Incredible news! The Humane Society have just decided via an 'emergency meeting' that Paul McCusky should be stripped of his "bravery" award.
Here's more in Jeannie's own words.
I felt like crying all over again, but this time for a very different reason.
Last night the Royal Humane Society emailed me to say that they had revoked the bravery award they gave to the man who bashed me, left me blind in one eye, and killed my unborn child.
For years, I've been reliving what he did to me. And the bravery award just made it all so much worse. He made my life a living hell, leaving me permanently disabled -- and yet society was holding him up as a hero.
But that all started to change when I saw Melinda Liszewski's Change.org petition. Suddenly it felt like people were on my side again, standing with me against what he did. Knowing more than 18,000 people signed Melinda’s petition gave me the courage to publicly speak out.
So yesterday I delivered the 18,961 petition signatures to Melbourne Mayor Robert Doyle (also a Vice President of the Royal Humane Society). I did interviews about the petition on the nightly news for Channel 10, Channel 7, Channel 9 and ABC. I was interviewed on 3AW, and the campaign was covered in the Herald Sun, the Daily Telegraph, the Australian and in lots of other places.
For me this was never about just one award. It was about sending a bigger public message that brave men don’t bash women and that as a community there must be zero tolerance for anyone who commits such a vile act.
Thanks to this petition, the Royal Humane Society has finally agreed with me. After all of the media coverage yesterday they convened a crisis meeting and voted unanimously to strip him of the award.
By starting this petition on Change.org, Melinda stood up and spoke out when I couldn't find the strength to. And I can't thank her enough. This morning, we're both sharing the news with our friends and family, and you can do the same by sharing this news piece about our victory on Facebook.
With my deepest thanks,
BREAKING NEWS: The Royal Humane Society has tonight (Tuesday) revoked the "bravery award" given to the man who viciously bashed Jeannie. It comes after a huge media turnout for Jeannie delivering the petition to Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, a vice-president of the Society.
"Among his brutal acts, McCuskey punched a pregnant Jeannie Blackburn and while she was on the ground he kicked her in the stomach, while she screamed, "Stop it Paul, the baby!"." -- Herald Sun, 1st June.
Paul McCuskey was convicted of viciously beating his former partner: she miscarried soon after and was left permanently blind in one eye -- but the Royal Humane Society has decided he should keep his "Bravery Award" and hero status.
I just read all this in this Herald Sun article: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/take-hero-award-off-wife-beater-says-governor-general/story-fn7x8me2-1226377849576?sv=6e7e6bc0633e263c2550074e4d5508fe
I'm a mum from Brisbane, and the details of McCuskey's beatings are terrifying and are so hard to read. But even worse is that a charity that I trust to hold up role models to our society could think this man should still be labelled a "hero". As they awarded him the honour, he was serving a minimum three year sentence for a series of violent attacks against his former partner.
Our Governor-General Quintin Bryce, and patron of the charity, has today called publicly for the award to be retracted.
Please join her and sign my petition calling on the Royal Humane Society to stop endorsing a man convicted of viciously beating his partner, and strip him of the "Bravery Award".
Domestic violence in Australia is at 'epidemic' proportions - I recently read in Mamamia that in Australia almost every week someone is killed by their partner or former partner.
This is completely unacceptable -- and the Royal Humane Society's endorsement of Paul McCuskey is disgraceful. This is not the type of person that should be celebrated as a 'hero' - no matter what their previous record.
Can you please share this on Facebook and Twitter too? This is too important to go unnoticed!