Abusive priest is defrocked

Victims of a paedophile priest from Dunedin are breathing a sigh of relief as 50 years of torment finally comes to an end.

Bishop of Hamilton Steve Lowe yesterday confirmed Fr Magnus Murray had been laicized – or defrocked – by the Vatican, stripping him of his priestly title.

The announcement ended a judicial process running since February last year, and was believed to be just the second time a Catholic priest from New Zealand had been defrocked over sexual offending.

Published in Otago Daily Times


Otago men to assist commission

Four Otago men who survived sexual abuse or physical violence while in care have been included in a new Survivor Advisory Group to help guide a pending Royal Commission.

The group of 20 men and women making up the new group was unveiled yesterday, representing survivors of abuse in state care and faith-based institutions.

They would help guide the work of the pending Royal Commission into historic abuse, which was expanded last year to include both state and faith-based institutions.

Published in Otago Daily Times


Hundreds of millions promised to ‘break the cycle of family and sexual violence’

The Government will spend $320 million on a package of initiatives aimed preventing family and sexual violence and breaking the cycle of violence.

The pre-Budget announcement is, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern the largest ever Government spend on family and sexual violence and support services.

She said today’s announcement formed the “cornerstone” of the upcoming Wellbeing Budget.

The money will deliver more support services delivered to more New Zealanders, major campaigns aimed at stopping violence occurring and major changes to court process to reduce the trauma victims’ experience.

Published in NZ Herald


Ministry of Social Development newsletter – Family Violence and Sexual Violence Service Provider Update

Family Violence and Sexual Violence Service Provider Update – Special Budget Edition

Kia ora koutou,

Welcome to this special Budget edition of our newsletter. In this update you’ll find information about:

  • Overview of Wellbeing Budget’s Joint Venture package
  • Increase in funding for specialist sexual violence services
  • Funding boost for family violence prevention initiatives
  • Funding to improve the response to family violence

Published in Family Violence and Sexual Violence Service Provider newsletter


Brutal lesson: story of abuse by Dunedin nun

A dying Dunedin man tells Chris Morris his story of a savage beating he received as a 10-year-old ‘‘cheeky little Catholic boy’’ at the hands of a nun.

Russell Butler is in a race against time.

The 63-year-old South Dunedin resident and practising Catholic has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and recently received the Last Rites from a priest.

Published in Otago Daily Times


Pope decrees bishops must be directly accountable for sex abuse or cover-ups

Pope Francis issued a landmark decree on Thursday making bishops directly accountable for sexual abuse or covering it up, requiring clerics to report any cases to Church superiors and allowing anyone to complain directly to the Vatican if needed.

Tackling sexual abuses that have battered the Catholic Church’s reputation has been a major challenge for Francis since his 2013 election, with victims demanding a crackdown on bishops at the diocese level accused of concealing or mismanaging cases.

Published in Better Blokes


Government sets out how it will respond to historical state abuse inquiry

Minister for State Services Chris Hipkins said he would lead the Crown’s response to the inquiry.

Setting out the principles was an important step in rebuilding trust between the government and those abused while in state care, he said.

“This is an incredibly important matter. The government is determined to take action in a transparent, coordinated and timely way to ensure such wide scale abuse over such a long period can never be allowed to happen again.”

Published in Better Blokes


Report criticises Govt underfunding of sexual violence support and prevention

Government underfunding leaves organisations supporting victims of sexual violence to fundraise millions to stay afloat, a new report has found.

On Tuesday, Action Station released its report, For the Wellbeing of New Zealanders, which found there was a multi-million difference between the needs of support agencies and the amount of Government funding they received.

Of the 38 agencies examined, the Government paid a total of $24.7 million, yet the total expenditure of agencies was $31.7m – leaving a gap of $7m.

Report co-author Laura O’Connell Rapira​ said at least $10m in this year’s Budget was needed.

Published in Stuff


Japan Catholic Church to begin investigating sex abuse allegations

The Catholic Church in Japan is preparing to investigate allegations of sexual abuse against minors by its priests, including accusations from 20 years ago, officials said Thursday.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Japan said it has established a committee in each diocese to take claims and consultations related to sexual abuse but details of an investigation haven’t been decided.

Published in Japan Times


Nearly 8,000 Alleged Child Abusers Identified In Boy Scouts’ Files, Review Finds

An expert hired by the Boy Scouts of America to review allegations of child sexual abuse within the organization identified 7,819 alleged abusers among its leaders and volunteers dating back to 1944, according to a newly released court document.

Of the files examined over five years, 12,254 alleged victims were identified, Dr. Janet Warren, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia’s medical school, testified in late January.

“They’re called ineligible volunteer files and these are files that [the BSA] created. Individuals who have had their registration with the Boy Scouts revoked because of reasonable allegations of child sexual abuse,” Warren told the court.

Published in Huff Post


Male survivors and victims of abuse deserve their own support system

Last month, the remarkable documentary Abused by My Girlfriend showed BBC viewers the depths of suffering that can be experienced by male victims of intimate violence. Alex Skeel was beaten, tortured and psychologically abused so severely that when police finally intervened, he was described by doctors as being just days from death. Last year, his partner Jordan Worth became the first woman to be convicted of coercive control domestic abuse and was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison. When he was finally rescued after years of torment, Skeel was only 22.

Published in The Guardian


‘I know I’ll never see justice’: Man speaks out about being raped in the army showers

Graphic warning: This content may be distressing for some readers.

Terry King, 65, was gang-raped in the Burnham Military Camp showers in 1975. He has told his harrowing story for the first time as part of CTV’s Challenge the Silence series.

Terry King stood naked while the blood ran down his legs. It flowed into the water before heading towards the drain of the army showers.

The 21-year-old looked up and saw two regimental police also staring at the blood.

Published in New Zealand Herald


Using Peer Support in Developing Empowering Mental Health Services (UPSIDES): Background, Rationale and Methodology

Peers are people with lived experience of mental illness. Peer support is an established intervention in which peers offer support to others with mental illness. A large proportion of people living with severe mental illness receive no care. The care gap is largest in low- and middle-income countries, with detrimental effects on individuals and societies. The global shortage of human resources for mental health is an important driver of the care gap. Peers are an under-used resource in global mental health.

By Bernd Puschner, Julie Repper, Candelaria Mahlke, Rebecca Nixdorf, David Basangwa, Juliet Nakku, Grace Ryan, Dave Baillie, Donat Shamba, Mary Ramesh, Galia Moran, Max Lachmann, Jasmine Kalha, Soumitra Pathare, Annabel Müller-Stierlin, Mike Slade.

Read the article here