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Attack on Victim Lobby Grotesque Candor Trust

Attack on Victim Lobby Grotesque Candor Trust

The judgemental comments of athlete Glenda Hughes toward a member of the Sensible Sentencing Trust, as reported in the Sunday Star Times, are far from sporting. Candor Trust is appalled at her aggressive and humiliating attack on the media presence of one of many victims who've organised themselves to be politically active.

Hughes pontificated about the apparently outrageous choice of the Sensible Sentencing Trust to enable it's member victims to make media comment about offenders. She opined that everytime the Trust brings Rita Croskery forward to talk about the homicide inflicted on her family it thwarts her recovery. Portraying Rita (a strong minded woman) as a puppet is highly disrespectful.

Candor fails to see how empowerment to spoeak ones truth can be so unhealthy. In Hughes universe Croskery "should be allowed to let go". This belies a basic ignorance of normal recovery processes, and a disregard for the human dignity of survivors like Rita. They should not be forever defined as some sort of weak manipulated or dysfunctional "victim" by the likes of Hughes.

The Candor Trust questions Hughes qualifications to judge Rita Croskery as having been manipulated, or being in some sort of abnormal recovery. Hughes clearly has little understanding of Victim Rights or their experiences and life choices beyond victimhood.

A vulnerable victim would surely not be so vocal for so long in such a rational manner as Rita - Rita Croskery is a survivor. Hughes comments are outrageously intrusive and clearly likely to cause further distress. But it seems in overstepping the boundaries of decency to pushing some misguided agenda of downing the Sensible Sentencing Trust this was disregarded.

The Sensible Sentencing Trust does not exploit victims. Bizarre commentary made in Sunday papers seems more in fitting with that. As does the unethical process by which invitations going out to victims to participate in Restorative Justice.

Candor has had complaints from its members that Restorative Justice was presented as a trustworthy process. They were involved in it and given false promises by offenders for reparation. False promises of no intent to reoffend also. And then witnessed offenders get light sentences accordingly, who failed to keep up their side of the bargain.

Only after such indignities were inflicted did they find out about the psychological phenomenon of "traumatic bonding." This can lead victims to wish to meet offenders and overempathise with them as a means to find meaning and hope.

If failing to inform fresh victims that their choices about entering into Restorative Justice meetings, and judgement and attitudes during these meetings could be affected by post traumatic bonding is not manipulation and exploitation, then what is?

Perhaps Mrs Hughes is experiencing traumatic bonding with offenders and this condition has prejudiced her opinions about Mrs Croskerys alternate "less fluffy" method of dealing with the issue of violent crime. But far be it for Candor to go diagnosing strangers, a la the impetuous style of Ms Hughes. The smear campaign against victims must stop.


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