Mother of raped two-year-old speaks
THE mother of the two-year-old girl allegedly raped in Tennant Creek has spoken for the first time, saying it was not her fault.
Speaking under the pseudonym Rose, the woman told NITV's The Point she had been unfairly portrayed by the media, and that she loves and cares for her children and is not a bad mother.
Rose can't be named for legal reasons and can't speak about the specific events of the night her toddler was allegedly raped, but told the program she was not to blame.
She said Tennant Creek's alcohol laws had created the scenario for the horror, bringing the drinking into homes.
The laws ban drinking outside Tennant Creek. Rose said if they were were relaxed, her daughter would have been safer.
"Just don't go talking about my life, and putting my picture up, painting me as a bad mother," Rose says in the program to air tonight.
"I'm not a bad mother, I'm a good mother. I worry about my children and their safety, and I love and care about them.
"The media's blaming me, putting my face up, saying that I'm an alcoholic, but I'm not. I'm a social drinker. I look after my children and my family.
"The media said that my house was a party house, but it wasn't. We didn't drink there much. It's just that some people would come past and sit down with their alcohol in my yard because they weren't allowed to go and drink outside of town."
Rose and her young family have moved to Adelaide where, she told The Point, they are making a new start.
She slammed alcohol restrictions in force in Tennant Creek as part of the problem, not the solution - people used to go into the bush to drink, she said, but now they need to drink at a house with a permit.
"They can't drink outside of town because it's restricted and they have to have (an) address and have ID to help get alcohol and drink it at the house," she said.
"This (her daughter's rape) could have been avoided if people were allowed to drink everywhere, out of town."
Following the toddler's rape, a report by NT Child Commissioner Colleen Gwynne found that since 2002 the girl and her siblings had been subject to 52 notifications to child protection agencies which included allegations of domestic and sexual abuse.
It stated the family had been involved in 35 recorded incidents of domestic violence, eight aggravated assault convictions against the other parent, more than 150 recorded interactions with police.
Ms Gwynne concluded. "what was known was that all of the children, from the time of their infancy, experienced inadequate and unsafe parenting which led to them being harmed on an ongoing basis."
The report said Rose's children "regularly sought safety and regularly self-placed with different extended family to avoid returning to the care of (the accused) who was often intoxicated or impacted upon by the effect of family violence".
Rose rejected this, and said she and her children were homeless and waited nine years for housing.
"And my side, I thought it was better for my children to stay with my family so I can wait for my house in Tennant Creek. If not they'd get me off the list and give the house to another person," Rose said.
The Point airs at 8.30pm Thursday on NITV, and live-streamed via NITV's Facebook page.