Marriage and sex – part two
In the recent Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal case of RBA v Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal, the wife sought compensation for sexual assaults that she said had been committed by the husband.
She said, in essence, that at a time that the two of them were using speed, the husband would get the phone to ring in his pocket and persuade her that crime figures would demand that she have sex with him, that they were watching her through cameras in the house, and if she did not, then there would be dire consequences.
The Tribunal stated that the wife, referred to as RBA described the situation with her husband as BD thus:
T was still around and telling us to have sex. He was saying that the shit would keep on going and going until someone f…ed me. He said that M couldn’t watch over us forever. M was telling us to go along with it and play the game. He said that we had to play the game to deal with the shit.
We played the game and kept doing what we were told. I was pregnant with J and had to keep having sex to keep us safe.
BD then told me that M had ‘dealt’ with T and that he wasn’t a problem anymore. I asked BD if he thought that M had killed T and he said no.
I think I was about seven months pregnant and we got to have a break from being made to have sex. That lasted a couple of weeks and then M wanted us to have sex so that he could watch.
M said that if we were prepared to have sex for T to watch, then we should do it for him, because he’d done so much for us, out of respect for him.
Her statement describes various “scenarios” referring to particular individuals or to “they”. For instance, she says “they made me give him a head job, and made BD lick my clitoris too”. Further, “every time I questioned what they wanted us to do, they would say “you value your kids’ lives don’t you?. I was scared for my kids, so I did what they said”.
She says that things came to a head late in 2005 when she spoke to her church pastors. She says :
They said that what was happening was wrong. They told me that I had choices and I could stay where I am and keep doing it, stay where I am and just no or go to the police.
I had bought (sic) up with BD about going to the police before, but he said that it was dangerous. The impression I got from BD was that if I went to the police, I would be dead within a week and M would have my kids to train them as hit men.
She makes it clear in her statement that she never herself received any calls, has never spoken to, met or seen any of the people whom BD says were on the other end of the telephone. Nor when they were supposed to be on the telephone to BD, could she hear anyone talking on the other end even when she stood right next to BD, unlike when “someone else would ring, not involved in the shit, and I could hear them fine”.
A week later she made a second statement to police clarifying what she was saying :
In my first statement, when I said that M was asking me to do things, it was actually M on the telephone talking to BD. Then BD would tell me what M wanted me to do. BD wouldn’t say “M said”, and then tell me what to do. He would have the phone to his ear and just tell me, like he (BD) was telling me what to do. But because he was on the phone, listening to M, I always thought that it was what M wanted me to do.
It was always the same, no matter who BD was talking to on the phone. When it was T telling me what to do, it was the same. BD would be on the phone, and he would tell me what to do. Again he wouldn’t say “T said”, BD would just tell me what to do, like he was T.
Further in that statement she says :
Because of the calls I made to ASIO, Telstra and Nokia, I think it may have been BD manipulating me and that there was no-one on the other end of the line. The one thing I don’t understand is how he made the phone ring when it was in his pocket.
If I had known that it was BD manipulating me, I would have left him a long time ago and never have had sex with him as often as we did, or done the things that we were made to do.
The wife left the husband and complained to police. The husband was interviewed by police, but declined to comment .
The wife was not successful in obtaining damages. The Tribunal held:
It is evident from her statements and her evidence that her whole relationship with BD, starting when they were both taking amphetamines, had an air of fantasy about it, including some at least of the sexual activity.
Her response now is that such sexual activity was not consensual. That is in hindsight. Whether she did consent or perhaps whether it can be shown that her husband knew that she was not consenting is quite another matter.
In the circumstances therefore, where I have to be satisfied on the balance of probabilities that a relevant offence has been committed, dependant on both her absence of consent and his knowledge that her consent was not full, I am not so satisfied.