Liv's story

‘I thought I need to do this, yes for me personally but for the industry and for future generations and for anybody else who may be talking about the same person. I began to realise how deeply this one event has affected my life ever since.’

Liv was born into a strictly religious family.

‘My father had never wanted me to dance, which was all I had wanted to do from as far back as I can recall. But I developed asthma at two and a half … and the doctor suggested ballet lessons … By the age of 12 I knew that dance was going to be my profession.’

Liv left school in her mid-teens and got a job as a dancer on a national TV show.

She described herself as very innocent at that time and said she’d had no education about sex or keeping herself safe.

‘None whatsoever. None from the family, none from the dance school, none from the TV station, no. Extremely vulnerable. I don’t even know to this day how much my parents knew about those possibilities, given their insular lifestyle. We were all lambs to the slaughter.’

A few days after the show aired, a man calling himself David Simons phoned Liv’s home. He said he got her number from working at the station and was offering her further work on the TV show. If she wanted to get more work she would have to meet him and have a medical exam.

‘When I told Mum I had to go for a medical and to meet him she said, “That sounds a bit odd”, but she didn’t say, “You’re not going”. None of that. It was, “Oh, it must be all right”. She was so naive.’

Liv met Simons at a train station in the city and he took her inside a building and through a series of corridors and disused work spaces. He showed her the contents of a briefcase he was carrying, saying it was his medical equipment, but she recognised it as electrical testing equipment.

‘That’s when I thought, “That’s weird”. It also struck me as weird that we were going through all these disused corridors for a medical. But I was so naive …

‘I’ve always thought he must have done this numerous times because he seemed to know people there. He definitely knew where he was going. He said hello to another man and I wonder now if they had some kind of team going on?’

He got Liv to an empty room and asked her if she was a virgin. She told the Commissioner she didn’t even know what that meant. Simons got her to take off all her clothes, touched her breasts then digitally penetrated her. After he’d finished he told her to get dressed and took her out of the building.

‘I thought it was strange. It was extremely embarrassing … I didn’t even think of it as a sexual thing, I didn’t even know what sex was …

‘I was surprised that I never heard from anyone from the station again. And I couldn’t tell my mother exactly what had happened either. Not till years and years later. And she said, “I’d always worried about that”. And I said, “But not enough to actually talk to me about it”. And she said she couldn’t, that was the way she was brought up. You just could not talk about things like that.’

Liv first disclosed in the early 90s to a friend, when they met up at that same train station and she had flashbacks about the incident.

In the late 90s, she called the TV station, hoping to report her experience, but got no further than a receptionist who brushed her off, saying they would no longer have records of people working there at the time. She was told there was nobody else she could speak to.

She said it has always been hard for her to talk about the incident. When she was 19 she was pack raped and has found that event easier to talk about than the earlier one. She has been seeing a psychologist for the past 10 years, and only mentioned it to him the day before her private session.

‘Compared with being held down and pack raped, it’s pretty minor. Compared with being raped at a party, it’s pretty minor … compared with a lot of what so many people have gone through, it’s minor. But I think it’s probably because the shame factor was so huge that until now I hadn’t been able to deal with it. And I thought the shame factor on being pack raped … was big enough. But this is far, far bigger. Because I was so young and so innocent.’

She is now planning to work through those issues with her psychologist. And she has decided to refer Simons to the police.

‘If this bloke is found and is alive I would really, really, really be happy to see that bastard behind bars. I don’t care how old he is … I cannot be the only one. I mean it’s so sick.

‘All these years later, that’s going on 50 years, I’m only just beginning to realise the impact.’

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