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AustraliaYoung woman's brave battle with Child Safety over childhood abuse

15:41  18 june  2019
15:41  18 june  2019 Source:   9news.com.au

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Child safety online. Child safe travelling and tourism. Child friendly social and legal response. One of the countries where Childhood ´ s support is the most A 19-year-old woman is bravely taking on a huge government agency that she claims monumentally failed in its duty of care to protect her.

“ Child safety isn't child safety , it’ s unsafety.” Rather than stay silent over what happened to her when she was a child , this inspiring young woman is now Now an adult and a survivor of child abuse , Ms Haisman has heroic reasons for taking the steps of identifying herself and said, ”they’re putting kids

A 19-year-old woman is bravely taking on a huge government agency that she claims monumentally failed in its duty of care to protect her.

Tiff Haisman has endured more than most adults do in a lifetime and for the first time she is sharing her heartbreaking story exclusively with A Current Affair after launching legal action against the Department of Child Safety.

Ms Haisman tells reporter Pippa Bradshaw, “Child Safety put me in the situation where I was more traumatised and abused, which that could have easily been avoided.”

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Ms Haisman tells reporter Pippa Bradshaw, “ Child Safety put me in the situation where I was more traumatised and abused , which that could have easily been avoided. The surveillance video shows the two women struggling over the stroller until the mother’ s husband ran over to help.

Ms Haisman tells reporter Pippa Bradshaw, “ Child Safety put me in the situation where I was more traumatised and abused , which that could have easily been avoided. Because you skipped childhood altogether, you might become super-serious and won't know how to have fun as an adult .

Young woman's brave battle with Child Safety over childhood abuse© A Current Affair Tiff Haisman has launched legal action against the Department of Child Safety.

“Child safety isn't child safety, it’s unsafety.”

Rather than stay silent over what happened to her when she was a child, this inspiring young woman is now standing up for what she believes in, with the hope that it never happens to another child in care.

“It's like living in a basement, for like a few years, without food or water, it's like that. It's horrible,” Ms Haisman said about the awful abuse.

Now an adult and a survivor of child abuse, Ms Haisman has heroic reasons for taking the steps of identifying herself and said, ”they’re putting kids back in to danger.”

Young woman's brave battle with Child Safety over childhood abuse© A Current Affair Ms Haisman was abused as a child by her biological mother's then-boyfriend Gordon Kaye.

When asked why she has now decided to speak out, Ms Haisman said, “no one talks about child abuse and you know kids in care.”

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“I was one of the lucky ones to have a foster parent and a family,” she said.

By Ms Haisman’s side supporting her in her battle to expose the department that was supposed to keep her safe, is foster mother Dawn Pincott, who Ms Haisman now refers to as ‘mum.’

“She was my mum from the beginning, she saved me, she protected me. She put a roof over my head, yeah, she's definitely my mum," Ms Haisman said.

Young woman's brave battle with Child Safety over childhood abuse© A Current Affair Kaye served five years in jail over the abuse.

It was during Ms Haisman’s troubled early childhood that she first came in to Mrs Pincott’s care.

“Mum and dad and the whole family were behind me ... I didn't know it, I thought no one was there," she said.

But most horrifying of all, is that the Department of Child Safety decided to return her to the home of her biological mother and then-boyfriend Gordon Kaye, where Ms Haisman claims she’d already been abused by him.

Mrs Pincott describes how harrowing those four months were, when Ms Haisman was placed back in Mr Kaye’s care knowing she couldn’t protect her.

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How you were treated in your past can cast a shadow over your life.

Young woman's brave battle with Child Safety over childhood abuse© A Current Affair Ms Haisman and her foster mother Dawn Pincott say the Department of Child Safety failed in their duty of care.

“It would be 11 at night and I would look at the house knowing that she was in there with Gordon and I just wanted to run in and take her," she said.

When the abuse was later uncovered, Ms Haisman was removed and placed back into Mrs Pincott’s care, but it is only now, many years later that she has found the courage to fight for justice over what happened to her.

“There is no word, it's ridiculous. It's their job to protect and help children,” Ms Haisman said.

Now Ms Haisman is taking her fight with the state government's Department of Child Safety to court and while it means she must relive the trauma she went through, she’s determined to make sure it never happens to another child in care.

Young woman's brave battle with Child Safety over childhood abuse© A Current Affair Ms Haisman said when she heard Kaye was jailed she felt

Shine Lawyers head of abuse Lisa Flynn said what the Department of Child Safety did, by placing her back with Mr Kaye, was “a complete failure of what they were there to do, they’re there to protect innocent vulnerable children like Tiff.”

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Young woman ' s brave battle with Child Safety over childhood abuse . A 19-year-old woman is bravely taking on a huge government agency that she claims monumentally failed in its duty of care to protect her.

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Ms Haisman is being represented in her civil action against the Department of Child Safety by Mrs Fynn, who claims they have clear evidence that shows the department knew Ms Haisman would be in danger if she was returned to her biological mother, while she was with Mr Kaye.

Mrs Flynn said Ms Haisman was put back in to a position of danger and this was, “despite repeated warnings, repeated requests from a foster family that were really trying to do the right thing and to protect and love this child, which is actually what the department were charged to do, but failed.”

Mr Kaye was eventually arrested, charged and convicted over the abuse of Ms Haisman.

Young woman's brave battle with Child Safety over childhood abuse© A Current Affair Shine Lawyers head of abuse Lisa Fynn said Ms Haisman had been put back in a position of danger.

“I was at school, mum picked me up, and she goes, Gordon's been arrested, went past the prison and she said wave to Gordon," Ms Haisman said.

“I felt safe, I felt like I could finally be free."

Mr Kaye was sentenced and served five years in jail but is now out and free in the community, with no known supervision orders.

“I understand he's done his time, but I don't think the time was enough.” Ms Haisman said.

“It’s got to change, it’s wrong.”

Young woman's brave battle with Child Safety over childhood abuse© A Current Affair The Department said the safety and well-being of children was its highest priority.

Ms Haisman’s foster mother agrees and believes the whole scenario was handled terribly.

“Disgusting, absolutely disgusting and no one has ever apologised to me or Tiffany," Mrs Pincott said.

When contacted by A Current Affair for a response the Department of Child Safety said “the safety and well-being of children is the department’s highest priority” and that “it is inappropriate for the department to comment on individual cases.”

The Department of Child Safety’s spokesperson also said “the department responds appropriately to all legal proceedings.”

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