Friday 9 June 2017

Colin Craig is an abuser

In between the Comey/Trump and British election news this morning was this:  Colin Craig is planning to sue Rachel MacGregor for defamation.

This is yet another way of abusing his former press secretary, who already took him to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) for harassment, resulting in a confidential agreement and a financial settlement in her favour.

MacGregor's agency has been continually stripped by Craig throughout this long saga - first when she was his employee, during the HRC mediation including saying he'd put aside $1M to "destroy" her, then when he did that terrible sauna interview and broke confidentiality,  and later with further media comments along similar lines.  Most recently, as he and other men with resources keep taking each other to court for defamation, MacGregor has been forced to be a witness and to even be cross-examined directly by Craig.  This is abuse.

Because he has resources and money, Craig is able to continue to use the legal system to abuse. Sadly this is all too common, where the court is used by abusive men to control, punish and exhaust former partners, as outlined in a shocking recent Out of the Frying Pan Into the Fire report from The Backbone Collective, including:

Women told us that even though initially they went to the Family Court after separating from an abuser seeking protection and safety they now wish they had never done so. For these women, the Family Court has become the new abuser and many have told us it is worse than the abuser. They have been unable to rebuild their lives as they are trapped in Family Court proceedings for years. During this time they continue to be exposed to violence, abuse and associated trauma and they are unable to ‘move on’ in any way.


Women’s harmful experience of the Family Court was made much worse because of the compounding effect of time spent in court proceedings, the increasing financial burden and the multiple health impacts. They identified that there was no logical start or end point in the proceedings; once they got involved in the Family Court they found it impossible to get out. Many said they were just ‘hanging out’ until their child turned 16 and they no longer had to be involved. 

Sound familiar?

The Out of the Frying Pan Into the Fire report refers to "litigation/legal abuse" and I am in no doubt that is what Craig is doing to MacGregor, albeit through defamation proceedings rather than in the Family Court.   No doubt there are many other stories of legal abuse through other legal avenues too, multiplying the original injustice of the abuser's actions.

MacGregor said this at the most recent court appearance:

"To this day my allegations stand concrete strong. I withdrew my complaint because I had no longer time or energy to deal with this very weird man. I withdrew the complaint because I couldn't afford to deal with him any more."
And the next day while Craig cross-examined MacGregor she made this appeal to the judge:

"I don't understand how this is an opportunity for me," MacGregor replied.
"I can't believe I'm being made to stand in front of the man that did this to me.
"I can't believe a man who treated me like this is allowed to question me over and over, it's just so stupid." 

It could not be any clearer - MacGregor DOES NOT WANT ANY OF THIS.

And yet Craig keeps going and going, continuing to put his wants ahead of anyone else's, and continuing to abuse someone who has had less power throughout all of this.  Craig's lack of self-awareness and his seemingly endless financial capacity mean he can keep going too, despite supposed barriers to stop vexatious litigation.

Twitter talk is looking at setting up a way to donate to crowdfund MacGregor's defence, and as long as she is ok with that happening I'll be making a contribution and will share the link.  Her consent to that is vital - we don't help if we do it without her approval when she has already had that stripped away so many times.

With all of this, Craig's abuse and the Family Court report, I'm reminded of the outrage around another case that went on and on, with a rapist allowed to cross-examine the woman he repeatedly raped, after which there were calls to change the law to make sure this travesty could not be repeated.

As it stands our court system seems to allow legal abuse to continue.  MacGregor's case is high profile for a variety of reasons, and is, sadly, but one example.  Our legal system continues to fail women, and those with less power, to secure justice from abusers.

I don't do comments here - you can find me easy peasy on Twitter and Facebook if you really want to let me know what you think @juliefairey