Does every New Zealand citizen have knowledge of rape and rape victims?

 

 

 

 

 

Site compiled by Simon Overall, Hamilton, New Zealand.

 

 

 

 

 

I have knowledge of two cases of rape which have traumatised the victims in horrible ways. These occurred in or near my home city of Hamilton, New Zealand. The first occurred when I was renting a house at a settlement a few kilometres south of Hamilton in the early eighties. A woman, a neighbour known to me personally, was raped by two intruders wielding a shotgun.

 

 

 

 

 

At that time there was the phenomenon of PEP gangs, PEP being Project Employment Programme. The government devised the policy and the Labour Department, as it was then called, administered it. The registered unemployed were given a referral to the potential employer, interviewed, and if taken on, they had subsidized but gainful employment. I think also there was a policy that guys before the courts were routinely referred, by the Labour Department, to the potential employers, it being advantageous that those on bail or parole were not idle. When I worked on a gang for the Land's and Survey Department, there were possibly six who worked out of the one depot who had had an experience of Waikeria prison. One of them went off to court one morning and got six months. Another had a record which included biting a police dog. In one conversation with me he described this and a burglary where he defecated in the victim's home.

 

 

 

 

 

The Waipa County Council was a big employer of PEP labour to clear the waterways of willows that were choking the gullies in its jurisdiction. The gangs could be bussed out to the farmlands and progressively move through the gullies, cutting and clearing the willow or whatever. What this meant is that marginal people, who would normally be in urban centres, now had knowledge of the countryside where they had been working.

 

 

 

 

 

On a road adjoining Highway One was the house myself and my ex were renting. The two young men who were share-milking nearby were friends, and the sister of one of them lived in a cottage accessed through their farm tanker track. Thus the house was separated from and further from the road than other dwellings on the property. I shall call her Rebecca. Her father was a Doctor and her brother a university graduate but Rebecca was an ordinary girl and not intellectually sharp. She lived with her partner and his twelve year old son in the house/cottage and they both worked in the town of Cambridge.

 

 

 

 

 

Two assailants burst into their humble home and humble lives one night. As they messed about in the dark the occupants might have said “turn the light on” thinking it was one of their family who lived nearby or something. What the light revealed is two maori crims with balaclavas and a shotgun. One of them was working on the gang that was clearing the willows nearby and their van took them past this cottage, where they probably noticed Rebecca and also a marijuana plant that was in a window. She was blonde and a nurse.

 

 

 

 

 

So he came out one night with one of his criminal mates, parked up on the roadside and wended their way down through the gully he had been working in and up to the other side where the isolated farm house was. The crime made the national news and Jude Bailey recounted the events, saying that “police are looking for two men... who broke open the shotgun and said 'this is loaded so you better do what we say'” i.e. they opened up the gun to demonstrate that it had cartridges in it. They tied them up, including the twelve year old, and raped Rebecca. When they left they said “If you call the cops we'll come back and blow your fucken heads off.” The victims freed themselves and called the police.

 

 

 

 

 

In the days after there was a succession of cars calling through the weekend, the police and no doubt the family... every visitor touched by the barbarism of it in some way. Her father was a Doctor, a specialist who had had a lifetime of ministering to the needs of people.

 

 

 

 

The guy's name was Elvis Edwards. He was from Te Aroha, one of New Zealand's small towns, about forty miles from Hamilton City (Aroha means love in maori - It will have the same Polynesian root as the term Aloha from Hawaii). He was already on bail, awaiting trial, for armed robbery and knew that he was going to be in prison for an appreciable time. I spoke to one policeman about his offending and despite that they work with criminals all the time they found him unnervingly crazy. When he was raping Rebecca he removed his mask to have oral sex with her, poking his fingers into her eyes to keep her from looking at him.

 

 

 

 

 

But she was able to identify him in a book of mug shots and he was later arrested. He was picked up as a passenger in a car going about Hamilton and presumably going about his life without laying low or showing any untoward effects of what he had done. Apparently he had associations with the Black Power gang.

 

 

 

 

 

But the effect on Rebecca was extreme. When I saw her a few days after the events, driving home in the evening and past our driveway, she was quite buoyant and waved to me demonstratively. I looked up and did not know what to do or say. When something terrible has happened to someone what do you do. She was quite buoyant, waving out to me but I was so dumbstruck that I barely acknowledged her and carried on about my business.

 

 

 

 

 

In the following weeks a shock set in and was manifest physically. Rebecca's face betrayed this. It was inert, and had the character of an old woman... a frail old woman. This I saw when I called at her brother's house one evening. She sat in a lazyboy chair in the lounge. Of late she had got a Doberman pup, a girl puppy and it sat in her lap. She was cradling it like a baby with her arms linked underneath it, exactly as if you breast feed a child. Her brother and, I think, others, said to me “She's going to be alright”... but how are you ever alright after something like this.

 

 

 

 

 

She had to appear in the witness stand and, each time she described something about the crime, he shook his head slowly from side to side, denying physically and implying that she was lying.

 

 

 

 

 

He was found guilty. He had already been sentenced on other charges to seven years jail and he got nine and half years for this rape and home invasion, effectively getting two years tacked on to his existing sentence. I believe the Crown had appealed the sentence and he was given longer.

 

 

 

 

 

I saw Rebecca possibly ten years later, with her gym gear on and heading for Les Mill's health centre when it used to be in the bottom of Victoria street, Hamilton. Once again she was buoyant. But I presume that the spirit grinding abuse of rape settles onto and into the psyche. Despite that she is years from this abuse I presume her life is perverted by it.

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 1: Complicity of other women in this rape.

 

 

 

 

 

During the police investigation, it was revealed that a car had bought the offenders to the locality and waited while the offenders were about their business. The police tried to identify who was the other offender and when interviewing them they mentioned a name. There was a reply “No, he wasn't in the car..." In driving and collecting them from the scene there was a weird character of complicity by these associates of the offenders. Complicity by women in the abuse of woman.

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 2: When discussing these events the wife of a farmer I was working for said to me "she went out in her nightie". What was pertinent was what their intruders were wearing - balaclavas and carrying a shotgun... but this intellectually challenged critic was dumb enough to come out with this nonsense "she came out in her nightie."

 

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I would invite any responses or observations which readers may have to my

 

tale of Rebecca at my email address........[email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

Case Number Two: The Polynesian Beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

Elvis Edwards and his partners in crime were urban invaders in a rural environment. It was in a bar in the central city that I witnessed another face of a rape victim whose countenance had been aged decades by the experience. The public bar of the Commercial hotel was the haunt of the Mongrel Mob, a maori gang of an ambience all of their own. Part of this must have been body odour as they wore leather, rain or shine. From head to toe they were brown skinned or black jacketed, with boots and often leather pants. In deference to the elements I would see one of them carrying his jacket rather than wearing it, making his way through the streets to this bar. It can be oppressively hot in Hamilton.

 

 

 

 

 

This mob of mongrels would congregate in a cluster in one part of the bar. Sometimes an associate would orbit round them, or stop his orbit and converse, then disperse off on some errand. He was a tall and physically robust fellow, with army boots and I think a military green jersey. He was of dark skin and dark hair like them, but he was not of the mob's garb and not of their inner cluster. He was a `prospector', a candidate member of the gang, doing their bidding in a bid to be admitted to this inner and exclusive circle.

 

 

 

 

 

Also with but not of this steamy collection of humanity was an attractive young woman. She weaved around the mobsters also and being acquainted with a guy I was talking with, she came over and spoke with us for a short time. She was Anglo-Maori with beige skin but fine features. She wasn't attractive, she was beautiful. She was so simply beautiful it was not an alluring beauty, but a statuesque beauty - to be admired rather than desired. Tall and lithe, her deportment lent her attractiveness also. When she spoke it was the trusting endearments of girlhood, not womanhood. And the simplicity of her feelings and her trust and her natural beauty, made her face and persona radiant. She was no more than seventeen but was keeping company with these mongrels. As a child she could not apprehend the dangerous disposition of these mobsters.

 

 

 

 

 

When I saw her again in a few weeks or a few months, she was no longer a child. Time had telescoped in her life. Her face once radiant was now set with a rigidity of grief and distress. Below this grieving countenance were the tell tale welts of her nemesis of innocence. Her neck was burnt with bruises.

 

 

 

 

 

There is a ritualistic raping practiced by the urban gangs of Hamilton, the Outcasts or the Mongrel Mob. This involves a woman and a rope or some other fastening. The rope is used to constrain the victim while she is raped by an assembled company of rapists. The welts exposed on the neck of this Polynesian beauty were testimony to her trauma as she struggled and the rope bit deep into her. The trauma had bit deep into her psyche as well. It, like the welts on her neck, had become bruised into her corpus because on her face was etched the lines of age where but a few weeks ago there was radiant beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

On another time but in the same town I saw the same welts on the neck of another unfortunate. I was familiar enough with her to ask where she had obtained these injuries. It was the Outcasts, a motorcycle gang with their ‘pad’ in Norton Road, Hamilton. A fence of roofing iron, of about twelve feet in height and topped with barbed wire, surrounds it. At one time its roof had a ‘look-out’ and at the gate was a security camera. A woman was raped on these premises after meeting one of the gang at a hotel and accompanying her back to this fortress. The wall precluded her escape. Thus this raping proclivity was one of the sovereignties this barrier defends.

 

 

 

 

 

There can be no suggestion of sensuality or eroticism in the raping behaviour of these creatures. It is a maniacal and hideous misogyny which makes them do this. Baring their buttocks and penetrating this hapless victim. A bizarre misogyny, a rewardless raping which serves only the nihilism within them.

 

 

 

 

 

Its hard to be a human being in Hamilton. Rapists walk in their midst. This raping thuggery I have only heard referred to obliquely and without gravity by people of that city. Like the citizenry who beheld the emperor unclothed, there is a remarkable reticence about these repulsive rapists.

 

I would invite any responses or observations which readers may have to my

 

tale of the Polynesian beauty at my email address........[email protected]

 

 

 

 

It must be hard to be a woman in Hamilton. Rapists walk in their midst and they know it and their lives are inevitably circumscribed because of it. This must be so psychologically. The Waikato Times, the local daily, regularly reported rapes and assaults and the court proceedings dealing with rapes and assaults which occur in the city and its environs. These run the gamut of all kinds of callousness. The random opportunist violence, such as a woman forced into her own car and driven to an isolated location and raped. A woman answers her door to a man wishing to use the telephone, who then rapes her and makes off into the night.

 

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 Victim Number 3 Blonde Hair and Distressed

 

This event occurred one afternoon when I was sole charge at a gas station in Hamilton, New Zealand. A young woman walked into the station and needed to buy phone credit. She had been 'shadowed' as she walked along the footpath by two guys in a car keeping abreast of her on the road. She was obviously distressed. She never stated the cause.

 

When I first saw her she was walking along the street approaching the gas station. One takes things in in impressions then carries on about the day. She was carrying her shoes. Perhaps also I noted a look of weariness of wariness about her. She turned into the station and came to the counter.

 

She wanted to use the phone or buy phone credit. She was distressed and though it was a passive distressed I was alerted to it. The subliminal things one might have sensed were becoming apparent. She seemed to be looking at her arm and carrying it as if injured but there was no obvious injury. Her movements were of someone caught in slow motion, as if she was, through some kind of psychological paralysis, separated from the tempo of the everyday. I asked if she had been assaulted. She did not nod an assent but looked to her arm. What ever she had been through had rendered her mute.

 

By this time or before the Cortina car had come onto the forecourt and I went out and, speaking into the driver's side window, asked if they wanted petrol.

 

I presume they had raped her at some location and were shadowing her along Grey St as part of a pantomime to communicate - that if she complains i.e makes statements to police, she can never be secure from them. Similiarly with their parking on the forecourt while she was in the shop. They drove off and I will never see them again, but on occasions I see them in my mind.

 

Back to talking to her in the shop. When I asked if she had been assaulted is when she looked to her arm. She wanted to make a call and she got some phone credit then tried a call on her cell phone. She was trying to call her boyfriend. During the transaction she made a comment.

 

"He's going to kill them when he finds out."

 

This comment betrays the character of the events. The implication of something done to her and sof the guys shadowing her, her obvious distress... could only be comprehendible in the context of a rape or something extreme.

 

I asked her if she wanted to phone the police or I just proceeded to phone them myself and they arrived soon after. By this time she had seated herself on the ground outside the west side of the shop, facing the late afternoon sun or evening light. It was incongruous and pathos filled. She was in nice clothes like she had been to a function of some kind, quite formal, and you don't plant your butt on the ground when you are in your best trou’. Seated thus she then commenced to repeatedly ring her boyfriend and only got an answer-phone or no reply. She repeatedly said...

 

Please baby, I need you, oh please baby!

 

After the police arrived and after some talk with them they ran her home. It seemed that she was not making complaints. Her predatory attackers had succeeded in their intimidation of her. She was obviously shocked and several hours of examinations and making statements would have driven her into further distress.

 

When she was driven off in the police car she went out of my life, until now, fifteen years later, I have typed this account. I presume that she went away to live out her life of outward normality and inner distress, having been through the rape experience she faces the inner death of a sense of safety and deference to femininity.

 

What I have not mentioned but is always part of the visual memory, is that she was beautiful... alluringly dressed in black. There was not a lock out of place in her beautiful blonde hair. She was such an obviously dependent and feminine consciousness. Why do I say this? In the face of this tragedy she was seeking the comfort and consortium of the man in her life... please baby I need you... please answer...

 

This completes my recounting of the experience of four rape victims... Speaking of such things is not part of everyday discourse for a man. Perhaps woman speak with each other of the violence of men but I have never heard them do so.

 

 

If you wish to communicate with me about these experiences I am at [email protected]

 

 

 

Simon Overall

 

 

 

Hamilton,

 

 

 

New Zealand.