The law upsetting abuse survivors like Harrison

However, the judge disagreed that the perpetrator gained access to the victim “because he was a relative, and not because he was a person of good character.”

The uncle was able to display his good character in court and received a prison sentence of nine years.

“These abusers lead double lives, they’re not really the person you read about in the character references.”

James, an abuse survivor

“It’s really a punch in the gut,” said survivor Harrison James The Herald.

“I couldn’t think of anything more devastating than going through a process as rigorous and arduous as that of a court, only to hear how good a human being the perpetrator is.”

James, a survivor of abuse at the hands of a relative, has started a petition calling on the New South Wales government to change the state’s Criminal Procedure Act. He wants character credentials and consideration for all pedophiles to be off the table.

“These abusers lead double lives, they’re not really the person you read about in the character references,” James said.


NSW Attorney General Michael Daley has no plans to change the law, a spokesman said, adding there was no evidence from the department that the law had been applied beyond its original scope.

“Except where that is [law] “It is understood that child offenders will be treated in the same way as any person convicted of a crime, provided they are allowed to rely on their past good personality or lack of criminal record in the conviction,” the spokesman said.

“The Department of Communities and Justice has indicated that it is not aware of any instances where the provision is contrary to that intent.”

No charges have been filed against the perpetrator of James, who left Australia.

But he said survivors faced overwhelming self-doubt when they heard how popular their abusers were with friends and family.

“This is more than just changing a law,” he said.

“It’s about instilling in the survivors the confidence to stand up for the justice system.

“That’s one small thing we can do among a plethora of things. It’s a simple solution.”

The petition will be presented to the NSW Legislative Council in August by Green MP Abigail Boyd and has 2,600 signatures.

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Justin Scaccy

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