Josh Fagan, Bendigo Advertiser 6th April, 2013


More reporting child porn
Josh Fagan
Bendigo Advertiser, 6th April, 2013

CENTRAL Victorian detectives say the public’s “complete intolerance” for child pornography is leading to a greater crackdown on the alarming nature of websites being accessed. A growing number of child pornography offenders have come before the courts in Bendigo, with most resulting in serious sentences and jail terms.

Detective Fiona Whitty said that may be a positive thing, with more people willing to speak out about the “disturbing prevalence” of the issue. She said people were more
aware of the existence of the sites and police had received a rise in reports, mainly from people who remained anonymous. “People are more inclined to tell police because they’re not being involved publicly,” she said. “They come across someone who has accessed it in the workplace or at home and have to do something because they’re so disturbed by it. “It’s instinctively intolerated by the majority of the population.“It has to stop. People need to pick up the phone and tell police.”

One woman who is urging more people to speak out about the issues associated with child pornography is Natalie Walker. The Melbourne resident has started website PartnerSPEAK to help people take the right steps in reporting offences to police, and to offer support for those whose lives are affected by a family member or partner charged with accessing child pornography. In her own experience, with an ex-partner who was accessing the sites, she said it was one of the most horrible situations she has ever had to deal with. At the time she said there was a strong stigma attached to being associated with someone who accessed child pornography. She said it was a stigma that still existed today. “For someone to report a loved one, it’s someone they think they know better than anyone else,” she said. “Their whole world’s come out
beneath them and some women think, how could I not know? “Women are so shocked at themselves that such a horrific thing could be going on in their house. “Some women have gone on to say I’m such a bad person.” Ms Walker said with more people being aware of the issue and being encouraged to report offenders to police, there were greater opportunities to combat the problem and break stigmas associated with partners. She said the website encouraged people from Bendigo, or anywhere
in the world, to come forward and gain support from the knowledge they’re not alone. “Our main priority is to be there for partners and to break the stigmas attached. Not to further perpetrate the pain they’re experiencing,” she said.

A launch for the website is being held on Thursday, April 18 at the Edinburgh Gardens in North Fitzroy. For more information email