The Christchurch Civic Creche Case

News Reports Index

1993 June-Dec

The Dominion
Wellington, New Zealand
September 27, 1993.

Former Civic Creche staff's advert draws criticism
by Rebecca Norris

An advertisement claiming that sexual abuse hysteria had gone too far drew criticism yesterday from a spokeswoman for some of the parents of children involved in the Christchurch Civic Creche case.

When former civic creche workers Gaye Davidson, Debbie Gillespie, Jan Buckingham and Marie Keys announced the launch of the incorporated society Facade (False Accusations of Child Abuse Damage Everyone) last week they said the sexual abuse "industry" had created a climate of fear in New Zealand.

The group's half-page advertisement in yesterday's Sunday Times posed questions such as "are you nervous about being alone with the neighbour's child?" and said though there was no sympathy for child abusers a public inquiry was needed into handling of the civic creche case, as well as child abuse therapy throughout New Zealand.

A spokeswoman for some of the parents and children involved in the civic crèche case, Ann Marie Stapp of Wellington, said she  was worried the campaign had a hidden agenda.

"When they (the four) women were discharged from the charges made against them they stated they believed Peter Ellis was innocent and would continue to support him.

"I think the parents are concerned that's the implicit agenda of this campaign," she said, on TV3 news.

Ms Stapp said there were protocols and procedures already in place to arrest and charge people if they made false statements and said she found it bewildering the former workers were "asking for the reinvention of the wheel".

Ms Davidson said last night that Facade had no hidden agenda; nor had it been set up to support Peter Ellis.

"We formed it to support people who may have wrongly been accused of child abuse."

People could send a coupon in the advertisement indicating whether they wanted more information, were interested in a public meeting or include details of their own experience.

Donations could also be sent to help campaign costs.