Pornography is fuelling an increase in the number of young people committing acts of domestic violence, one of the state’s top cops says.
NSW Police assistant commissioner Mark Murdoch said teaching young men how to respect women was a critical “battle front” in the fight against domestic abuse.
“Common sense would tell you there has to be a linkage between pornography and lack of respect in relationships between young people,” Mr Murdoch said.
“The fastest growing part of the problem of domestic violence is young people. We are seeing more young people put before courts than we have ever seen,” he said.
“The high use of pornography by young men is astounding…the highest users are [aged] between 14 and 25.”
Mr Murdoch, the corporate spokesman on domestic violence, says it was critical for fathers to teach their sons and communicate about behaviour that was not acceptable.
“Researchers tell us that when young men, 16-year-olds have to be told and educated that it is not OK to have sex with a young woman without consent – that’s not ok.”
“Some young men don’t know any better unless they are educated. It’s true that’s the battle front.”
He said the alarming number of adolescents meant police had allocated domestic violence officers to Bidura and Parramatta Children’s courts.
The growing culture of domestic violence was not something police could arrest their way out of – it required a multi-pronged approach starting with conversations at home.
“It’s about awareness, education, getting it out there, people talking about, men talking about it and speaking to young people [is] critical,” he said.
“Men need to wake up to the fact that domestic violence is men’s problem.…violence against women will only stop when men stop perpetrating the violence.”
The Men’s Referral Service manager Nathan DeGuara said there was a strong correlation between pornography and domestic violence.
“Pornography sets up the expectations of what a man should expect from a woman. Pornography is typically about men doing whatever is it is they want to do to women.”
He said the service, which offered confidential telephone counselling for men with violent urges, often received calls about domestic violence stemming form unrealistic sexual expectations.
And these were often created by pornography.
He said it was not uncommon for men to keep a calendar about when they have sex with their partner as a means of making a point to her that she is not giving as much as he wants and not gratifying his needs,” Mr DeGuara said. Violent examples included all forms of sexual assault.
Sydney GP Dr Gary Franks runs pornography addiction courses and says men can often become more violent and aggressive with their partners as a result of being caught up in their fantasies.
“Men who become addicted to pornography both in and out of marriage tend to want more aggressive forms of sexual satisfaction, moving to aggressive acts, moving to force and to restraint because this is what they visualise they think this will give greater sexual fulfilment,” he said.
A pop group has flown back to South Korea after officials in Los Angeles thought they might be sex workers.
The eight members were travelling to America for an album cover shoot but were detained for 15 hours in customs.
A statement from the group’s record company, WM Entertainment, said authorities held them after going through their costumes and props.
“They seem to have mistaken them as sex workers,” said a spokesman.
Oh My Girl, who formed in March, are thought to be back in South Korean capital Seoul after being released by officials at Los Angeles International Airport.
WM Entertainment says it is taking legal advice in the US to find out whether the band’s detention was legal.
The record company also said there might have been an issue with the type of visa the band members presented.
They had also been booked to perform at a gala event in Los Angeles on Saturday.
It’s unclear if they will try to return to America to complete their album cover shoot.
Oh My Girl (or OMG) brought their debut single Cupid out in April with a second mini-album and title track Closer released in October.
The band members are all aged between 16 and 21.
South Korean pop music, known as K-pop, is dominated by girl and boy bands whose members are sometimes as young as 13 or 14 years old.
In 2012, the government clamped down on over-sexualised performances by threatening to give higher age ratings to films, music videos and TV shows which exaggerated the sexuality of younger singers and bands.
A teenage girl abused by the Rotherham grooming ring was forced into daily sexual relations with men for years and used as a commodity to settle her abuser’s debts, a court has heard.
The girl, who was in and out of care from the age of 12, was allegedly taken around the country and made to perform sexual acts up to three times a day on different men, becoming pregnant twice, once when she was only 14.
She had just turned 16, and was still in local authority care, when her abuse became a daily occurrence, the jury was told. She terminated the first pregnancy but later gave birth to a boy who was looked after by her mother.
The girl is one of 12 allegedly groomed in a child sexual exploitation ring led by seven people, including two sets of brothers and two women, who between them are accused of 51 counts of abuse including rape, indecent assault, false imprisonment, abduction and procurement of girls for prostitution or for sex with another.
All of the girls were vulnerable to grooming and predatory behaviour, with unstable family backgrounds. “Some had unsettled home lives, had suffered previous ill treatment or abuse and some were in local authority care,” said prosecutor Michelle Colborne QC.
They were deliberately “targeted, sexualised and in some instances subjected to acts of a degrading and violent nature”, she said, adding that one girl was so terrified of her alleged abuser, Basharat Hussain, she feared for her life.
The jury heard on Thursday that one of the girls was 12 when she was first abused, while the grooming of another alleged victim started with treats of “sweets and pop” and progressed to gifts of perfume and a mobile phone.
The catalogue of alleged abuse, which spanned more than a decade from 1990 to 2003, was said to have been masterminded by Basharat’s brother, Arshid Hussain, 40, who is facing 29 counts relating to nine girls. The court heard that he passed the lead victim to his brother and friends and arranged her abuse in flats, garages and houses in the Rotherham area and in London.
The violence against her allegedly became regular and no one in the victim’s care home expressed concern when she returned bloodied or shaken from encounters, the jury was told. On one occasion, it is alleged she was bundled into the boot of a car and taken to a house in Tottenham, north London, where she was abused by five men, all in their 20s.
“Afterwards she was driven back to Rotherham and ‘Mad Ash’ [Arshid Hussein] told her he loved her,” said Colborne. She tried to say no to the abuse, but eventually knew that to resist was to invite more violence and “protracted” attacks, the court heard.
“She was beaten, had a cigarette stubbed out on her chest, she was tied up, she was raped from a very young age, often by numerous men, one after the other, at the say-so of Arshid Hussain. She was insecure and vulnerable and believed he was her boyfriend,” said Colborne. “He passed her to his brother and friends, and over time gave her as payment to men for debts he owed.”
Also in the dock were brothers Sajid Bostan, 38, and Majid Bostan, 37, associates of the Hussain brothers, and two women, Karen MacGregor, 58, and Shelley Davies, 40, who associated with one another and with Ali and Arshid Hussain. All seven deny the charges.
One connecting feature in the case is a minicab firm, Speedline Taxis, owned by the Hussain’s uncle and co-defendant, Qurban Ali. MacGregor worked there as a radio operator and one of the victims said the Hussain brothers visited the office regularly.
The jury heard how Arshid and Basharat plied some of the girls with alcohol or drugs after initially befriending them. They then dominated and controlled them and subjected them to horrific abuse.
Jurors also heard that five of the girls became pregnant through the abuse, two of them twice and two of them aged just 14. Both had a termination the first time but gave birth the second time.
When one of the victims got pregnant she was persuaded by Basharat to have an abortion. “He told her Ash [Arshid] had children with seven English women already,” said Colborne.
The jury heard the final victim “suffered years of mental and physical cruelty”. She was 15 when she met Basharat Hussain, then 24, and they quickly started having sex. Her mother was unhappy about the relationship and would confiscate her phone, but Basharat would replace it. “He would habitually be violent. He would slap, punch, kick and spit at her,” Colborne said.
At one stage he became angry with her and called her a “slag”. He told her he had shovels in the boot of his car and she could dig her own grave, the prosecution said.
The girl went to the police on numerous occasions and asked to go into the witness protection programme, but Hussain allegedly told her he had a paid mole in the force and knew all about her plans, which she then abandoned.
Another victim said she was taken to a house that was run like a brothel. She recognised one of the men there “as an MP or councillor from Rotherham” who she believed was “related to one of the defendants”.
The trial is the first to take place since the Jay report into child sexual exploitation in the Rotherham area was published last year.
Explaining how the grooming allegedly worked, Colborne told the jury that one of the alleged victims, Girl A, lived in “squalid conditions” in the 1980s and was befriended by Davies, who was just three years older and took her to stay at MacGregor’s house. Girl A thought the house was “posh” and “she was made to feel welcome and was fed and clothed”.
The prosecution said “there would always be Asian men in the house in the early hours” and abuse soon started.
The girl, who was between 15 and 17 years old at the time and is now 43, told no one about the incident until she reported it this year after seeing allegations about MacGregor in the press and on Facebook, the court heard.