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The damage Morrison has done to survivors is incalculable

Warning: discusses rape, child sexual abuse, and sexual assault.

 

It is damnably difficult to single out any aspect of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s response to allegations that his attorney general, Christian Porter, anally raped sixteen year-old Kate in 1988, as particularly heinous. All his responses have been appalling.

However, for mine, Morrison reached a nadir (bearing in mind the matter has not run its course, there is still plenty of opportunity for him to go lower) when he declared that Christian Porter is “an innocent man under the law.”

Morrison made this declaration while simultaneously boasting that he has not read the statement left by Kate, in which she details the offences Porter allegedly committed against her.

 

 

This sorry state of affairs will be familiar to many survivors of sexual abuse and rape, both in childhood and as adults. Many of us have known similar injustice, when our words have been ignored or denigrated, while the word of the man who assaulted us is unquestioningly accepted. To find ourselves witnessing this yet again at the highest levels of government, is a bitter and re-traumatising experience that inevitably evokes profoundly disturbing memories and emotions.

I learned early that nothing I said would be believed. Over time, I told several adults what was being done to me by my stepfather, who was a doctor. Perhaps I’m wrong and someone did believe me, however, nobody helped me. It wasn’t until I was fifteen and the rapes had been a regular occurrence for five years that I finally found someone who heard me, and took action.

I have no idea how I managed to keep on telling people. I have no idea either, how I managed to keep silent.

My matter never went to police, and so according to Prime Minister Morrison’s very personal interpretation of the law, my stepfather went to his grave “an innocent man under the law.”

Morrison aims to confuse the presumption of innocence with his declaration of innocence, and his base will more than likely unquestioningly accept this spin. Christian Porter, like any other accused person, is entitled to the presumption of innocence. He remains, and will always remain, an alleged rapist entitled to the presumption of innocence. He cannot, however, be declared innocent, particularly by those who have not even read the allegations made against him.

As far as I’m aware, a Prime Minister does not yet in this country have the power to declare accused criminals innocent or guilty.

Of course Morrison, in declaring Porter innocent, is also declaring his alleged victim Kate to be a liar, or delusional. Without reading her statement. This is not an unusual situation for victims of rape, csa, and sexual assault to find ourselves in. On top of the physical, emotional, psychological, mental and spiritual damage we sustain through the assaults, we all too often must then face the disbelief and contempt of people unable to deal with our stories. There is the original violence done to us, and then there is the secondary violence done to us by those, like the Prime Minister, who will not listen.

Morrison has told every survivor this week that he will not listen. He’s told every survivor that we will not be heard and we will not be believed. He has told every rapist who doesn’t face court that he’s an “innocent man.” The prime Minister has done untold damage to survivors, and set us back decades as a society.

In refusing to have an inquiry into the rape allegations against Porter, and his suitability to hold high office, Morrison is giving permission to every workplace to behave in a similar fashion. Morrison is in the process of undermining all the hard-won workplace processes and procedures specifically designed to deal with situations such as this one. It is sufficient, Morrison is telling us, for the accused to say “It didn’t happen.” From then on he is an “innocent man.”

 

 

However, this has not always been Morrison’s attitude to survivors. There was a time, not long ago, that the Prime Minister told us that women “should be believed.” Watch the video below. It is extraordinary that Morrison has swung so violently to the other extreme, as a consequence of his attorney general, Christian Porter, being the subject of rape allegations.

 

 

Quite the coincidence, isn’t it?

This article was originally published on No Place For Sheep.

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20 comments

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  1. Charles Oliver

    That last video says it all – Morrison & Co are hypocrites of the first order.

  2. Graham Barrow

    I had an uncle who was a paedophile priest. The church would move him on to another parish when the complaints grew loud enough. He suicided days before his first trial. So according to ScoMo, he died an innocent man.
    The victims did not get their day in court, now they get abused again, courtesy of this immoral government and their toxic message.
    The church paid out millions in compensation to one victim, admitting that it had failed him. But that only came about due to the Royal Commission initiated by Gillard, our last decent PM.

  3. Phil Pryor

    Extreme superstitious ratbags live in a fantasy world that never ever existed and contrive and invent any pathetic pomp, platitudes, playschool pseudo philosophy, all to contain or release the inner idiocies of such defectives. Morrison is a slut for notice, posing, preferments, praise from plantation fuhrers like Merde-Dog the Mighty Manipulating Misfit. He’s booking up imaginary future earnings, connections, security, and the blessings, superiorities, triumphs and snobbosnooterey of everyday posing is his drive. Conservative grasping wannabees are similar.., Jack Howard was always getting a squirt and relief from any argument, his fuhrer converted life needing constant irritation and then deserving immense relief of proud brainbonks. Never ever trust a conservative, superstitious, fantasising, untrustworthy deficient idiot, even with minding your pet. But, the leaders aforementioned here have let Australia down, and will roll in that like pigs in pooey mud…glorious. (Good to be home again)

  4. Vikingduk

    Dr. Wilson, that you have been able to lead what I assume to be a fulfilling life after such an invasion of your being, fills me with admiration that you and countless others who have experienced horrible violence in life have been able to just go on. Thank you for sharing your story. To have this morrison thing denigrate, coverup, lie and ignore the abuse not only in his workplace but also in society is just another example of the smirking jerk’s arrogance and ignorance.

    The damage this thing called morrison inflicts on all sexual abuse victims is extraordinarily disgusting. All in the name of politics and power. How low can these dysfunctional reprobates sink? We’ll probably find out quite soon.

  5. leefe

    : … you and countless others who have experienced horrible violence in life have been able to just go on.”

    We don’t “just go on”. We struggle. Every damn day. We sweat and scream through the nightmares, crawl and stagger through the days. There is no “just” about it. There is, perhaps, a “somehow”. A “nevertheless, they persisted”.

  6. Vikingduk

    Well aware of that, thanks leefe, I merely need to recall my own demons, to know what I’m talking about. But, of course, whatever words I chose to use were bound to be jumped on by a someone determined to be outraged. Perhaps, before you leap to judgment, you might consider the abuse stories that haven’t been told.

  7. leefe

    I’m not outraged but I really am sick and tired of people assuming they know the emotions behind my posts.
    Your choice of language was poor. It minimises the damage done and the effort required to continue surviving. And that is something else of which I am sick and tired.

    ” … consider the abuse stories that haven’t been told.”
    Pot, meet Kettle. Kettle, this is Pot. You’re going to find you have a great deal in common.

  8. Vikingduk

    My choice of escape was heroin and, of course that old favourite alcohol. That Ms. Wilson who became Dr. Wilson and didn’t (I’m assuming) resort to artificial methods of escape but simply went on in her life is in need of congratulations as are the many that have been abused in whatever fashion. Also jealousy, perhaps, why couldn’t I go on, what is lacking in me that I chose heroin.

    Nevertheless, this is about the gross abuse by smirk & mirrors and co. on society, not about my choice of words.

  9. Kaye Lee

    This has forced many of us to confront memories that we don’t even tell ourselves, let alone others.

    I have a dear girlfriend – friends for over 50 years – and she has only recently told me that her swimming coach abused her and another girl when we were teenagers. She had no reason to tell me now….she is not going to do anything about it. But the hurt and betrayal never goes away no matter how much you try to ignore it and move on.

    To say someone is innocent because they have not been successfully prosecuted in a court makes a mockery of the experiences that so many women have suffered. It shows a total lack of understanding of the nature of sexual abuse – the power imbalance, the shame, the wanting to just forget the trauma, the terror about having to relive it, and then the utter despair for those who are not believed.

    This is not a problem that political spin doctors can manage.

  10. Peter F

    I believe that the time Morrison said that ‘all victims should be believed’ was when he considered Bill Shorten to be the perpetrator.

  11. pierre wilkinson

    It totally beggars belief that an AG could consider it acceptable to vehemently deny all written allegations against anyone, never mind themselves, without first acquainting themselves with the content of those allegations
    and for the entire Cabinet to silently endorse this fiction of presumed innocence and rule of law, neither of which apply in cases of Inquiries to determine whether any charges should be brought, speaks strongly of their complicity
    which along with their corruption and incompetence seems to sum up this government
    To all survivors of this most heinous act, I wish you well, and hope that you find the strength not to just survive, but to band together and strike a blow for others like you…. those who can, speak up, call out, let the great unwashed public realise that this is something that no society should tolerate
    as Graham pointed out, for years unspeakable atrocities were perpetuated against children under the care of religious organisations, until they combined and approached a PM with empathy, dignity and intelligence
    and they are finally seeing justice done
    your time is nigh, these bastards need to be held to account

  12. Michael Taylor

    To say someone is innocent because they have not been successfully prosecuted in a court makes a mockery of the experiences that so many women have suffered. It shows a total lack of understanding of the nature of sexual abuse – the power imbalance, the shame, the wanting to just forget the trauma, the terror about having to relive it, and then the utter despair for those who are not believed.

    Bingo. ✅

  13. JayBee

    Thank you for such an excellent article. My view is that Scott Morrison has been the same all along. His ‘ believe all women’ speech was nothing but a PR exercise to get women on side because under pressure, he reverted to type. He probably hasn’t even heard that violence against women is a pandemic, like Covid,
    I wish the media would report that a woman was raped, allegedly by whoever so that no one is doubting the woman was raped. Then all the police have to do is rule in or out, the suspects, instead of people denying she was raped at all. Its not an ‘ alleged’ rape. Its the alleged perpetrator.
    After my experience with Shoalhaven Police regarding a predatory stalker, where I was asked if I have spoken to a psychologist and they could call me an ambulance,( along with other abusive behaviour, too many to list)and being told they ‘ wouldn’t be doing their job if they didn’t offer an ambulance after I expressed my horror at them, I am tossing up whether to go public about police handling of allegations by women. They seem to be no different to the men complained of. Aggressive, very threatening and engage in full on gaslighting which is never mentioned in any of their PR exercises. They are incapable of knowing the difference between someone having a mental health crisis and a woman who has just been confronted by a predator of 4 years. Maybe that’s why they shoot people dead.
    I am left having to live with this criminal harassing me for the last few years of my life and I am outraged. I don’t even know him.
    We need the laws changed so there are convictions. The laws were made because men commit these crimes, so there should be a basic acceptance that it is highly likely that a crime has been committed.
    Blackstones theory should be tossed out. It is not better for 10 guilty men to go free than one innocent man lose his liberty when it leaves thousands of victims without justice. It would be better to get the legal system working for everyone.
    We need more prisons instead of more AVO’s. A Police Commissioner said AVO’s work because attitudes are changing. Really? So sick of the spin. They just don’t want to pay for prisons and probably fear a total collapse of the economy if so many men ended up in one.
    With these recent very public rape allegations and the zero action/cop out taken by the police, the PM insulting every woman in the country, including his own daughters and the law comprehensively failing every step of the way, it is clear women have absolutely nowhere to turn for justice. There is just nothing. The misogyny is so entrenched. Mick Fuller has a lot to answer for along with all previous Police Commissioners.
    In the meantime, I have decided to never vote for a man again. They have had their chance and now we find men raping and sexually assaulting women in Parliament House, for goodness sake, and there are still no arrests. To add insult to injury, there is no end in sight for women to be free of male violence and its 2021. It makes a mockery of the ANZACS and men should be utterly ashamed.
    More women would be interested in entering politics if they knew they weren’t going to be raped and abused, and would do a far better job than any man has to date so its a win win in my books. They certainly couldn’t do any more harm and we need fundamental change, something men have been incapable of bringing about after centuries of holding power and women trying to reason with them.
    I find it extraordinary that so many violated women still manage to live lives with dignity. They haven’t gone out and trashed the joint, which wouldn’t have been a bad thing, yet there is still no recognition of any of it.
    Men have failed.Misogyny rules.And women suffer. This is not a free country at all.

  14. Matters Not

    Re:

    To say someone is innocent because they have not been successfully prosecuted in a court …

    Isn’t that what the Principle of innocent until proven guilty is all about? As I understand, it is set out in Article 11 of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, As well as elsewhere.

    Then there’s the Court of Public Opinion – often made and manufactured by people we don’t like such as Rupert Murdoch. Guess, we humans always have a choice.

  15. Jon Chesterson

    Clearly we need to call for the resignation of Scott Morrison, again. A PM who sets himself, the Attorney General and his mates above and beyond the law and declares innocence on the back of presumption of innocence outside the judgment of a judicial court, commission of enquiry or independent investigation, whether it be criminal or civil, is not fit to govern in a democratic society; and he’s done both.

    It is not just absurd reason and unacceptably bad judgement, it is abuse of power and political interference in both criminal and civil processes, judicial jurisdiction and prudence, due process and natural justice, not to mention Common Law, when there are clear motives, self interest and conflicts of interest.

    Scotty must go and this is where the opposition and the GG are failing in their duty, when the GG should be taking him aside and giving him the choice. Far less triggered this with Gough Whitlam, when the shoe was on the other foot.

  16. Michael Taylor

    Jon, I wish I knew where the opposition leader was. Not just now, but over the last two years. He won the leadership ballot two years ago… that’s it… time to put the feet up.

  17. paul walter

    I would have thought people would have realised that this government has no concern with people, beyond the furtherance of its own myopic agenda.

    The only relevance that victims have is as opportunities for more tabloid agit prop to keep people upset and distracted from what the oligarchy is really about.

    In fact, think back to Robodebt and Asylum Seekers. Like Deep South Crackers, they took an absolute delight in tormenting their victims; a very sick, cowardly and ignorance and fear driven false consciousness pathology is in play here.

  18. Kronomex

    Michael,

    We have an opposition leader? Who is it, Penny Wong, Bill Shorten, Tanya Plibersek? Oh no, you don’t mean the hamster who squeaks then needs a long rest to recover is still in charge?

  19. Henry Rodrigues

    If someone invested with the authority of government can just arbitrarily declare, that a key member of the government with a high profile sensitive portfolio, is innocent, because he says so, then anyone who commits any crime can be judged innocent because Scummo says so.

    And he will do it again because the voters of Australia, those similar to the millions of Trump supporters, will ignore the implications and give him their vote again. Those free tickets to Cairns work wonders don’t they ?

    Linda Reynolds’ apology and offer of compensation is just another example of Scummo’s contempt for women. He’s forced her to publicly accept responsibility, but not Porter who is alleged to have committed a far far more serious crime than her. Even here, Scummo places more value on women than his little mate Porter.

    Rule of Law as practiced by a government of bastards and crooks.

  20. Pete Petrass

    We all know only too well that whatever comes out of scummo’s mouth is just marketing spin to suit the occasion, hence why he seems to change views all the time

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