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Political Issues for Sensitive Claimants

#21 User is offline   Lupine 

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:31 AM

View Postneddy, on Oct 6 2008, 07:22 PM, said:

Supposition, inuendo and opinions that are not based on fact. ACC has tightened the criteria for counsellors and many now have formal academic qualifications in psychology/psychiatric practises even to doctorate levels.

Try being repeatedly and systematically abused and then going into a world of "Doubting Thomas's" who re-traumatise by offering postings such as yours that are at best ill-founded, or I wonder why you who claim a Sensitive Claim make such wild claims.

The reason for an exponential rise in Claims is that people are becoming more aware of and are able to talk about abuse now. It used to be brushed under the carpet and the victim told to get over it, or it may take a "triggering event" to kick in to start the whole traumatisation process.

You want to know who's genuine? look for the self-harm, the anorexia/bulemic, the suicidals who have no other way to escape the dreams, flashes and memoties that haunt them.

It seems to me that you have an aversion to Sensitive Claims, are you in denial or where are you coming from?


This is a somewhat emotive issue but it is fair and reasonable to ask the questions that Alan has asked and it is of note that these questions are in the public mind. What Alan's questions identify is a certain truth that when money becomes involved in the process there is going to be a certain level of concern that there will be an abuse of the process. At the moment I see that some political pundits are advocating a wider compensation scheme for victims of other types of crimes. This of course will allow defence lawyers to raise an extra element of doubt in juries minds which is already a common tactic in Sexual Abuse trials. Yet the only real alternative is to say that victims should recieve nothing regardless of what happens to them. This is the reality of the politics of money.

What people need to realise that is it extremely difficult to fake the conditions that follow from sexual abuse that would trigger a compensation claim. You would essentially have to fake every aspect of your life. Sensitive Claims is named for the type of claim it deals with not because of the way the department handles the claims. Claimants are put through a very vigorous and sometimes dishonest process. For more information on this read my thread on Traps for Sensitive Claimants. It is not enough to claim you were sexually abused. You must prove that you are incapacitated to the point where you cannot work. The average lump sum payment is $2500 not $100000 for permanent incapacity. If you are not a worker when you claim you will get nothing but treatment and after some years of treatment recieve the average payout of $2500. Lets do the maths. Two years of therapy with a surcharge of $20 a visit equals $2000 if you take a couple weeks off for holidays. $2500 minus $2000 equals $500. Spread that out over two years and that brings the claimant $5 a week. Now add in your fuel costs for actually going to therapy once a week and you will be out of pocket in some cases significantly. Add in your GP costs and it gets even worse. Therefore it is safe to say that the Urban Myth of the false claimant enriching themselves at the taxpayers expense is vastly removed from the actual reality. Then there is the added social costs of having everyone believe you are a Sexual Abuse Victim which brings a who raft of issues as we have been discussing here and for what? Nothing, not a thing for there is no profit in laying claim to the title of sexual social leper. In fact it will cost you money for the privilege. The criteria and processes for making a claim take nine months on average with no guarantee that you will get the desired outcome. So even if you are working (and most SC'S are not when they claim) you will have no income for 9 months to a year with the possibility that your claim will fall over. To attempt this process in the hope that you will be enriched is something that only the most ill informed and stupid of people will try if they are not the genuine article. A person would have to lie to ACC, (fraud and all that means) their family (and who are they going to accuse when the family asks questions) their partners ( divorce when they get caught out or the partner does not want to saddled with the issue) their children (who will react accordingly). That person would have to live a lie for the rest of their lives or suffer massive consequences when (which is likely) they get caught. For nothing. The cost so high the gain so low.
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#22 User is offline   Lupine 

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 10:49 AM

View PostAlan Thomas, on Oct 6 2008, 06:39 PM, said:

Has the ACC and the Sensitive Claims Unit inadvertently created a sexual abuser/counselling industry which is driven by "best practices" philosophy which effectively creates a statistical model by which so long as everybody ticks the boxes everybody gets paid.

The problem is there is no true identification of who are real victims and who are faking it and that the reality is there is no treatment offered given that only the very lowest qualified therapist is funded by the ACC.

The political issue I see is to the effect that the tail is wagging the dog with the result being that too much money is being spent without results.


While I was writing my last post more comments were posted and I see a need to add to further to the debate. I believe my last post deals with the issues regarding false claimants. What I have written is raw fact and it is facts that win debates and bring focus to the issues. Alan has asked valid questions and they deserve a response based on the facts. Indeed the questions bring a focus to the very issues I have raised in this thread.

Has ACC inadvertently created a sexual abuse industry? In some instances the answer is actually yes. It is found in the very groups and dynamics I have talked about here. I have spoken of Interest groups that recieve Government funding and social status at victims expense and it is these groups that have actually added to the level of suspicion that victims face. I think it is fair to say that the current models and practices have come a long way since the debacle around the industry that dominated the 80's and the 90's but there is a truth in that results are not being achieved for victims and wider society which is at the core of the issues I have raised here. To ask that question is not a reflection on victims but rather on the so called support that victims recieve.

Moving on to the fact that the questions were asked in the first place I respond as follows. I made another thread a while ago stating that to fight ACC the only thing that matters is that when you fight you fight in the most effective possible. The same concept applies to all areas of life and that includes the fight victims face to have their issues recognised in a meaningful way. Human nature and politics play a fundamental and inescapable role in our lives. As I have stated the public has a limit to its good will and there was no dissenting comment in relation to that statement. It was asked of me how can that public perception be changed and the answer is as follows.

There must be a valid and reasonable response to issues raised. On the positive side there is plenty of truth to back up the victims viewpoints in this matter but that asset is squandered if the response is not clinical and factual and presented in a manner that people can relate too. Nothing else matters. Victims have the answers. They are there for any who can reason them out but the onus (like it or not) is on the victims to make sure that their view is recognised in a meaningful way. The alternative is to let others do the talking (thus polluting the process with other peoples agendas) or allowing people to make up their own minds without the facts. It is evident that it is in the victims best interests to be their own ambassadors. Victims need to take charge of their issues as best as they can and use the truth and facts and reason as their tools of trade.

It is a reality of life that those who cannot master this philosophy will not get the results they want. This applies to public support, facing a jury at trial and dealing with a media that offers sound bites on a very complex issue. It is reasonable to be angry, it is right to fight, it is normal to be upset but when you fight you must fight well and fight to win! In the arena the fighter with the best training, the best weapons and the biggest muscles is best equipped to win. The political arena is not much different. To win in this battle the most informed, the most reasonable and the one who can take their issues to third parties in the most effective manner is the person who will win. Nothing else matters, Nothing. In terms of the justice of that reality, justice is found in that no matter who you are the rules remain the same. Victims have the ulitimate weapon and that is truth but like all weapons is needs to used well.

In answer to Alan's questions. 1) There is some truth in his comments 2) There is no truth in the issue raised (re False Claimants see my other post) and the there has a been a great improvement in the quality of therapists. 3) There is a lot of truth in that observation if one widens its scope to include certain groups which I have been detailing in this thread and it is this reality which is bringing victims a lot of drama they dont need.
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#23 User is offline   Lupine 

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 10:55 AM

Hi Redsquare,

I cannot make the link work for some reason.
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#24 User is offline   Alan Thomas 

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 11:11 AM

The problem is with the ACC Sensitive Claim Is Unit is that it is all too easy to have a claim accepted someone determined to submit a false claim, particularly during the early 1990s. In these days lump sums were handed out willy-nilly which created the momentum sex abuse treatment industry. We are stuck with that legacy. The ACC now create a bureaucratic nightmare for the genuine claimants which only stops genuine claimants.
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#25 User is offline   Alan Thomas 

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 11:45 AM

Large numbers of people certainly have enriched themselves from the ACC lump sum payouts to the tune of millions and millions of dollars. A classical example is with a certain drug dealer place claims on behalf of his 5 daughters naming dead relatives as the perpetrators. Lump sums were immediately paid out and the children were provided with an endless supply of cancelling and numerous other benefits all of which collectively exceeded more than a six-figure sum in value. He took the time to very carefully explain to the children that these things had not actually happened but how they were meant to describe what had happened and how they did not want to talk about it any more.

Were the 5 children abused by their father and mother who made the false claim?

Was there much risk of the children developing false memory syndromes?
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#26 User is offline   Lupine 

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 12:41 PM

View PostAlan Thomas, on Oct 7 2008, 12:11 PM, said:

The problem is with the ACC Sensitive Claim Is Unit is that it is all too easy to have a claim accepted someone determined to submit a false claim, particularly during the early 1990s. In these days lump sums were handed out willy-nilly which created the momentum sex abuse treatment industry. We are stuck with that legacy. The ACC now create a bureaucratic nightmare for the genuine claimants which only stops genuine claimants.


Hi Alan,

Yes you are quite correct but you are also quite wrong. It theory it is very easy to get a claim accepted by ACC but not just in Sensitive Claims. Yet having ones claim accepted is a far cry from having ones entitlements granted .

1) For many SC'S that outcome is claim is accepted but you are entitled to nothing except maybe for some basic therapy / treatment. This is also the case for many General Claimants as well as this site demonstrates.

2) As I have demonstrated the gain a false claimant can make is less than zero and not worth the price they would pay. If they are too stupid to see that they will never be smart enough to beat a very convulted process that beats more genuine claimants than not.

3) It is very true that abuse occured in the early 90's and it is also true that we are stuck with that legacy. Yet the exploiters were not so much members of the public but self appointed interest groups that had a vested interest in pushing their agendas at the expense of victims. It was in these peoples interests to claim there was a rapist in every bedroom and to prove this they needed numbers to support this contention. To do so Parents were encouraged to take the money on behalf of their children for instance even when the children said nothing happened to achieve the Parents buy in or if nothing else their silence. Nasty stuff but a very different dynamic where random members of the public make false claims.

4) I would point out that you contradict yourself where you say that it is easy for the determined false claimant to get accepted but genuine victims face a bureaucratic nightmare. It is true that genuine victims face a bureaucratic nightmare but this would also severely inhibit a false claimant who faces the additional handicap that they dont know what they are talking about. ACC cannot be easy and hard at the same time, determined only by the validity of the claim made.
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#27 User is offline   Lupine 

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 01:28 PM

View PostAlan Thomas, on Oct 7 2008, 12:45 PM, said:

Large numbers of people certainly have enriched themselves from the ACC lump sum payouts to the tune of millions and millions of dollars. A classical example is with a certain drug dealer place claims on behalf of his 5 daughters naming dead relatives as the perpetrators. Lump sums were immediately paid out and the children were provided with an endless supply of cancelling and numerous other benefits all of which collectively exceeded more than a six-figure sum in value. He took the time to very carefully explain to the children that these things had not actually happened but how they were meant to describe what had happened and how they did not want to talk about it any more.

Were the 5 children abused by their father and mother who made the false claim?

Was there much risk of the children developing false memory syndromes?


I would be amazed if the Drug Dealer could pull off that scam under the current regime. Is there any supporting information in relation to the matter?

If this was the case then yes the parents are guilty of a morally bankrupt act and fraud.

There would have been risk I assume.

A point I should make is that there will always be some level of rort occurring with ACC. For instance some people chopped off their own fingers to get lump sum payouts to the point where legislation was bought in to stop payouts to self harmers except for certain circumstances. Many people have claimed a bad back yet this should not impact on people with injured backs because of a few. Also of note is that General Claims is abused and used much more frequently and easily than Sensitive Claims. Even if there are some bad eggs in Sensitive Claims the issues facing real victims are far too important to allow the negative element to dominate the process of treatment and compensation. People do target SC'S as an easy target but the reality is that it's because people dont get the insidous nature of mental injury due to sex abuse. Real victims are suffering and their suffering should not be added to because people dont understand what is a very complex subject. They should not be treated as liars because of bad people who think they can make a buck. It should be also noted that SC'S would not be there if not for sex offenders doing what they do in the first place.

There is truth to what you say. But as is often the case there are truths that are wider and more numerous than the truth in the matter that has been raised re: False Claims. I claim with respect, that the reasoning I have provided more than addresses the issues raised in the minds of reasonable people.
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#28 User is offline   redsquare74ucys 

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 08:18 PM

View PostLupine, on Oct 7 2008, 09:31 AM, said:

This is a somewhat emotive issue but it is fair and reasonable to ask the questions that Alan has asked and it is of note that these questions are in the public mind. What Alan's questions identify is a certain truth that when money becomes involved in the process there is going to be a certain level of concern that there will be an abuse of the process. At the moment I see that some political pundits are advocating a wider compensation scheme for victims of other types of crimes. This of course will allow defence lawyers to raise an extra element of doubt in juries minds which is already a common tactic in Sexual Abuse trials. Yet the only real alternative is to say that victims should recieve nothing regardless of what happens to them. This is the reality of the politics of money.

What people need to realise that is it extremely difficult to fake the conditions that follow from sexual abuse that would trigger a compensation claim. You would essentially have to fake every aspect of your life. Sensitive Claims is named for the type of claim it deals with not because of the way the department handles the claims. Claimants are put through a very vigorous and sometimes dishonest process. For more information on this read my thread on Traps for Sensitive Claimants. It is not enough to claim you were sexually abused. You must prove that you are incapacitated to the point where you cannot work. The average lump sum payment is $2500 not $100000 for permanent incapacity. If you are not a worker when you claim you will get nothing but treatment and after some years of treatment recieve the average payout of $2500. Lets do the maths. Two years of therapy with a surcharge of $20 a visit equals $2000 if you take a couple weeks off for holidays. $2500 minus $2000 equals $500. Spread that out over two years and that brings the claimant $5 a week. Now add in your fuel costs for actually going to therapy once a week and you will be out of pocket in some cases significantly. Add in your GP costs and it gets even worse. Therefore it is safe to say that the Urban Myth of the false claimant enriching themselves at the taxpayers expense is vastly removed from the actual reality. Then there is the added social costs of having everyone believe you are a Sexual Abuse Victim which brings a who raft of issues as we have been discussing here and for what? Nothing, not a thing for there is no profit in laying claim to the title of sexual social leper. In fact it will cost you money for the privilege. The criteria and processes for making a claim take nine months on average with no guarantee that you will get the desired outcome. So even if you are working (and most SC'S are not when they claim) you will have no income for 9 months to a year with the possibility that your claim will fall over. To attempt this process in the hope that you will be enriched is something that only the most ill informed and stupid of people will try if they are not the genuine article. A person would have to lie to ACC, (fraud and all that means) their family (and who are they going to accuse when the family asks questions) their partners ( divorce when they get caught out or the partner does not want to saddled with the issue) their children (who will react accordingly). That person would have to live a lie for the rest of their lives or suffer massive consequences when (which is likely) they get caught. For nothing. The cost so high the gain so low.


Just wanted to say great post! A very acurate portrayal IME especially, "Sensitive Claims is named for the type of claim it deals with not because of the way the department handles the claims" :mellow:
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#29 User is offline   redsquare74ucys 

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 08:23 PM

Stupid computer.... grrrr

Here it is in full

http://www.justice.govt.nz/discussion/sexu...provements.html

I have found it interesting reading (though I just skimmed it so far and will return later...) especially the parts about what the current law actually is. The reporter seems to have picked a small point for his article and focused solely on that. But that's our media, just entertainment for the masses and not much substance.
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#30 User is offline   Lupine 

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 10:09 PM

View Postboho refugee, on Oct 7 2008, 12:34 PM, said:

Very good points Lupine - and yeah imho the issue of ACC $$ and many hostile attitudes towards claimants from people with seemingly very little insight can be overwhelming at times etc

I rarely speak up on this topic in public forums due to the simple fact that I consider NZ cyberworlds to be too dangerous for this issue etc

Certainly prior to prostitution being legalised here &/or possibly the efforts of Denise and other groups - these bad guys were already sophisticated in manipulating media & society as well as systems etc IMHO in the 90s they easily turned to the use of the internet as weapons :( I basically now imagine them as a covert black ops unit in an invisible war that hunt for survivors & victim families etc Another unit would be them that are mentoring of new predators and they come in different disguises too sadly - as well as of course all the others on the prowl for fresh meat sadly! And yeah this seems to be when they tire of their toys so it was awful that when the ACC legislation appeared then came the misognist slamming ad nauseum about false claims etc I often wonder about some of the threats back then and these $$ signs which imho only saw some claims lodged back then to feed these predators ie not their victims :(

Just some terrible stuff going on in many places which is shadowing peoples lives and futures etc Having bad guys who can and will deliberately exploit the official system inadequacies & ignorances along with some of their protection rackets should NEVER ever be underestimated imho ie real life targeting casualities &/or forums being perverted etc

From my POV the many urban myths about ACC claims and the SCU is tangled in there as IMHO that system only works great to keep other untouched folks naive as they are easily manipulated as pawns sometimes :(

ps I much prefer nowadays to contemplate the progress in international spaces [to that downunder] as imho it will be a long time before some things change here for any improvements :(


I agree with what you say here most strongly. I think that this statement is particulary valid. IMHO only works great to keep other untouched folks naive as they are easily manipulated as pawns sometimes :(

I believe this thread is safer than most Cyber discussions because the issues are collective and not individual in nature.
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#31 User is offline   Lupine 

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 10:22 PM

View Postredsquare74ucys, on Oct 7 2008, 09:23 PM, said:

Stupid computer.... grrrr

Here it is in full

http://www.justice.govt.nz/discussion/sexu...provements.html

I have found it interesting reading (though I just skimmed it so far and will return later...) especially the parts about what the current law actually is. The reporter seems to have picked a small point for his article and focused solely on that. But that's our media, just entertainment for the masses and not much substance.


Hi Redsquare thanks for the kind words :)

It is true that the media only focused on one small part of the report but having had a quick read of it they are right in what they say. The burning issue here is how is a man supposed to fulfill that expectation? The follow on issue is the public read that and think God knows what and then once more a galvanised public stampedes straight over the poor old victim yet again. The public will think that the system is being manipulated (as it has been before with the corresponding drop in the conviction rate that followed). Manipulation of a failed model, based on biased supposition, carried out by people who are claiming a mandate they are not entitled too, is all they have left and this report shows it clearly when it comes up with gems like that.
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#32 User is offline   redsquare74ucys 

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 10:50 PM

Quote

Going further — reversing the burden of proof

Some people argue that as sexual violence is a unique crime that has a huge impact on victims, the burden of proof should be reversed so that defence counsel is required to prove the accused had a reasonable belief that the complainant consented to the sexual activity. [23] As well as its impact on victims, sexual violence carries assumptions about appropriate sexual behaviour as well as about gender norms and values. There are not usually any witnesses to sexual violence which places even greater emphasis on the conflicting evidence of the prosecution and defence.
This has not been proposed as an option because a review of the burden of proof would raise major Bill of Rights concerns, such as the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
In addition, given that the minimum sentence for sexual violation is eight years imprisonment, sentence levels would also require consideration if the burden of proof is reversed.

Options
-No change: retain a defence that the accused believed on reasonable grounds that the complainant was consenting.
-Amend the law to require that, when determining whether the accused had reasonable grounds to believe the complainant consented to sexual activity, the court must have regard to all the circumstances relevant to the case including any steps the accused may have taken to ascertain whether the complainant was consenting.
-Require the judge to instruct the jury in every case that they must consider the steps that an accused took in establishing consent.

Preliminary proposal: (Option 2)
The Crimes Act 1961 be amended to require that, when determining whether the accused had reasonable grounds to believe the complainant consented to sexual activity, the court must have regard to all the circumstances relevant to the case including any steps the accused may have taken to ascertain whether the complainant was consenting.


This bit ^^^
Doesn't seem that bad now I read it. Reckon the system will still be in favour of the defendant anyway. Note also that the proposal is not that the burden of proof be reversed AS SUGGESTED BY THE ARTICLE IN "STUFF" but the addition of any steps the accused may have taken to ascertain consent. This could mean a fairer trial for accussed persons (or am I going to far there....?).
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#33 User is offline   Lupine 

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 07:37 AM

View Postredsquare74ucys, on Oct 7 2008, 11:50 PM, said:

This bit ^^^
Doesn't seem that bad now I read it. Reckon the system will still be in favour of the defendant anyway. Note also that the proposal is not that the burden of proof be reversed AS SUGGESTED BY THE ARTICLE IN "STUFF" but the addition of any steps the accused may have taken to ascertain consent. This could mean a fairer trial for accussed persons (or am I going to far there....?).


You are slightly off the mark here. It has not been suggested that the onus of proof in the wider trial is reversed it is the specific issue of consent that is being addressed.

Preliminary proposal: (Option 2)
The Crimes Act 1961 be amended to require that, when determining whether the accused had reasonable grounds to believe the complainant consented to sexual activity, the court must have regard to all the circumstances relevant to the case including any steps the accused may have taken to ascertain whether the complainant was consenting.

It is this detail which has attracted attention because it attempts to shift the dynamic of trials without overtly impacting on the Bill of Rights. Before DNA the accused would claim that sex did not take place. Now there is DNA so in the cases of Adult victims the accused invariably hinges his (and sometimes her) defense on claiming that they had consent. This is especially prevalent in cases of Date Rape and drunk or drugged women who find they have been taken advantage of. This defense has no use when it comes to child sex crime of course.

If one reads this proposal correctly then the court must take into account the steps taken by the accused to get consent. Therefore it stands to reason that in the event that accused cannot demonstrate these steps or elects to not take the stand then the inference is that no steps were taken. If no steps were taken then that means on the face of it there could not have been consent thus the defendant is guilty by default.

On the face of it appears to me that there is an attempt to slant the judicial process without regard to the real reason why juries dont convict which is that the public believe that there is an industry that profits from crying rape and the complainants are mad bad or worse. To acknowledge this would require a quantum shift in thinking and the old tired parasites who have been feasting on victims issues would have to move on and they are not going to do that. However if they can shift the statistics (for this is a numbers game to them) then they can carry on business as usual.

It is not possible for a person to prove that they got consent if the other party presents a different version of events. The last time the Government started messing around with the law the conviction rate dropped. All this is the same tired old drivel coming from those who pay their bills at victims expense. The public will not like it and attitudes to victims will harden if that is possible.
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#34 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:59 PM

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