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Banned book: get your copy now

By Steven | March 4, 2008

Anne Hunt’s book Broken Silence, which I think I’m right to say is the only book ever to be banned and ordered to be pulped by NZ’s High Court, is now available for you to buy.

The ban was overturned last year in a case I argued in the Court of Appeal (Hunt v A [2008] 1 NZLR 368). The book hit the news again last November when Anne criticised her former lawyer, David Collins QC, who’s now Solicitor-General, for his involvement in the saga.   Broken Silence chronicles the tribulations of a New Zealand woman with borderline personality disorder who accused her therapist of sexually violating her.  The book explores the life and experiences of “Annette”, a woman with a borderline personality disorder. It contains a remarkable account of the ingredients that produced her mental illness: her domineering and violent father; her anorexia, attention-seeking behaviour, and fainting spells; her unhappy marriage at 18; her post-natal depression and alienation from her children; the trauma of marital rape; and her resulting depression, mood swings, hallucinations, self-harm and suicidal tendencies. A major theme is the way she is let down by a series of people and institutions she trusted: her father, the medical authorities who botched her tubal ligation, ACC, her therapist and ultimately, parts of the justice system.

The book raises a vexed question: can somebody with serious mental health problems obtain justice?   Much of the book focuses on “Annette’s” allegations against her therapist, the respondent (who is given the pseudonym “Wayne”). “Annette” claims “Wayne” sexually abused her during therapy. The book describes the three legal proceedings that resulted:  the criminal trial, at which the therapist was acquitted; “Annette’s” disciplinary complaint against the respondent, which was ultimately stymied by a rather technical judicial review finding; and her $250,000 civil claim for exemplary damages against the therapist, which went all the way to the Privy Council, and which ultimately ended in a settlement.   Anne Hunt is a District Councillor who fell a few hundred votes of winning the Horowhenua mayoralty last year.     A few sentences in the book have been redacted to protect confidential information, but the rest of it is the original version.  Anne has autographed all the copies and is willing to sell them for $25, including p & p. Order them from Anne at 17 Nash Parade, Foxton Beach.

Topics: General | 18 Comments »

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