Don’t Tell Anyone – It’s Our Special Little Secret!
I never wanted to have a Special Little Secret
The incidents of paedophilia occurred on at least 368 occasions, and quite likely more, spanning the years from 1959 or earlier until 1967, at both my place of residence, which was at Box Hill, and also at the offender’s place of business, which was in Williamstown.
The emotional pain and suffering it inflicted upon me caused deep, deep scars. The phrase “Don’t Tell Anyone – It’s Our Special Little Secret!” makes me cringe to this very day with never-forgotten repulsion and dread!
I can’t actually remember exactly when the nightmare started. For reasons I don’t recall, I have imagined that it all started around the time I went on a holiday with his wife and her boyfriend. I was about 7 or 8 years old. Yes, she had a boyfriend and a husband! They took my second cousin, his daughter, and me to Sydney. Patty* (names altered for security) and I were of a similar age. She was a few years older, but she preferred to holiday with me, rather than with her two brothers. The brothers holidayed with my mother, my brother and him. Yep, my mother was his girlfriend, but that didn’t upset anyone.
How did I become entrapped in the Special Little Secret?
Patty’s mother, Olga*, and my mother were cousins. They socialised with each other quite a lot, having done so since they were young girls. My mother and father separated when I was only just 3, so in retrospect the Special Little Secret could well have started much earlier than my guessed age of 7 or 8, as my mother had been his girlfriend for a long time. When I think back, all of them were horribly weird people. At the time though, I was too young to understand that life may not be as it should, because everyone around me just accepted it all as normal. So, I had no cause to think otherwise.
His Family and My Family
For reasons unknown to me to this day, he (Mark*) remained in his marital home, and to many people was just a ‘normal‘ husband and father. However his wife had another male ‘friend‘, Ray*, who lived in that same marital home, supposedly as a ‘maintenance‘ man who helped out around the house. Ray had a room at the back of the house, although everyone close to the family knew that he and Olga were bed partners. I expect that Mark didn’t mind his wife having that relationship, because he spent every Friday and Saturday at my mother’s house, in her bed.
Come holiday time, he took my mother, my brother and his two sons away somewhere, and Patty and I were taken holidaying with Olga and Ray. Sometimes the whole lot of us went camping together, to the same place. The ‘shared‘ relationship was never questioned by other family members – just accepted.
I recall in my later years knowing that my mother very much wanted him to leave Olga and marry her, but that never eventuated. But more of that comes in a later part of my story.
Beginnings of the Special Little Secret
He treated me well. He was never harsh or unkind to me and certainly never smacked me or physically harmed me. He often gave me gifts. Following is a partial extract from a statement I gave to the police in February 1995.
“I recall the molesting went on from about the age of 7 or 8 to the age of 15. During this time he would come and stay at our house – in my mother’s bed – at least once per week during this whole time. Mum and I shared a bedroom – we each had a single bed. We lived at my Nana’s house with my brother, who is 21 months older than I am. He used to stay either Friday or Saturday nights as he didn’t have to work the following day. He owned a plumbing supply business in Williamstown. Each visit after waking up in the morning he would get into my bed with me. My mother would be bringing us breakfast in bed. On every occasion he molested me.”
Unless one has been personally subjected to this style of childhood sexual abuse, it is most likely difficult to comprehend how it is possible that it continues for lengthy periods of time. But it does! I offer quite a few statistics below, to point out the severity of this crime in Australia .. and of course it goes on world wide!
My Life became a Trap, with the Spider holding me against my Will
Young children are very, very vulnerable. I certainly was! Twisted, cruel paedophiles play on the timid emotions of young children, and quickly learn how to mould the child into submission. They get the child into a situation whereby the child succumbs to their sick whims, without divulging the behaviour to anyone else.
The human psyche is such that it brings into play protective barriers in order to prevent, or at least lessen, psychological damage. A common method employed by a traumatised victim is to forget; to wipe the mind clean of thoughts and memories that cause damage. Certainly that has been the case in my life. As quoted from an article – How Trauma Affects Your Memory, written by Casa Palmera Staff:
Memory loss is a natural survival skill and defense mechanism humans develop to protect themselves from psychological damage. Violence, sexual abuse and other emotionally traumatic events can lead to dissociative amnesia, which helps a person cope by allowing them to temporarily forget details of the event. A person will often suppress memories of a traumatic event until they are ready to handle them, which may never occur.
How I coped with the Traps
So, like many other childhood sexual abuse victims, I allowed the behaviour to happen, and even worse, I allowed the behaviour to continue for a very long time. In fact, I have no true recollection of when the abuse started. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I certainly DO remember exactly when it stopped! I have a truly sad story to share in this regard, so look out for it in my future writings.
As a very young child I was trapped by this monster who continually told me everything was OK.
Like a mouse trapped inside a cage I recall him telling me that he was teaching me, and it was what every family does. He assured me, over and over again, that my mother had asked him to spend the time teaching me all about life and the human body, because she was embarrassed, and not very good at knowing what to do or say.
“Don’t Tell Anyone – It’s Our Special Little Secret!”
Time and again he said those words to me. I learnt that when he was sexually abusing me, he always asked me if it felt nice. Always telling him “Yes” was my solution, because I knew that by doing so it would make him stop more quickly. Being always very nervous around him, I usually just responded to whatever he said with just a nod.
Sourced from an article on ‘Childhood Coping Strategies‘ at the Blue Knot Foundation:
A child who experiences extreme trauma or abuse has few coping mechanisms at his/her disposal. Understanding and integrating the experience may overwhelm the child’s coping mechanisms. In the absence of effective coping skills, the child’s best option for psychologically surviving is to dissociate or shut off the experience from his/her consciousness (Henderson, 2006; Perry et al., 1995).
On many of his visits, he took us to the drive-in theatre. My mother didn’t have a car, and so such an occasion was quite special. He always gave my brother and me a little bit of money to spend in the café. Each and every time I bought myself a box of Marella Jubes. I savoured those delicious hard jubes all week.
Back in those times lollies were memorable, and always were a part of any special occasion. Is anyone taking a trip down memory lane conjuring up all those delicious thoughts of Jaffas, Fantales, Fruit Tingles and loads of other delectable goodies? Well, much as going to the drive-in was special, I also loathed the thought – because I knew he would stay the night and trap me in my bed the next morning. He would give a treat so he could then take what he wanted afterwards!
My very own Pony!
When I was about 11 or 12, he gave me a pony. Like a lot of young girls, I was crazy about horses and to receive my very own as a gift was extraordinarily exciting. But, as time went on I learnt that, as usual, he had an ulterior motive. He often commented on my body, noticing my developing shape. He decided that it was best to keep my pony at his property in Williamstown. He had a vacant block adjacent to his factory, which he decided was an ideal place to keep the horse. His excuse was that Patty could also ride it. Not that she ever did as she despised horses!
This was a Cruel Guile to Get Me Alone
In keeping my pony at Williamstown, this gave him an easy excuse to take me away from my home whenever I wanted to spend time with my pet. In retrospect I cannot forgive my mother for allowing him to take me away every week. But, she did! She stayed at our home and I was taken in his car to Williamstown.
His factory was deserted on the weekend, so he always had me completely alone. He allowed me to spend time with my pony, but the ‘payment‘ I had to make to do so was to then spend time with him. He had a room near the factory offices that was fitted out with a mattress. In that room alone with him I was repeatedly subjected to his sexual assaults. I learnt to wipe a lot of this from my mind, but much of it remains. Even as I write this I feel knotted in my gut, recollecting those shocking times. More than 50 years have now passed, but these memories haunt one forever.
What Has Been Seen Cannot Be Unseen!
This phrase can commonly denote funny things. We frequently see it around the internet. It is an Internet axiom which states that one literally cannot get rid of the mental image that becomes part of the memory after looking at a disturbing photo or a video. But, in my case it remains far from funny! In my case it is not just the visuals I am unable to remove, but also the experiences.
What Has Been Experienced Cannot Be Undone!
There is much more to this story, and I will give more details in later blogs, but most of the content will be kept for my books.
The sad and twisted finale to these experiences was brought about not by the paedophile, but by the Police! The years went by and to stay alive, I learned to cope. I never discussed what happened to me with anyone – not even those closest to me. Keeping it hidden seemed to be an easier way to survive. Out of sight, out of mind was my inner philosophy.
But life struck me another cruel blow and the trauma shook me to the core
The memories and pain came flooding back, triggered into existence after I was attacked and raped whilst pregnant with my second child. My anguish caused me to open up and go to the Police to report what had transpired when I was a child. I brought to the attention of the Police the facts surrounding this very long series of sexual assaults. It was reported that as a child, I was the victim of a paedophile who was known to me – giving them his name and address. I told them that it involved at least 368 separate sexual assaults to my person, being a minimum of 1 per week spanning a period of at least 7 years, from approximately January 1960 through until around February 1967.
I was asked to attend the Knox Community Policing Squad to give a statement.
The outcome of this matter was that the police told me that they would not be charging the perpetrator because, in their words, “he was an old man now, possibly with a touch of dementia“, and that they decided that it was “best for me to just leave him alone.” This was a known paedophile and I gave the police, at their request, a very comprehensive account of what I had been put through and yet the police left him alone without any punishment whatsoever! I have a copy of this statement given to the police. I discuss more detail in my Police and Corruption section.
Even reporting this to IBAC and the Police Conduct Unit, termed the Professional Standards, achieved nothing. I was immediately brushed aside with the statement that there was no reason for complaint!
What a Sick Irony!
When you make a complaint against police in Victoria, it is most likely that your complaint will be investigated, or otherwise managed, by police officers. In 2013 the Supreme Court of Victoria found that under Victorian law there is no implied right to have complaints of serious assault against Victoria Police officers investigated, other than by Victoria Police. This is despite such a right being recognised international law in many other countries.
AND SO I FIGHT ON, FOR JUSTICE!!
Child Sexual Assault: Facts and Statistics
Updated: December 2012
Paedophilia: The health problem of the decade – Dr Bill Glaser
Imagine a society afflicted by a scourge which struck down a quarter of its daughters
and up to one in eight of its sons.
Imagine also that this plague, while not immediately fatal, lurked in the bodies and
minds of these young children for decades, making them up to sixteen times more
likely to experience its disastrous long-term effects.
Finally, imagine the nature of these effects: life-threatening starvation, suicide,
persistent nightmares, drug and alcohol abuse and a whole host of intractable
psychiatric disorders requiring life-long treatment. What would the society’s
The scourge that we are speaking of is child sexual abuse.
It has accounted for probably more misery and suffering than any of the great plagues of history, including the bubonic plague, tuberculosis and syphilis. Its effects are certainly more devastating and widespread than those of the modern-day epidemics which currently
take up so much community attention and resources: motor vehicle accidents, heart
disease and, now, AIDS. Yet the public response to child sexual abuse, even now, is
fragmented, poorly coordinated and generally ill-informed.
Source: Excerpt from Glaser, W. “Paedophilia: The Public Health Problem of the
Decade” – Australian Institute of Criminology Conference on Paedophilia, Sydney April
Child Sexual Abuse Statistics
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2011). the number of victims aged 0-
19 for the following crime categories were:
• Murder – 32
• Attempted murder = 32
• Blackmail extortion = 45
• Kidnapping/abduction = 348
• Total Robbery = 3,707
• Sexual assault = 11,685
Because the offender is often a person well known and trusted to the child and their
family, they usually can easily arrange to be alone with the child – therefore the
abuse is commonly repeated. This abuse rarely involves violence because instead of
force, these offenders use promises, threats and bribes to take advantage of their
trusted relationship with the child’s family and the subsequent powerlessness of the
child. In some cases, this can go on for years. (NSW Child Protection Council, 2000)
The strategies employed by offenders to gain the compliance of children more often
involve giving gifts, lavishing attention and attempting to form emotional bonds than
making threats or engaging in physical coercion. Many sexual encounters with
children were preceded by some form of non-sexual physical contact. (Smallbone &
About half of the victims of child sexual abuse never report the abuse to another
person and many do not disclose until they reach adulthood. (Queensland Crime
Commission & Queensland Police Service, 2000)
Paedophiles in Australia
There are about 14,000 preferential paedophiles in Australia. (Smith and Chapman,
Only 1 in 100 (1%) sex offenders in a given year ends up convicted of sexual assault.
(Weatherburn ,D, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics, Chan 9 TV Sunday Program, 3.7.2001)
A study comparing court systems in Queensland with NSW and WA found the
Queensland court system traumatised and “re-abused children”. Less than half the
27 lawyers interviewed said they would want their own child involved in the criminal
justice system even if a victim of serious sexual assault. (Eastwood, 2002)
In one Queensland case, a girl, 14, was asked 30 times by defence counsel to
describe the defendant’s penis. (Eastwood, 2002)
90% of reported sex assaults do not end up in convictions (Fitzgerald, 2006)
Serious Consequences for Victims
It has been well-documented that the sexual abuse of children has a range of very
serious consequences for victims. Zwi et al. (2007) list depression, post-traumatic
stress disorder, antisocial behaviours, suicidality, eating disorders, alcohol and drug misuse, post-partum depression, parenting difficulties, sexual re-victimisation and
sexual dysfunction as some of the manifestations of child sexual abuse among
For adults and adolescents with childhood abuse histories, the risk of suicide is
increased 4 to 12-fold. (Felitti, Anda, Nordenberg, Williamson, Spitz, Edwards, Koss &
Young people who had experienced child sexual abuse had a suicide rate that was
10.7 to 13.0 times the national Australian Rates. A recent study of child sexual abuse
victims found 32% had attempted suicide and 43% had thought about suicide.
(Plunkett, Shrimpton & Parkinson, 2001)
90% of suicidal persons do not want to die! They simply want to escape their
emotional pain. Each day, an average of 7 people in Australia complete suicide.
Each day, an average, 210 people in Australia attempt suicide. (LifeForce Suicide
Prevention Program – 12 Aug 20