation gifts.  This shop provides a source of income for the practical work we do in the Crisis Pregnancy Centre.

Family Life International NZ
John Paul II Centre for Life
569 / 569A Richardson Road
Mt Roskill

Phone:  09 629 4361

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Brandy Melville one size only clothes

Popular Brandy Melville Clothes Come in Mostly 1 Size

Brandy Melville is the trendy brand that virtually every teen girl wants to wear, but there’s a catch: the clothes don’t come in every size.
Indeed, the majority of the clothes at Brandy Melville come in just one size, and most of the time that means wearers must be small enough to fit into them.

The average teen is around 138 pounds with a 31 inch waist, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The jeans sold by Brandy Melville fit roughly a 25-inch waist.
It’s a size that teen girls are clamoring for, and the brand is just as popular on social media. ItsInstagram account, featuring photo after photo of tall, thin young women, attracts more than 2 million followers.
“GMA” spoke to some girls who fit into the clothes but who admitted that if they couldn’t, it would hurt.
And some say that although the clothes may look good, they make them feel bad.
In an open letter to the brand published on the Huffington Post in March, 18-year-old Lani Renaldo wrote: “By not offering several sizes ... this company is separating and almost purposely making the girls with chests and curves feel like minorities and outcasts. Not only is this not okay, but it just isn't right.”
Brandy Melville has not responded to a “GMA” request for comment, but the retailer has previously said it believes its clothes can accommodate almost everyone.
Barbara Greenburg, a clinical psychologist, is concerned about the message the brand is sending.
“This store is giving teens this message that to fit in they not only need to be similar to their peers but they also need to fit into a size 0 or 2 … It's a recipe for developing unhealthy eating behaviors,” she said.

Roast Busters case: 'Where was the respect?' - police

Protesters marched against New Zealand's 'rape culture' last year after the Roast Busters case went public. Photo / Doug Sherring

Charges will not be laid against the alleged offenders involved in the Roast Busters scandal.
Police have released the findings in the Operation Clover investigation into eight incidents, involving seven victims who made formal complaints, and five suspects.
A further 25 girls declined to make formal statements, but were believed to have been victims of sexual offending.
Detective Inspector Karyn Malthus, who headed Operation Clover, said there was not enough evidence to prosecute.
"Other factors included the wishes of individual victims, the admissible evidence available, the nature of the offence and the age of the parties at the time of the offending."
Victims of the Roast Busters scandal were told yesterday and today that there would be no charges laid.
Ms Malthus told media today that she was disappointed police weren't able to firm up a prosecution.
"The reaction amongst the victims was varied," she said.
Acting Deputy Commissioner Grant Nicholls said the findings of Operation Clover posed one serious question.
"Where was the respect for these girls?"
He said the report showed the influence of social media in the lives of young people.
"It's a changed world."
Ms Malthus said while the "group mentality" of the Roast Busters case made it different from other sexual assault cases, many others like this also ended without prosecution.

Sexual offending 'grossly under-reported'

Ms Malthus said search warrants were executed throughout the operation to find evidence but "weren't overly successful".
The number of girls who refused to make a formal statement wasn't unusual, she said.
"These are common challenges we face.
"We respect the decision of the girls involved and we support them in those decisions."
Mr Nicholls said all sexual offending was "grossly under-reported".
Ms Malthus said she accepted that people would have expected a prosecution out of the Operation.
"We are not in the business of putting these young people in to a court process when we can't be sure of [a prosecution]."
She said it was possible that if any of the 25 girls identified by police decided to make a formal statement an investigation would be re-launched.
She said it was surprising to find one of the persons of interest was aged around 22 at the time of the incident and interacting with young teenagers.
"That is absolutely concerning."
The overview of the investigation report, written by Ms Malthus, has been released to media today.
Detective Superintendent Andy Lovelock said this was released "to provide transparency and assist the public in understanding the complexities involved".
The report said an extensive analysis of social media identified 110 girls that police canvassed in relation to the case. Five of those girls provided formal statements.
In total, 35 males were considered by police in relation to eight incidents involving seven victims, including two girls who complained received prior to the launch of Operation Clover.
The main offences investigated were rape and unlawful sexual connection, and sexual conduct with a young person under 16.
"Throughout the investigation the priority was for the welfare and privacy of the girls involved, and ensuring that all support options were made available to them," Ms Malthus said.
"We have emphasised to both the victims and suspects that there is no time limit for reporting sexual offending."
Commissioner Mike Bush said in a statement that he was confident police conducted a thorough, and professional enquiry in to the case.
He described the case as "challenging and complex".
"I accept the decision not to lay charges will prompt a range of reactions.
"The behavior of this group caused a significant public response and there was a strong expectation in the minds of many that a prosecution would result.
He said he would await the findings of an Independent Police Conduct Authority into the initial handling of the investigation.
"We know that sexual assault in all age groups is under-reported. I am committed to ensuring that victims of all ages have trust in police and they can be assured their complaint will be thoroughly and professionally investigated."
Child Youth and Family worked with police during Operation Clover to ensure any young woman under 17 and their families had access to therapeutic or other support.
The release of the findings of Operation Clover comes after the IPCA found a systemic breakdown of communication within the police led to inaccurate information being provided to the public amid the Roast Busters scandal.
The IPCA report was released on May 22, and looked into the adequacy of the police investigation and the handling of any complaints or reports to police from the public between 2011 and October 2013. It also looked at the information police gave to media.
The Roast Busters scandal caused widespread outrage after it was revealed young men were posting videos of themselves online bragging about sexual activities with drunk, underage girls -- some as young as 13.
Detective Inspector Bruce Scott of Waitemata district said in November 2013 that even though police were aware of the group, there was nothing they could do until a girl was "brave enough" to make a formal complaint.
Days later it emerged a young teen had complained to police two years before, but she was not taken seriously.
The 15-year-old who went to police about the Roast Busters in 2011, said she would lay a new formal complaint after the scandal broke. She also criticised police for their line of questioning, asking her what she was wearing at the time of the assault, when she was aged just 13.

'Poor understanding of consent'

Ms Malthus said the findings of Operation Clover highlighted significant issues for New Zealand related to alcohol and consent.
"The prevalence of alcohol in the lives of the teenagers interviewed, both male and female, was a concern to the Operation Clover team," she said.
"There was also a poor understanding amongst the males and females spoken to as to what 'consent' was.
"In addition, there was an equally poor understanding by these teenagers as to the role alcohol consumption played in potentially negating the ability to consent."
The report said that through interviews with the teenagers police discovered that "shocking" levels of inebriation were described.
Drinking games that involved serious sexual acts were also referenced at these often unsupervised parties.
Ms Malthus said sexual education programmes could be enhanced to emphasise the issues of consent when alcohol and drugs were involved.
A report conducted by Auckland service provider Help -- Support for Sexual Abuse Survivors was referenced by Ms Malthus in her findings of the Operation.
Ms Malthus said in the report that the barriers young women have to disclosing to people in authority, as outlined in the work done by Help, were not overcome by police.
She said this would require further consideration by all agencies involved.

Lessons to learn - Minister

Police Minister Michael Woodhouse says he understands the Roast Busters decision would disappoint some people, but he believes there are things to learn from the case and hopes it would not deter women from coming forward in future.
The decision was made by police alone without his involvement, Mr Woodhouse said. He had sought assurances from Police Commissioner Mike Bush that the investigation had been thorough.
"This has been a very complex case and I have been assured by Commissioner Bush that a high priority has been placed on it and resources of both police and a number of other agencies have been committed to it.
"The priority always has been for the welfare of the young women and their families."
Asked if he was disappointed by the decision, he said: "It's not for me to be disappointed. What I want to be sure about was that a thorough investigation, considering all of the information available to police, has been undertaken, and I am satisfied that's the case."
He believed police had worked hard to ensure the women involved were supported, had the information they needed and were "protected" during the process.
"I'm satisfied they've done a very good job with that."
Asked if any further inquiries were warranted, he said he expected the second part of the Independent Police Conduct Authority investigation to be released in due course.
After police had digested the outcome of the investigation, they could consider whether anything further was required.

'Our current system is not working'

Green Party MP Jan Logie said the case showed there was an urgent need to overhaul the way sexual violence cases were dealt with.
"Many people will be disappointed that there is no justice for the victims in this case. The current system is not working. Too many victims are going without justice because of a systemic failure of our laws to provide for victims of sexual violence."
She said former Justice Minister Judith Collins had halted Law Commission work on processes for sexual violence cases and National had not gone ahead with a proposal for victims' advisers.
"It took two years and media attention for the police to even look at this case with any seriousness. This highlights a culture in which victims are not taken seriously."
Justice Minister Amy Adams said she had not read the report yet but anything to be learned from it would be taken seriously and feed in to ongoing work on how sexual assault victims were treated within the system and how it responded to them.
"Clearly one of the issues the system has to be set up well to deal with is to encourage victims to come forward and to feel supported through the system when they do.
"That's not a new issue. It's an issue we continue to work with. Partly you have to take into account the very fragile nature of the victims and the tremendous trauma they've been through.
"That puts them into a more vulnerable state in terms of their willingness to come through and how they will be affected by any perceived negative response or disbelief, if that is what they encounter."
She said there was a balancing act between protecting victims and ensuring the evidence was assessed fully so that only the guilty were convicted.
Calls for such cases to be handled under a non-adversarial system would not necessarily have meant a different result.
"In terms of the current report, the initial media reports suggests the issue was one of the evidence the police had to prosecute.
"Fundamentally you have to have a system where we can be assured the evidence is there to support a prosecution ... There would always have to be an standard of proof, an evidential burden that had to be met, and changing from one system to another isn't necessarily going to address the challenges met in this case."
Labour's acting deputy leader Annette King said she was concerned the mishandling of the case and outcome would put victims off reporting sexual crimes.
"This case has been mishandled from the start. That police have now decided -- after three years -- that they cannot prosecute anyone because of a lack of evidence must be hugely disappointing for the victims."
She said police and court processes already put some victims off reporting sexual abuse, and lessons had to be learned.
"New Zealanders' expectations would be that the handling of these cases will improve, not go backwards."

By the numbers

110 girls canvassed
66 girls eliminated following canvassing
44 girls re-approached for clarification
14 of the 44 girls eliminated upon re-approach
5 of the 44 girls made formal complaints
25 girls declined to provide formal statements, however are believed to have been victims.
2 girls made complaints prior to Operation Clover and re-engaged with police
7 girls in total made formal complaints

Persons of interest:
30 males identified as persons of interest
22 were interviewed
4 were unable to be identified
3 refused to be interviewed
1 was overseas
2 were under 17 at time of interview
28 were over 17
25 - the age of oldest person of interest

5 males named as suspects
3 agreed to interview
2 declined interview
4 of the suspects were 18 years old
1 of the suspects was 20 years old


* 2011: 15-year-old victim lays complaint with police about the group's alleged activities.
* 2011: Green Bay High School counsellor claims she went to senior management to raise concerns about alleged Roast Buster Beraiah Hales.
* November 21, 2013: 111,000-strong petition demanding stronger action over the scandal delivered to Parliament.
* April 2012: Green Bay High School receive allegations about Hales.
* May 2012: Hales leaves Green Bay High School.
* November 3, 2013: Videos emerge of a group of boys calling themselves the Roast Busters showing them laughing and bragging about having sex with drunk and underage girls.
Detective Inspector Bruce Scott said even though police were aware of the group, there was nothing they could do until a girl was "brave enough" to make a formal complaint.
* November 5, 2013: Superintendent Bill Searle said none of the girls from the original inquiry wanted to make a formal complaint.
* November 6, 2013: A 15-year-old girl comes forward to say she laid a formal complaint with police in 2011 -- when she was 13. Police later confirm this is true.
* November 7, 2013: After calls for action, Police Minister Anne Tolley announces she has asked the Independent Police Conduct Authority to investigate.
* November 12, 2013: Police child sexual abuse specialist Detective Inspector Karyn Malthus appointed to head the newly named Operation Clover.
* November 16, 2013: Nationwide protests take place, with hundreds calling for an end to the country's 'rape culture'.
* November 17, 2013: A girl who says she made a complaint to police two years ago reveals she has made a second complaint after the Roast Busters scandal.
* November 21, 2013: A petition is presented to MPs outside Parliament with more than 110,000 signatures calling for more action for the alleged victims of the Roast Busters.
* December 12, 2013: Then Police Commissioner Peter Marshall grilled by a select committee in Wellington about the police response to the case.
* October 29, 2014: Police release the findings of Operation Clover and announce no prosecutions will be made.
- additional reporting Claire Trevett