Editor’s note: This article is the second in a three-part series on the ramifications of a case decided recently in Melbourne’s County Court. The first article—which looked at the farcical judgment of Judge Chris O’Neill and highlighted that men and boys cannot expect justice from the Australian courts—can be read here. The final installment will focus on the victim.
This article looks at the culture that allows an adult woman to use a 13-year-old boy for sex, manipulate him to leave his parental home, and father three children for her before he turned 18. Here, of course, we have to dig a little deeper and read between the lines.
County Court Judge Chris O’Neill came up with a suspended sentence because it did not challenge the prevailing culture. A harsh sentence for the woman would have been an acknowledgement that she did great harm to the boy. But worse, it also would have been an acknowledgement that the various authorities who knew that the boy was being harmed were wrong in doing nothing about it.
The tactic, used to great effect, was to examine, in great detail, the problems of the accused woman.
Forensic psychologist Pamela Matthews told the court the woman’s level of cognitive functioning was comparable to that of a six- to eight-year-old, and she gravitated towards those of similar functioning.
Matthews told the court that the woman had an IQ of 64. This, however, was not her only problem.
The woman now has six children and Judge O’Neill said her family circumstances had to be taken into account in the sentence.
But the problem here was for O’Neill to steer a path between condemning the woman’s actions (she was pleading guilty to the charges, after all) and ensuring that the excuses being proffered to keep her out of jail did not just raise even more difficult questions for the establishment.
The chief problem was described by the Herald Sun in this manner:
He [Judge O’Neill] said the boy’s mother, police and the Department of Human Services all vainly tried to intervene, but both the boy and the woman denied there was any inappropriate relationship.
There are two other versions that don’t quite give the same picture. The West Australian puts it this way:
Prosecutor Francesca Holmes said the boy’s mother tried to tell authorities while the relationship was occurring, but they declined to act when both denied it.
The Age adds this information to help complete the picture:
The boy denied to police and family members the relationship was a sexual one, Ms Holmes said, but told his mother he had become a father after the girl was born.
So, at the age of 14, a boy takes up residence in a pregnant woman’s home. He is otherwise unrelated to this woman and there is no adult male living in the home. There is no dispute that the boy was of an age where he would be physically able to have sexual intercourse and impregnate. By the time he was 15 and his first daughter was born, the nature of the relationship was blatantly obvious. They “investigated” but dropped it at the first sign of an excuse.
First of all, let’s clear something up. The Department of Human Services is an enormous organisation that has many sub-departments to deal with many things. The sub-department that would have been dealing with this matter is usually referred to as “Child Protection.”
And, secondly, let’s not be fooled by the name. The purpose of the sub-department called Child Protection is to ensure that there is more government money for their department in next year’s budget. Protecting children, as we shall see, is more an expression of an ideal than it is an actual activity.
So why is it that the Child Protection people did nothing when told this boy was living, in the conjugal sense, with this woman?
To answer this, we have to take a few steps back. Ultimately, the answer lies in the fact that the Children, Youth and Families Act and the Family Law Act were written in accordance with feminist ideology. Child Protection relies on the Children, Youth and Families Act to prosecute its cases in the Children’s Court. Therefore, feminist philosophy is the prevailing culture of the Children’s Court and Child Protection.
It would be simplistic to accuse them of favouring the woman because she is female. Rather, the children’s court sees its main purpose as halting the effects of the patriarchal culture it claims has dominated our society. It sees any and all domestic violence through the prism of patriarchy. The father not only dominates the wife directly but also indirectly through bullying her children. The mother, if she treats the children badly, is doing so against her will. Instead, she is being forced to dominate the children by obeying the father’s orders.
To combat this, the feminists seek to assert themselves as a higher authority than the parents in domestic life.
To this end, the Children, Youth and Families Act and the Family Law Act have been written to ensure that parents have no rights under Australian law. Parents are assigned responsibilities, and can be punished for not meeting them, but they have no authority or rights. It is for this reason, for example, that the Children’s Court and the Child Protection workers prefer the term “young person” to “child.” This is not mere games with synonyms. The intention is to insist on these “young person’s” independence from their parents.
In other words, Child Protection is about protecting children from their parents. In practice, this generally involves filling in copious amounts of meaningless reports while running the parents ragged through an expensive court process. All the time, Child Protection is threatening to take children away from their parents. All of this we can refer to as “the stick.”
“The carrot” that is then offered to bewildered parents is that they can sign a legally binding undertaking to not harm their child in the future. The parents are told that this is not an actual admission of guilt but rather just a promise that it won’t happen. Most parents, whether guilty or not, sign. Those who are rich enough and stubborn enough to insist on justice are put through meaningless, but expensive and exhausting, hearing after hearing after hearing until they see sense and sign.
In theory, the process is so punishing for the parents that they learn to treat their children better. In practice, it puts the children in charge of their own discipline as the parents become frightened to upset them in case they make another complaint to Child Protection.
The undertaking allows Child Protection to record the matter as a “substantiated” case of abuse. If they can increase the number of substantiated cases, they can claim that domestic violence is on the rise and they therefore need more funding. The legal undertaking is the most cost-effective method for Child Protection for getting their substantiated case numbers up.
In this case, however, the boy was not living with his parents, and so the threat to remove him from his mother’s care would have been empty. The woman he was living with could not be controlled in the same manner as she is not legally responsible for him. The only option open to Child Protection, then, would be to take him into their own care.
The problem then, of course, is that under their watch there is the risk that the boy would leave wherever the Child Protection people might place him and go back to live with the woman. At that point, Child Protection would be legally responsible for the situation, and could be sued accordingly.
To avoid this responsibility, Child Protection would have taken a pragmatic view of the situation. They would have known that the boy was unlikely to complain. The woman, after all, was giving him “all the cool stuff” he wanted.
Prosecutor Francesca Holmes said the boy was 13 when he first had sex with the woman and found he could get access to alcohol, cigarettes and drugs and attend parties with her.
And, as long as the boy himself did not complain, Child Protection could feign that their investigations were thwarted at the outset. By the time the boy would have been old enough to realise that this “cool” life came with a hefty price tag, it would no longer be a Child Protection problem. Indeed, he only spoke up at the age of 20.
But this cynical approach is only acceptable to the establishment because the child was male. There is no feminist dogma surrounding female sex offenders. In their ideology, such women do not exist. Equally lacking in substance, in their eyes, is the notion of a male victim. It is impossible to imagine Child Protection, the courts, or the media taking such a “hands-off” approach if a 14-year-old girl, pregnant or otherwise, was moving in as a sexual partner with an adult male.
Of course, if Child Protection would do nothing, then the Victorian police would be unwilling to get involved. Unless the boy gave evidence against the woman, the courts would insist that the problem be turned over to Child Protection. The boy’s mother could complain until she was blue in the face. Being a parent, she had no rights and no authority in this matter whatsoever.
Judge O’Neill, in his summary, was hoping that by glossing over the failure of Child Protection, his court could then smoothly proceed to give the woman a suspended sentence without too much adverse commentary.
Nothing to see here. Move along, please.
Our mainstream media, it seems, bought it. Hook, line, and sinker.