Local GP starts political party for abuse victims
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FOR Grafton-based GP Dr Russell Pridgeon, the Australian Antipaedophile Party is his last resort for justice.
Experience with the Family Court served as the motivation for Dr Pridgeon to establish the party.
He has founded the Australian Antipaedophile Party as a single issue party that will contest the next federal election and aims to pass legislation to protect children from sexual abuse.
"We don't accept that child sexual abuse is normal or excusable in any way, we believe it's a gross violation of helpless children," he said.
"Our concern is, because of our personal experience, it is effectively impossible to prosecute a child rapist in Australia as thing stand presently."
According to Dr Pridgeon, a GP of 35 years' experience, Australian research into child sexual abuse shows that between one in three and one in six children are said to have contact sexual abuse before the age of 18, and only 30 victims per 1000 will disclose their abuse, with less than 10 per cent seeking prosecution or resulting in a conviction.
"If Australians knew about what was happening, they would be revolted by it, and that's what we aim to do. The scale is vast, the problem is huge. It is very sinister," he said.
Under section 121 of the Family Law Act, the publication of many details of Family Court proceedings are limited to protect the identity of the victim.
Dr Pridgeon said changes had to be made with the Family Court to remove the secrecy surrounding proceedings.
The party will contest the election for senate positions, and has four candidates across Australia.
Each candidate has their own personal experience of dealing with child sexual abuse.
Dr Pridgeon said he is reluctant to go into politics, but if nobody else was willing to campaign he is prepared to fight for the cause.
"This is my last resort, I don't know anything else to do," he said.
"I feel I have an absolute moral obligation to try something, and this is all I can do."