I came across the link in my newsfeed, and given our history as I have occasionally brushed on here I went to check it out.
I went looking for PartnerSPEAK hopeful that I would find a vibrant supportive community that was more practical than vitriol, I thought perhaps I could help them out give them some direction and explain how some of the available resources work.
That they understand that they too are victims, even if they remain and work to mend the relationship, that statistics show that no they really aren’t crazy to do so depending on circumstances and that chances of rehabilitation are good and their biggest challenge will actually be the shaming and misperceptions of the community.
Unfortunately I was sorely disappointment…tumbleweed floats across the forum due to;
- an up to 24 hour wait for posts to be moderated.
- a portion of the forum is actually public.
- account creation doesn’t actually work.
- no notifications are sent by the forum.
- accounts do not work even if you do manage to register.
- posts take far longer than 24 hours to be moderated.
- the website actually has a “Quick Exit” button
Some very mixed messages. Here let us help you Hide Us. Yet here speak publicly but don’t speak of what happened but do.
There is an Option to use a Pseudonym, so use one either have it all public or all private. There are ways and means to structure forums to make them accessible. They have “tried” to implement how they think some of them work but have done it incredibly badly. the level of moderation in use actually stifles discussion to an incredible extent. yet the thought and concept are there the events and meetings that some are happening is fantastic but this is a wider issue than melbourne and the only way for awareness to really spread is online. Their online tools should be far more refined and focused than this.
As far as accessing by mobile give it a shot, incredibly horrendous is all I can say on that.
I sent an email hoping to occasionally join them for their 6 weekly meetings in Melbourne CBD, only to get an Auto-reply that while they were being heavily promoted in the media directly following a symposium that was opened by Rosie Batty, the individual trying to launch the organisation was on personal leave for a week, who knows at this point how long she has already been on leave for.
They as an organisation assume that abuse counselling services aren’t available for them, they assume that other counselling services don’t exist for them.
Those services exist for them as much as they exist for any victim…the vast majority of victims of child sexual abuse are actually related to their offender. The entire industry of support services is incredibly aware of the complexities that arise from not just the perpetrator relationship but the actual familial relationship that exists. Everyone is aware that that is the very relationship most often taken advantage of to abuse.
It is possibly the Nature of the offence of possession of child abuse material the detachment which as much in the head of the offender as those who live with the offender gives the impression of detachment from the victim, of being apart from and the false impression that this distancing removes the victim from the offence they don’t make the connection for themselves to contact sexual assault services, they don’t just exist for victims of rape.
Perhaps the bigger problem is those of us who have knowledge of such crimes and the swathe of damage they produce have failed in our own efforts by not extending our hands to their families and letting them know we recognise them too. Because we do they share our nightmare in so many ways. They are not alone.
It had so much potential too, oh well all I can do is wait to find out how many weeks til I get word they are back and running again.
Update: the owner of the site refuses to acknowledge that there are errors.
I suspect unlike me she has no experience with web design and a Mate made it for her so is unable to repair any problems herself.
I received an email outlining her incredible Burdens to run the site as a volunteer (pretty sure I’ve never been paid for Any of the advocacy work I have done since 1997) and that she pays for everything out of her own disability pension (*looks around* yeah I’m pretty sure every dollar I raise goes towards research rather than an income for myself and the girls)
After a great amount of self flaggelation she basically told me she considered me a threat. Doesn’t surprise me considering she has already seen just a couple of the pages and blogs I manage and they are all far more functional, better presented with higher traffic.
Her own ego prevents her asking for help. It also came to light that she told the media that she blames the police operation which my mother was the public face of for her husbands arrest.
Yeah I am Pretty sure her husband is responsible for her husbands arrest regardless of which police operation the evidence was dug up during.
She has a Poor understanding of the law and has essentially created a closed echo chamber of which she is the center and has failed to properly inform members that services do actually exist to support them.
If you do need help and support I would suggest anywhere else but there. Support services do actually exist for the families of offenders and are larger far better equipped and magnitudes more qualified to provide genuine support. They are victims too.
Sisters of St Joseph
New South Wales
Family Support Line