Saturday June 24 2023
LAWYER: AFL, CLUBS FAIL TO
SUPPORT CABLE’S VICTIMS
The lawyer who acted for a woman who successfully sued former football champion Barry Cable over years of child sexual abuse says he is shocked by the lack of empathy, support and communication from the AFL and North Melbourne and Perth Football Clubs.
During the trial in the WA District Court, the woman described years of abuse starting in 1968 when she was 13 years old and lived next door to the Cable family. Cable, a recent bankrupt, was ordered to pay her $818,700.
Four other women gave evidence that they had also been sexually abused by Cable as children, three of them while Cable was coach of North Melbourne in the then-VFL.
Michael Magazanik, a partner with Rightside Legal, says he is appalled that neither the AFL nor the clubs have expressed any compassion or offered support.
“The Catholic Church, as appalling as it is about abuse issues, still offers to pay for counselling for survivors.
“Meanwhile the AFL says it is “aware“ of the Cable judgement but makes no further comment.
“It hasn’t booted him out of the Hall of Fame, hasn’t condemned him and it has said not a single word about the women Cable abused.
“It can’t recognise their suffering or their bravery – nor offered compassion or counselling. A week after the decision - nothing.
“As for North Melbourne, its former coach is a rapist – and it has not a thing to say about the women. Cable was sexually assaulting children while he was coaching North and the club can’t stir itself to offer any support to his victims. Same for the Perth football club.
“If they want to reach out, or offer support to the women, my phone number is easy to find.
“Meanwhile - despite the increasing role of women in the leadership of the AFL and its teams – the clubs are sending a terrible message to the women who follow AFL football.”
Michael Magazanik, partner, Rightside Legal 0403 367 608
Andrew Taylor 0411 156 797
Rightside Legal has unique expertise in litigating child abuse cases in Australia despite the challenges presented by institutions and churches, and the passing of time.
In recent years Rightside Legal has set legal precedents: winning the first trial for a survivor of sexual abuse in Western Australia; the first trial win against the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne; and the first cases in Western Australia and Victoria to overturn previous settlements in sexual abuse cases. After decades of being denied justice, survivors are now being properly supported late in their lives.
Rightside Legal has also set records, with multi-million dollar settlements for former students in private and government schools and orphanages.
Not all cases set records, not every case is a first, but every case matters.