The trial destroyed her, she was suicidal for a time, but now she's considering signing up for a diploma in psychology. READ MORE: * Hayley Young, NZ's Silence Breaker * Defence 'hasn't fixed abuse problems' * New info in Air Force sex inquiries delays report * Report shows 'persistent' sexism, abuse concerns in military Her sister Karina Andrews was the first to make that decision, lifting her own name suppression after the trial two years ago.
While adamant every woman has the right to her own truth, her own story, they're surprised by recent complaints from survivors who've questioned Nicholas' commitment."You're dealing with people who are traumatised," Tracey reasons."Perhaps it was because she didn't meet their expectations.
Perhaps they've built her up to be something she's not."But Louise is the first person to step forward and support the people who need it. I don't think they would have taken us as seriously without her."Let those complaints be investigated in full, those women deserve it, but I feel strongly that Louise will come out on the right side of things."An important note in Cherie, Karina and Tracey's story is the exemplary way they say New Zealand Police handled their complaints from the moment Karina came forward in 2012."I rang Pukekohe police station and instead of making me come down to make a statement, they came to me at home," Karina says.
Exposure therapy has been good for me – it doesn't hurt to tell my story any more.
But that does not work for everyone."As their January meeting approaches, I ask all three what they think of the NZDF's willingness to change – ahead of the Joychild report, it has implemented it's own programme called Operation Respect. They're all cautious."If it really does change, I'll be very surprised," Cherie says."My gut feeling is that, no, it won't really change.
My mother is nonplussed; but my older sister is looking at me with an odd intensity. In that moment we both realise the other was subject to the same abuse at his hands. An extra sisterly bond neither of us would ever have wanted.
Now Karina's sister Tracey has joined her in the sunlight, along with another Roper survivor, Cherie Ham; another who has bravely asked for name suppression to be lifted.She has what she calls "significant survivor's guilt", although she knows in her rational mind she was only eight. None of the girls abused by Robert Roper were to blame and, since 2015, he has been in jail for the evil he did to them, and to others.This is the first time Tracey has spoken publicly about the abuse that took place over a dozen years in the 70s and 80s, mostly on the Air Force base at Whenuapai where her father worked in the transport division.As she closed the door Tracey saw him pull Karina onto his lap.Tracey says she'll never be able to scrub her memory of the look on her sister's face in that moment.There were, they told us, but it wouldn't have mattered.