Hear Jack interviewed by Neil Johnson on Vision Radio
A sensitive topic to talk about when evidence of child sexual abuse is ignored by police and politicians. Well you may have heard of the case that has evolved into a scandal in the UK where in Telford child sex abuse cases against some 20 suspects were discarded accusations then followed that the cases were allegedly too much trouble for authorities to follow up. While a development on this type of neglect in Australia where there is the suggestion that England's Telford girls move either and make way for our Aboriginal children Jack Sonnemann from the Australian Federation for the Family says neglect for Indigenous children makes the neglect that's happening in the UK. Look mild. Jack Sonnemann joining us.
Hello Jack welcome back to 2020.
Hello Neil thank you for having me.
Jack what's the similarity between what's happened with the Telford scandal in the UK and the parallel that you're drawing between Indigenous children in Australia?
Neil the victims of the horrible child molestation cases in Telford were by and large from lower middle class background industrial suburbs and areas of working class people and therefore it was actually ignored by the media, politicians, police and the public. Well in Australia we have similar or maybe even worse atrocities occurring which are also being ignored. Media reports especially last week that all of Tennant Creek children in the Northern Territory not some of them or most of them but all of them are forced to live in fear of serious sexual assault, molestation and contracting venereal diseases, some incurable, at a rate five times the national average yet were silent because these are not white children they're not well educated children they're not in our own neighbourhoods or socioeconomic class they're Aboriginal children. They are not the precious wealthy movie stars who are complaining about someone inappropriately touching their knee on the set of some morally reprehensible movie or play. These are children as young as two who are being serially molested or being groomed by pornography or being raped and repeatedly abused sexually. Now the movie stars have their worldwide well financed MeToo campaign. The Telford Girls are finally, thank God, International news. Yet who is speaking up for our innocent, sexually ravaged and venereal disease ridden Aboriginal girls? Who is speaking out for them?
Well now when we have this parallel with the Telford children in the UK and Aboriginal children in the Northern Territory. In the UK where the perpetrators have been shown to be by and large from a Muslim community. There is suggestion that somehow Muslims, because of their differences, have largely been protected like a protected class of molesters. How does that relate though in the Australian context of Indigenous children in the Northern Territory?
Yes it is very similar. Islam today is a protected class all over the world you can't say certain things about and you accept some of the reprehensible things they do because it's culturally within their realm to do so. Same with the Aboriginal community. We have Aboriginal practices that I don't know were occurring a long time ago that are occurring now. I think because of the white man's porn that has permeated their culture. It's not them that are producing the material, it's us that are producing it and distributing it into their culture causing all kinds of bad things to happen. But even when this is brought to the government's attention it seems no one cares. When Turnbull's Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion was made aware of this by Dean Smith Liberal senator Dean Smith and Smith recommended immediate action to be taken about the disturbing rise of sexually transmitted infections in Aboriginal communities especially among children amongst children.
In fact the chief executive officer of the health service in Darwin Ms. Olga Hovan is quoted in the national media saying if this was happening in the major suburbs of Sydney or Melbourne there would have been immediate action. Former Aboriginal Magistrate Sue Gordon, chair of John Howard Northern Territory Taskforce, says that it's about time the state and federal government took the issue seriously. The issue talked about here is Aboriginal childhood rates of venereal disease contracted through adult child sexual contact. Indigenous Senator Pat Dobson warns that if the government had taken the issue of serial sexual assault of Aboriginal children. Did you hear that? If the government had taken the issue of serial sexual assault of Aboriginal children seriously we would not be in this situation. Even Noel Pearson has added his principal voice to the debate. It will never ever ever be dealt with if we continue to ignore it.
Now Jack was there some ban on pornography in the Northern Territory some years ago. Is it the fact that it's not being enforced and of course these days of course with the internet it's what people get on a DVD or what they might buy in in some sort of physical sense can be either written counted because people can download pornography whenever they want. Then when you have got the presence of the pornography the connection between the pornography and the sexually transmitted diseases how do you actually discuss those connections?
The Internet where some of the most vile material is freely available can be addressed. Its being addressed in other countries that can be addressed here too. But were I'm talking about is remote Aboriginal communities where there no such thing as internet access. There ARE such things as mounds of X rated pornographic DVDs that are set up on large screens and shown to children 2 and 3 and 4 years old where the children are shown that this is normal natural behaviour and that's how they're inducted into the Aboriginal community. This is being done today. This is documented in my website just click on www.ausfamily.org and Jack's Blog and you can see quote after quote after quote of some of the experts and even the magistrates and Supreme Court magistrates that are naming the DVDs that are being acted out. Sadly we have three year olds that are totally sexualised.
They can't they can't relate to adults unless it's sexual. This is going on in remote Aboriginal communities where the Internet is not a thing that is the problem. The Internet is a problem today but it is just a problem. What we're talking about here is the fact that the Northern Territory allows X rated DVDs to be freely sold across every counter and every video shop and shop and newsagents and convenience store across the territories when X rated DVDs have been banned in every state in Australia. You cannot sell, hire or display an X rated DVD in any state in Australia. They're only available in the Territories. Because they're available in the territories, some unprincipled and vile, reprehensible Aboriginal men are taking these DVDs and indoctrinating little children with the porn that is so dangerous. I'm talking about two, three and four year olds. We just had a case in Tennant Creek where a 2 year old girl was raped.
Professor Judy Atkinson, a former Aboriginal Research Consultant, in her book "Looking at the Problem" documents numerous cases of such atrocities occurring. Former New South Wales University academic Dr Stuart Philpot put two scholarly reports to the Royal Commission into the Protection of Children in the Northern Territory. He put in two reports about the appalling conditions in the outback town of Tennant Creek. This was two and three years ago. He says the Government did quote "nothing." Dr Philpot has worked in the region for over five decades and describes "horrendous accumulation of social dysfunction." He warms what is happening in the Tennant Creek is "unsustainable" and he says he lives in fear that some kid watching an X rated video will "act out what he sees." Well he's living in fear for a good reason because they're doing it right now.
Today even the Northern Territory Supreme Court Justice Sir William Kearney and another Northern Territory Magistrate David Leadsman talk about children being ravaged after being forced to watch porn videos and then being forced to act out what's on those X rated videos. Remember, these are illegal to be sold, hired or displayed in any state in Australia yet due to the power of the porn lobby they are freely available over the counter in the Territories. Where is the voice of the children's lobby? Why is the voice of the porn lobby so powerful. Surely the people of God in the body of Christ across this nation can rise up and recognise that Jesus wants us to protect the children. Take those little innocent Aboriginal children and wrap our arms - wrap His arms - around them and protect them from such vile abuse. Surely if X rated DVDs cause such harm in every state in Australia that they have been banned, its reasonable to believe that they will cause the same harm in the territories. Don't you think?
I think that too and Jack just to affirm here you're saying this warning was given years ago and ignored then that and potentially today it's being ignored also even with the emergence of these new statistics about sexually transmitted diseases in children. Your affirming that you're saying that this is something that just can't go unattended right now.
Nail back during John Howard's Little Children Are Sacred report his Aboriginal Affairs Minister Mal Brough fruitlessly it seems alerted the world. He said, "It's patently clear coming out a report after report after story after story that there is a major problem with child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities." Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan at the time is quoted in the same article in The Australian in September 2006 over ten years ago. Senator Heffernan says, "It's well known to everybody that the sexual abuse is chronic." This has been going on for years and years and years and years but because it's happening in Aboriginal communities because it's not happening in the Melbourne suburbs and in fact an Aboriginal magistrate in the Northern Territory says that it was happening. Here she is. I'm sorry if the health service director this was happening in the major suburbs of Sydney or Melbourne there would have been immediate action.
Former Aboriginal magistrate Sue Gordon who was the chair of John Howard the Northern Territory Taskforce says that it's about time that the government took issue on this and this is happening now. The end has been going on for years and years and years now we're not saying that the X rated DVD ban is going to be the be all and end all but we are saying that it is known that they're taking these x rated DVDs and indoctrinating little children, grooming them for sex and then using them as nothing more than sexual merchandise to be passed around for the adult sexual use. This has to stop. The children need to be protected better than they're being protected now.
Under the Australian Constitution, the federal government rules the territories. I hope all of your listeners know this. Some will remember when the Howard government minister Kevin Andrews overruled the Northern Territory's attempt to legitimise euthanasia a few years back. The Turnbull cabinet ministers and all of his MPs and senators must answer why is it that X rated porn DVDs are freely available and causing such harm in the territories when they have been banned in each and every one of our state.
Well they won't respond.
They should be forced to. Jack Sonnemann, controversial as always and to draw that alignment between the Telford's scandal and the Northern Territory where you're saying there is a protected class of molesters. It certainly is a significant topic for discussion. It is scandalous and the encouragement for listeners in the Northern Territory to be in touch with your political leaders and see what they are doing about the challenges that are emerging. Let me point people to the Australian Federation for the Family Web site www.ausfamily.org, click on Jack's Blog for more on this issue.
Jack Sonnemann is the founder of the Australian Federation for the Family. Jack thanks so much for taking some time to share your thoughts with us today on 20 20.
Let's think they'll say it's always a privilege and an honor to be with you.
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