Fallen Star

‘Looking up to stars can be dangerous – especially when they fall.’  A line from an Army of Ink character.

A few years ago a man approached me after a talk I gave at a mental health conference about helping children and young people who are struggling in the community.  The man was Professor Allan Huggins.   He said he wanted to help The Black Dog Project and together we worked on a submission for Government funding to conduct a pilot study into the effectiveness of Black Dog in helping children.  I was in awe of his work in his specialist field of counselling young boys and men.  He came into my home.  He ate at our table.  I introduced him to my son and daughter.   I recommended him to others.  And I recently heard the news that has been charged for sexually abusing the children and young boys who trusted him.

Such a gross violation of his position as ‘Therapist’ (split the word in two and you get ‘the rapist’).    The level of grief I felt on hearing the news was not so much about  his violation of my personal trust and his infringement on Black Dog.  It is the pain and betrayal experienced by those he has violated.   The young people who trusted him.  Looked up to him.   Sought support from him.  The pain he’s caused through this gross violation is absolutely unimaginable – unforgivable.  He has also caused great damage to the profession and role of Psychologists and counsellors in supporting vulnerable young people.

Police have set up a hotline specifically related to Huggins crimes called, ‘Speak up, we will listen’.   1800 552 203.  Justice in its conventional form never seems enough for the monstrous act of child abuse and the life-long pain and suffering it causes.  Strength from Black Dog to those who have experience this evil act.