Louise Nicholas My Story
Louise Nicholas' life has turned full circle since she was raped by policemen nearly 30 years ago - she now advises senior police how to support rape victims. She single-handedly rocked New Zealand's police and justice systems to their cores, her case sparking the 2007 Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct. Police accepted the Commission's findings in full, apologised unreservedly to victims, and embarked on a programme of systematic change. Her story is now the subject of a television docu-drama screening in 2014. The Herald's New Zealander of the Year in 2007, Louise is highly regarded throughout the country, being asked to speak on local and national government advisory groups. People everywhere are moved by her as she continues to symbolise relentless courage and determination. The book outlines all that has happened over the last seven years, including the Dewar case, where the policeman who covered up Louise's initial allegations was sent to jail. Updated by both Louise and Phil Kitchin, the journalist who broke the story, the book is a potent reminder of how much our societal values have changed. The 'Louise Nicholas trial' - as it became known - was one of the most far-reaching, pivotal and politically important court cases in recent New Zealand history. Public interest in the complex and sorry tale was huge, and the findings of the subsequent Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct were damning. In this very important book Louise Nicholas tells her story - the sad story of a teenager whose abuse first began when she was a 13 year old and continued throughout her teens. It is written with award-winning journalist Philip Kitchin, whose investigations into the cover-up of Louise's complaints led to the establishment of Operation Austin. Louise's story is interspersed with Philip's exposition of his investigations into the case. My Story is a rare insight into the life of a woman who suffered both child abuse and gang rape by policemen but who stood up bravely in the face of intense public scrutiny to ensure that justice was done. It's also a textbook example of excellence in investigative journalism - the dogged pursuit of a story that was being covered up by many parties. And it's also a moving story of the power of love - the support shown by Louise's husband and children.
Louise Nicholas is a Survivor Advocate at Rape Prevention Education. She is married with four children.