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Barnaby Joyce slams public inquisition of Attorney-General Christian Porter over rape allegations

Christian Porter’s rape accuser wrote in her statement detailing her claims that she gained a better understanding of her memories by using a discredited form of therapy. 

The Attorney-General, is on mental health leave this week and has strongly denied raping the woman when they were both teenagers in 1988.

The woman said while she had ‘always remembered’ about the alleged events, she ‘only really understood’ her memories after her psychologist introduced her to recovered memory theory.

The details emerged as Mr Porter was defended by Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce, who slammed what he called a ‘salacious’ inquisition and called for a confidential inquiry.

Christian Porter fronted the media on Wednesday and repeatedly denied raping a 16-year-old girl after a debating competition in Sydney in 1988

Christian Porter fronted the media on Wednesday and repeatedly denied raping a 16-year-old girl after a debating competition in Sydney in 1988

Christian Porter fronted the media on Wednesday and repeatedly denied raping a 16-year-old girl after a debating competition in Sydney in 1988

Mr Porter’s accuser said in her statement she was referred to the book The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and body in the Healing of Trauma, by American psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, Crikey reported.

‘I had not previously heard of it, nor had I read it,’ she said in the statement.

‘Bessel van der Kolk explains that for survivors of torture and trauma our bodies will store traumatic events and only allow them to resurface when our minds are able to re-examine them, usually several decades later.’

The alleged victim said she had a 'better understanding' of her memories after reading a book on the therapy of repressed memory theory written by Bessel van der Kolk

The alleged victim said she had a 'better understanding' of her memories after reading a book on the therapy of repressed memory theory written by Bessel van der Kolk

The alleged victim said she had a ‘better understanding’ of her memories after reading a book on the therapy of repressed memory theory written by Bessel van der Kolk

This therapy, which is used to target horrific memories individuals may have forgotten because they were so traumatic, has been discredited in recent years.

Van der Kolk’s therapy method has been criticised by other psychologists, including Harvard’s Richard McNally who labelled it ‘the worst catastrophe to befall the mental health field since the lobotomy era.’ 

But friends of the alleged victim have claimed she told them about the allegations well before she read Dr van der Kolk’s book.

‘This is wrong. Our friend sought professional help for her trauma years before 2019,’ friend Jo Dyer, the director of the Adelaide Writers Festival told news.com.au

‘Her memories never had to be “recovered” as she lived with them constantly. An inquiry would establish this beyond a shred of doubt.’ 

Another friend who spoke to the woman after she met police in February last year said she had a clear mind at the time.  

‘She was lucid, calm, rational, attentive, forensic,’ Rick Kalowski told The Sydney Morning Herald.

‘In no way was she delusional or away with the fairies.’  

Barnaby Joyce has fired back at what he calls the 'salacious' inquisition given to Attorney-General Christian Porter after he publicly denied rape allegations

Barnaby Joyce has fired back at what he calls the 'salacious' inquisition given to Attorney-General Christian Porter after he publicly denied rape allegations

Barnaby Joyce has fired back at what he calls the ‘salacious’ inquisition given to Attorney-General Christian Porter after he publicly denied rape allegations

In a lengthy Facebook post on Saturday, Mr Joyce called for a ‘confidential’ inquiry into Mr Porter and his accuser, and not one in front of the ‘media’s camera’.

Referencing allegations he himself had faced, Mr Joyce said he didn’t want Mr Porter ‘sitting at the back of the chamber under the exit sign where my colleagues have kindly placed me’. 

‘I have had allegations placed against me and no one ran to my defence,’ he wrote. 

‘Christian Porter may not want an independent inquiry but he has got one by default. A demeaning, cathartic inquisition by the press and Opposition. 

‘It is achieving little beyond ratings as salacious dissonance and certainly not offering any solace to any party involved. 

‘The alternative should be an inquiry, in camera, the confidential one, not the media’s camera.’

Mr Joyce said he feared the sexual assault allegations would ‘hang like fog’ over Mr Porter’s ‘quite remarkable’ career if the public inquisition did not stop.

In 2018 a woman from Western Australia made a sexual harassment complaint against Mr Joyce.

He stepped down from his role as Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals Leader in February of that year. 

‘Christian knows, many in the Opposition and some on his own side don’t want the truth unless it comes with his head on a plate,’ Mr Joyce continued.

‘They just want his scalp.’ 

Police said there was ‘insufficient admissible evidence’ to continue with the investigation into the rape allegations.

The alleged victim took her own life in June, 2020, after reporting the incident to police a year earlier.  

BARNABY JOYCE’S FULL POST 

It is a God awful tumbling, traumatic imbroglio. 

A wipe of your eyes with the palm of your hands as you stare at the ground and work out where lies the truth, how did this happen?

I have had allegations placed against me and no one ran to my defence. 

I would have liked to run to an independent arbiter of the truth. 

A person with the requisite qualifications and skill; run at the speed of a thousand gazelles had one been available. 

There wasn’t one, so I stood down to ‘clear the air’ as I stated at my resignation press conference. 

An election was coming.

It remains one of the most galling issues of my career. 

I never had the opportunity to defend myself as the allegation was undefined. 

It stood as an insinuation rather than a statement of what I was alleged to have done. 

The insinuation was false.

Christian Porter may not want an independent inquiry but he has got one by default. 

A demeaning, cathartic inquisition by the press and Opposition. 

It is achieving little beyond ratings as salacious dissonance and certainly not offering any solace to any party involved. 

The alternative should be an inquiry, in camera, the confidential one, not the media’s camera. 

A vastly more dignified, appropriate alternative for such an emotive and serious allegation, otherwise the current vacuum may hang like fog all the way through the rest of a quite remarkable career.

Christian must be able to refer to better than ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ as determined by the highest level of expertise, a High Court judge, but the process can not result in a criminal conviction. 

‘Beyond a reasonable doubt’ is remit of the police and the court. The NSW police have completed the instigating steps in this issue and have stated that there is no further to go. 

The case is closed.

I am at odds with my Coalition colleagues but I don’t want Christian to end up sitting at the back of the chamber under the exit sign where my colleagues have kindly placed me. 

Politics is a nefarious business. 

Your affiliates in neat ties and white ironed shirts with a sotto voce sombreness covering a ruthless and at times treacherous character.

Politics can dispense with you like an unwanted kitten from a feral litter. 

Christian knows, many in the Opposition and some on his own side don’t want the truth unless it comes with his head on a plate. 

They just want his scalp. 

Christian would also know, they will ultimately get what they want unless he can refer them to a deliberation on the allegation, beyond reasonable questions of efficacy. 

Then politically the case is closed and this point in Christian’s career becomes a semi colon, not a full stop.

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Source: Daily Mail Australia | World News

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