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NZ: Adoptee's 'horrific' attacks on mum (Bay of Plenty/Auckland)

Publish Date: 07 Jun 2011
Source: NZ Herald
By: Anna Leask

New Zealand Courts.

A man given up for adoption in the 1980s allegedly traced his biological mother and subjected her to more than 12 months of "horrific" abuse - starting on Mother's Day last year.

And the victim told friends she put up with it because of the guilt of giving her baby away.

The Herald understands the 28-year-old welder, who cannot be named for legal reasons, turned up on his biological mother's doorstep in April last year.

The woman put him up for adoption when she was just a teenager.

On May 9 last year, just three weeks after the pair reunited, the alleged abuse began.

Over the next 12 months, he allegedly abused her in Tauranga and Whangaparaoa, Auckland.

Police were told when the woman's co-workers confronted her about her visible injuries. It is understood she broke down and told them everything.

The man was arrested and is facing 17 charges including rape, sexual violation, indecent assault, assault and threatening to kill.

Officers in charge of the case would not be drawn on specific details because it was now before the courts.

But a source said the woman suffered "horrific sexual, physical and psychological" abuse.

"She put up with it because of the guilt [over the adoption]."

The man, who court documents list as living at a Takapuna address, appeared in the North Shore District Court on May 23 - two days after the last alleged offence occurred.

He was remanded in custody and will appear again this week.

Dr Kim McGregor, director of Rape Prevention Education, said most sexual abuse victims tried to keep what was happening to them quiet.

"What we know is that survivors of sexual abuse often blame themselves for the abuse," she said.

"In this situation, I could imagine that the guilt the victim felt stopped her from maybe realising the crime. Often, people who are abused by those closest to them are less likely to report it. The closer the relationship, the less likely it is the abuse will be reported."

Dr McGregor said incest was common in New Zealand, but the victims were usually children.

And 90 per cent of victims did not report the abuse to police.

"Normally it's about self-blame and shame," she said.

"And not wanting to get the person who is abusing them into trouble.

"Particularly with a mother, she'd be aware that her son would go to jail."

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