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Sex abuse victim speaks out

By Geoff Vause

[email protected]

A victim of convicted sex offender Raymond Buchanan, formerly of Masterton, has spoken out for the first time.

The man, now in his thirties and living in Australia, said he would only talk to the Wairarapa Times Age about the impact child rapist Buchanan had on his life, and his shocking neglect by various government agencies in New Zealand.

A jury delivered a guilty verdict on all charges for the brutal abuse of two boys at Masterton from 1980 through to 1991 and in February Buchanan appeared before Judge Kit Toogood in Rotorua High Court and was jailed for 12 years.

The man and his brother, also a victim, were complimented by Judge Toogood for the “restrained and careful way” they gave evidence “without exaggeration”.

The judge’s thanks was all they got.

Buchanan was ordered to pay $70,000 in reparation to each victim but has paid nothing so far as trustees control his funds.

The victim now speaking out said he has somehow managed to remain relatively on track, “not messed up on drugs, staying out of jail” and overcoming the constant thoughts of taking his own life.

“I don’t have any self-confidence at all, I feel embarrassed and ashamed of what has happened,” he said.

He cannot be named, but said the trust controlling Buchanan’s money had refused to negotiate on coughing up a single dollar despite the judge’s order.

He said he had been failed at the time not only by his mother but by school authorities and every government agency which could have helped.

His treatment by ACC and other agencies since the offending came to light had been more of the same.

“If somebody hurts themselves at work they go to ACC and get any assistance they need because they can’t work,” he said.

“Even Buchanan will get rehabilitation. He’ll get everything he needs.

“I pay for my own counselling at $187 each visit and I have not had any help. I haven’t been able to afford the last couple of visits and I feel completely ripped off.

“It feels like the criminal gets rehab and the victim gets life just trying to survive each day”.

The counselling was essential to having some semblance of a life. He said the counsellor was stunned he was still alive.

His fear of touch, even a cuddle, made it almost impossible to have a relationship.

His cynical treatment at the hands of government agencies in this country was also disturbing.

“Being the main witness they paid for my flights back to New Zealand and a hotel room, but that was it.

“I was left to fund everything else including supporting myself while not working. I even had to refinance my bike to pay for living expenses in Australia.

“ACC said I had to come back to New Zealand and live for at least eight months before they will even look at giving me any help.

“New Zealand is the last place I want to be. I have no good feelings there. I left there so I didn’t do something that would have ended up with me in jail.

“I struggle every day to find some purpose. I’m a hard worker, but I struggle with the mood swings, so it’s hard to keep jobs.

“I just have to get away on my own. I’ve lived in the desert just with a swag for months at a time. I’ve had no help at all.”

When he tried to contact the agencies in New Zealand that could help, he was passed around from one to the other, or they didn’t get back to him.

“They get me to repeat my story, over and over again. It’s cost me heaps in calls, all for nothing. The system is just totally screwed,” he said.

“It’s not about the money. The whole system is backward.

“I’m the victim, left to fend for myself.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. I too was a victim of abuse during this same time period, yet at my Judge only trial the bugger was found not guilty due to ‘Lack of Evidence’. This was despite the Judge stating he believed EVERYTHING I said, yet without corroborating evidence it came down to ‘he said, she said’ which is not enough to convict. Yet less than 12 months later I witnessed for other complainants in their Judge only trial, and despite there being no new or fresh evidence other than statements from the victims, he was convicted. Although understanding the need for solid evidence to convict someone, how can someone be found not guilty of a crime and then have a facsimile trial with no new info or evidence presented and receive a different outcome? I got much more joy from ACC than from the courts, to their credit I have been offered counselling and am now seeing a psychologist. All of which helps tremendously, so I can not fault them in my particular case. Their Sensitive Claims Unit has been more beneficial for my ‘recovery’ than I initially gave it credit for and I can only praise it. If you’re an abuser, simply stop cos it has massive ramifications. But unfortunately generally not for you!

  2. I wonder how many people don’t get the help they need because agencies don’t spend where it’s really needed.

Comments are closed.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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