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In Turnbull’s skewed moral universe only “good” survivors get recognition

The Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sex Abuse hadn’t quite concluded when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Social Security Minister Christian Porter embarked on their malfeasant project of creating two tiers of abuse survivors.

In their proposed and ill-named redress scheme, (there can be no “redress,” there can only be recognition of awful suffering) a survivor of childhood sexual abuse will receive no “compensation” if he or she has spent five or more years in jail: The bill excludes anyone convicted of sex offences, or sentenced to prison terms of five years or more for crimes such as serious drug, homicide or fraud offences.

At present in this country it is up to the judiciary to determine the punishment for crimes, not politicians and bureaucrats. Yet if you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse who has done/is doing time for your crime, you will now be further punished by your ineligibility for recognition.

It isn’t enough that survivors have survived criminal sexual assaults, the majority of which attracted no punishment at all for the perpetrators. It isn’t enough that survivors are already punished as our judiciary deems appropriate. Now Turnbull and Porter have decided to further punish this group of survivors, because they can, and because it might save them a little bit of money they can spend on Peter Dutton’s spin doctors.

Apparently, in the skewed moral universe of Malcolm Turnbull, the damage done by sexual assaults perpetrated upon you when you were a little kid is superseded by your behaviour as an adult.

This is a sickening conflation. Survivors are not being rewarded by “compensation:” it’s a small financial recognition for lives ruined by the failure of authorities to fulfil their basic obligations and responsibilities to children in their care. No adult crime erases the legitimacy of trauma caused by childhood abuse, yet Turnbull’s two-tiered scheme implies that this is the case.

In the LNP world, childhood sexual abuse in itself doesn’t earn you the right to be recognised by your government and the institutions responsible for your suffering. You are only deserving of recognition if you are a good survivor.

It doesn’t matter what happened to you. You still need to behave like the ruling class thinks you should behave. This is what is most important. Not the crimes committed against you. Not the trauma you’ve struggled with your whole life. Not the perpetrators who escape accountability, including those who covered up the crimes against you. No. None of that.

You need to be a nice survivor. You need to behave.

This article was originally published on No Place For Sheep.


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  1. townsvilleblog

    The Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sex Abuse has shown beyond a reasonable doubt that religions all have paedophilia incorporated within them, any person of average intelligence can surely see that all religions are ‘rackets’ set up to make tax free money and pay nothing in rates ‘because you can’t apparently, tax God’. These perverted practices dispel the notion of a God, and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they are facades for illegal practices. There is no value in condemning the Catholics alone, because even the Salvo’s and the assembly of god cult have been guilty of ruining children’s lives. The, in excess of 2,500 people whose names have been passed on to police should be removed from our society for at least a decade, and if people ask where is the money coming from to hold these people in prisons, then I have the answer for that question also. Simply tax the multibillion dollar corporations who drag billions out of Australia and pay no income tax, if that situation changed, and fairness was introduced we could build them a new city in the middle of nowhere and never let them out!

  2. Patagonian

    “It doesn’t matter what happened to you. You still need to behave like the ruling class thinks you should behave”. Twenty words which unerringly describe the way the born-to-rules treat all those outside their ‘class’.

    Jennifer, I am appalled at the triple injustices committed on these survivors of the worst kind of abuse. Three times, governments have turned away – the first time by ignoring these abuses, the second by actively covering them up and protecting the perpetrators, and now this latest outrageous discrimination. Many of the survivors who appeared before the Commission spoke of the years of substance abuse that they have endured due to their abuse. The nexus is undeniable.

    We should have known they would pull a despicable stunt like this, they’ve been treating Aboriginal Australians in exactly the same way ever since we stole their country..

  3. Phil

    Oh how the born to rule elites morality stands exposed for all to puke over. How i hate this bastard government.

  4. Alistaire

    Yes Jennifer, the subhuman inability of the LNP reps to connect the dots is telling. Apparently the more damaged survivors, those who didn’t make it out the other side of the system of abuse and become ‘good survivors’ as you say, they’re the ones who deserve more psychological punishment. WTF. Why isn’t the media taking the LNP to task?

  5. kerri

    I wonder what they would say to Tanya Plibersek’s husband?

  6. Freethinker

    This upsetting me too much, how a rebellion has not started it is beyond me.

  7. Peter F

    About three( or was it six) years ago, we started saying : ‘surely they can’t get any worse”. Now it gone well beyond my comprehension. It is not possible for them to be ignorant of what they are doing.

  8. Pete Petrass

    Nor does the bill even consider the fact that crimes committed as an adult are probably as a result of child abuse

  9. 245179

    FT……Not in our life time………if ever. ( the divide, grows bigger and bigger ) ….Love of family and friends hallmarks many, but greed can eclipse even love.
    The squire always directs the peasants. ( can i have more porridge please sir )

  10. Glenn Barry

    These guys make it so easy to absolutely loathe them – it really is a talent much refined

  11. Heather

    FFS they were children at the time… Why don’t these pricks go after the perps instead of the victims..

  12. Mercurial

    And the hypocrites even allowed phones to be installed in prisons for prisoners to report their own previous abuse. Not much point if they aren’t going to be recognised.

    Satanist Porter more like it.

  13. Jaquix

    Turnbull has proved himself to be despicable. There is just no other word for it. Christian Porter spouting lots of sanctimonious crap about how this would “give public confidence in the system”. The public confidence in this government demands that they drop this vicious ideological meanspirited and damaging stance, and reverse it. Loudly and clearly. This is another example of how the media gives the Liberals a free ride. I havent seen this reported anywhere in the print media. Was lucky to see a clip of it somewhere (could have been ABC TV, or SBS).

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