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Trigger warning: This story deals with child sexual abuse.
NOTE: For legal reasons, this family needs to remain anonymous. They have shared their story with us to empower other local families. If you do know this family, please respect their anonymity and withhold any reference to name or specific location.
Do you have a young child in family day care or at a childcare centre? Have you ever felt they were unsafe or in a vulnerable position? Probably not. This is the Victim Impact Statement of a young child from a very recent Sydney child sexual assault case.
The child was only 5 years old at the time of the assault and being cared for by the now convicted child sex offender Talemo Tikomaimaleya's wife in an inner west Family Daycare home (which has since closed down) at the time it happened.
Here is the full detail of what was read out by the Judge prior to sentencing from a piece of paper written by the child on Thursday 18 June;
What he did made me feel
I hate daycare now.
Now I feel happy because I wont see him again.
I felt scared
I feel brave.
On another page, the child also drew a picture of the 'couch' on which the sexual assault occurred, and a picture of a small child with their name and the word 'scared' above it.
These simple but powerful words were written one and a half years after the assault occurred and have such significant meaning behind them.
Before handing down the sentence, the Judge acknowledged "The emotional and psychological consequences for a five-year-old cannot be underestimated".
He then sentenced Talemo Tikomaimaleya to 9 years in jail, 6 years non-parole.
What happened to this child cannot be undone and the road to recovery will be a long one. But thanks to an incredibly dedicated team of law enforcers and the bravery of a small child, Talemo Tikomaimaleya is now in prison and will not be a threat to any other children.
Previously, the maximum sentence for Sexual Intercourse with a Child Under 10 was 25 years. On 24 June, NSW Parliament passed legislation increasing the maximum sentence to life.
Read about the families experience from the disclosure, to the trial, to the sentencing. A must read for every family with a child in care. Predators are not always strangers.
If you suspect your child is being sexually or physically abused, call the Child Protection Hotline immediately:
Child Abuse Prevention Service
1800 688 00924hrs Help & Advice Linehttp://www.childabuseprevention.com.au/
Dedicated to making Australia the safest place to raise a child. To contact their counselling/advocacy staff: 1800 BRAVE1 or via http://www.bravehearts.org.au
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