*DISTRESSING content – A ‘Poppy’ told his six-year-old step-granddaughter to ‘open your legs for poppy’ before he sexually abused her.
The Queensland man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, lost his appeal against his five-and-a-half year prison sentence, APN reported.
Earlier this year, he was found guilty of rape, maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship with a child and aggravated indecent treatment.
The young girl was sexually abused between the ages of six and 14 at the hands of her step-grandfather who she knew as ‘poppy’.
Court documents revealed the man, from Bundaberg, would repeatedly touch the girl’s genitals during ‘hugging’ time on family holidays to the Gold Coast.
The girl, now aged 17, recalled the man would placed his hands down her shorts after forcing her to climb into bed with him, reports Daily Mail.
‘I remember him saying “can you open your legs for pop? Open your legs for poppy”,’ she said during the trial.
‘He didn’t get that far because I was young. He was trying to do it. It hurt.’
A phone recording was played in court, where the man could be heard apologising to the girl after she questioned him why he abused her.
‘I don’t know darling. I’ve apologised for what I’ve done and I can’t do anything about it. I can’t take it back,’ the man responded in the phone recording.
His defence team asked the Court of Appeal to quash his rape conviction because there was no penetration but Justice Phillip Morrison said the girl had felt pain.
The man lost his appeal to overturn his sentence.
Every two hours in Australia, a child is sexually harmed, according to child protection advocacy group Bravehearts.
1 in 5 children in Australia will be sexually harmed in some way by their 18th birthday. That’s 59,000 Australian children each year.
Jayneen Sanders, a teacher, author, mother of three teenage daughters and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education both in the home and in schools, has previously shared, “statistics tell us that 95% of sexually abused children will know their perpetrator (Child Protection Council, 1993).
They will be an immediate family member, a close family friend or some-one the child has regular contact with.
Be aware of any person who wishes to spend a great deal of time with your child, seeking out their company and offering to take care of them at any time. For example, an abuser will often ‘help out’ the targeted family at short notice, appearing as a reliable and trustworthy friend. This is the persona a pedophile will go to great lengths to establish.
Be aware of any person who pays special attention to your child, making them feel more special than any other child; providing them with special treats, presents, sweets, etc. These ‘treats’ may be provided without your knowledge, and be the first of your child’s secrets they are being groomed to keep.
Be aware of any person who spends a large percentage of their out-of-hours recreation time with children—often without other adults present or preferring to be ‘alone’ with the children.
In saying the above, of course we want our children to spend quality and loving time with the special adults in their lives. However, it is important we stay alert.”
Jayneen shared some important things to know about Paedophiles
1. Paedophiles can be any person in the community and from any social democratic. They can be single, married and have families of their own. Up to 95% of child sexual abusers are male (Bagley, 1995).
2. 1/3 of reported offences are committed by adolescents (Bagley, 1995) and increasingly a child can be abused by another child slightly older than themselves.
3. Children who live with a single parent that has a live-in partner are at the highest risk: they are 20 times more likely to be victims of sexual abuse than children living with both biological parents (Sedlack et al, 2010). However, children living with both biological parents or in foster care can be targeted.
4. Paedophiles plan their abuse in detail, sometimes over years—grooming both the victim and their family by portraying the persona of a friendly, helpful and reliable person.
5. Paedophiles will actively encourage the targeted child to keep secrets. The secret at first may not be of a sexual nature. These ‘fun’ secrets are intended to build up a sense that the abuser and the child have a ‘special’ relationship.
6. Paedophiles convince the victim that the abuse is normal and love-based. They will use ‘guilt’ and ‘blaming’ techniques to coerce the child into believing that they are an equal participant in the ‘shameful’ secret, and therefore are equally too blame. The child can be so ‘guilt ridden’ they may never disclose.
7.Paedophiles use threats and bribes to ensure the child keeps the secret. ‘Keeping the secret’ is of extreme importance to the offender — if the child does tell, the consequences for the offender are catastrophic. Therefore, they will use whatever means they can to ensure the child never tells. This includes subtly discrediting the child by making them out to be a liar—so if they ever do disclose, they won’t be believed.
Jayneen says she “cannot reinforce strongly enough how important it is to believe a child if they disclose sexual abuse, in 98% of reported child sexual abuse cases, children’s statements were found to be true (NSW Child Protection Council, Cited In Dympna House, 1998)”
For more information on this topic and Jay’s children’s book on safe and unsafe touch: ‘Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept’ go to www.somesecrets.info
5 basic principles we need to teach our children via Bravehearts (remember: it’s never too early to sow the seeds of personal safety) are:
1) To trust their feelings and to distinguish between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ feelings
2) To say ‘no’ to adults if they feel unsafe and unsure
3) That they own their own bodies
4) That nothing is so yucky that they can’t tell someone about it
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