Gone But Not Forgotten
- Aug 18, 2002
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A tricky on to search for but I can't find another thread on them so......
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200407/s1156034.htmLast Update: Saturday, July 17, 2004. 7:05am (AEST)
Cult leader accused of abuse
A former member of a well-known Victorian cult has launched a lawsuit alleging she was subjected to daily emotional and physical abuse during her childhood.
Victorian-based religious cult 'The Family' received widespread publicity in the 1980s after police raided a property at Lake Eildon and removed a number of bleached-blonde haired children.
Anouree Crawford, now 34, lived with the cult until she was 17.
Ms Crawford says she has very unhappy memories of her childhood.
"We were abused all day every day and we were not really aware that we were being abused of course," she said.
"It takes quite a bit of back memory to really understand what was happening but we were never happy. We were never happy kids. You can't be happy under those conditions."
She is suing cult leader Anne Hamilton-Byrne, alleging she was physically abused, denied food and isolated.
In a statement of claim lodged in the Victorian Supreme Court, she alleges the cruel and inhumane treatment has had ongoing severe psychological effects, including depression and an eating disorder.
Ms Crawford's lawyer, Michael McGarvie, says it is one of the saddest cases he has dealt with.
"It's the classic case involving someone in an unreal upbringing and the world suddenly discovering it very late," he said.
The statement of claim alleges Ms Crawford was subjected to severe punishment and assaults, including having her head held in a bucket of water.
"The abuse was emotional, physical, sexual and psychological. I'm not discounting any of them," she said.
Mrs Hamilton-Byrne is yet to file her defence.