Courier Mail, The (Brisbane), 09/05/2003, pg. 1
THE woman who accused Governor-General Peter Hollingworth of raping her at a youth camp had claimed the Anglican Church tried to cover it up.
Dr Hollingworth has denied the woman’s claims.
In a number of interviews with The Courier-Mail over the past 16 months, Rosemarie Joan Jarmyn said her life after she was repeatedly abused by priests and a lay person was “like living in a prison with a screaming hell in your gizzards”.
She committed suicide on the Tuesday after Easter after telling her counsellor, her brother, her solicitors and The Courier-Mail, that she was under enormous pressure because she thought the church was trying to cover up the abuse.
In the interviews, Ms Jarmyn said staff at an orphanage where she lived had told her she had no parents or siblings, despite her parents being alive, and the existence of four siblings.
She said that as a young child she was taken from an orphanage by a priest and given to his sister, whose husband sexually abused her.
She was sent to the priest’s home during holidays where she allegedly was sexually abused by the priest, sometimes in company with another more senior clergyman.
In the 1960s, she reported the alleged abuse to a doctor and the offending priest had her committed to a mental hospital. She was released after about a year when she recanted the allegations.
Ms Jarmyn said that in the mid 1960s she went nursing in Bendigo and began attending a youth group every Friday night. She had then attended a youth camp where she alleges Dr Hollingworth raped her when they discussed the earlier abuse.
“I said they (other priests abused me),” Ms Jarmyn said. “He said I was to blame. His name sticks in my head.”
She alleged Dr Hollingworth took her to his cabin at the camp and raped her.
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Woman feared cover-up
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“I got out of that camp. I packed up and left the camp. I went with someone going back to work,” Ms Jarmyn said.
“I felt so degraded. I never went back to that church.”
Ms Jarmyn said her court action was “not about money”.
“I want people to understand the damage (caused by abuse). I want to make sure that it never happens to anyone else again.
“I don’t just look back and say you robbed me by the sexual and physical abuse. You robbed me of my family that I never knew. I think anyone with children under church care, there needs to be accountability.”
Ms Jarmyn said she had not told her solicitors about all the abuse because her young female solicitor was too young to know all the horrors she had suffered.
In the unpublished interviews with The Courier-Mail, Ms Jarmyn said she did not want her story told in the media unless the details could be substantiated independently from her memories — because she did not want to risk either herself or her alleged abusers having a “trial by media”.
Fearing the church was trying to cover up the case, she admitted overdosing to try to get to sleep.
Ms Jarmyn attended an appointment with a social worker on the Thursday before Easter who alerted the Crisis Assessment Team after Ms Jarmyn told her she felt suicidal.
Copyright 2003 / Courier Mail