Blanche d'Alpuget: said she was not upset by her childhood abuse
“A number of groups have expressed outrage over recent comments by a NSW judge about public acceptance of homosexuality leading to acceptance of other taboos including incest and paedophilia,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said today. “But these scenarios could be closer than we want to believe.”
Ros Phillips said that 30 years ago she had read an academic book promoting the acceptance of incest – claiming that it did no harm. “I also recall attending an Adelaide meeting in the mid-70s – one of the public hearings of the Royal Commission on Human Relationships – chaired by then Justice and later SA Governor Dame Roma Mitchell,” Ros Phillips said. “ The decriminalisation of incest was discussed, but Justice Mitchell appeared unaware of arguments against such a proposal.
“Gerard Henderson reminded us in March about the ABC radio Lateline program in 1975 where ‘three adult men proclaimed what a great idea it was to have sex with boys. No other view was heard on the program.’
“Then there was Blanche d’Alpuget, now wife of former PM Bob Hawke, who revealed in 1993 that she had been sexually molested as a 12 year-old by a 54 year-old judge who was a family friend. Ms d’Alpuget did not see herself as a victim,” Ros Phillips said.
“In 1998 the American Psychological Association published a major study concluding that childhood sexual abuse is only slightly associated with psychological harm – and that any negative outcomes may be due, not to the abuse, but to family attitudes.”
Ros Phillips said that anyone reading evidence given to the current Royal Commission on child sex abuse would be horrified to think that academics in positions of authority could dismiss the huge number of disturbing accounts. “I am grateful to the many people who have endured the pain of reliving their abuse in order to put their stories on the public record,” she said.
“Lest we forget!”
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