The victim’s name is Aquinia ‘Queenie’ van de Zandt. : “Woman Assaulted by Uncle Elects to Disclose Identity, Encouraging Others to Speak Out on Abuse”

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : Woman Chooses to Reveal Her Identity in Effort to Encourage Other Abuse Survivors to Speak Out

In a courageous move, a woman who was sexually assaulted by her uncle when she was just 15 years old has made the decision to waive her legal right to anonymity. Aquinia ‘Queenie’ van de Zandt hopes that by openly sharing her story, she can inspire others who have experienced abuse to come forward and seek justice.

Antonius van de Zandt, now 72 years old, was sentenced to three years in prison by the ACT Supreme Court for sexually assaulting his niece while she slept in his bed back in 1986. However, due to his age and ill health, he will only serve six months behind bars and the remaining time as a good behavior bond.

During the trial, van de Zandt admitted to the assault but claimed he was asleep at the time. Family members testified that he had openly acknowledged his actions in the years following the incident, attributing it to his “animalistic” desires and a belief that his niece had wanted it.

In a powerful statement outside the court, Aquinia van de Zandt expressed relief at the sentence after decades of trauma. She credited the MeToo movement for inspiring her to report the assault more than three decades later, and she hopes that by revealing her identity, she can encourage other survivors to do the same.

Ms. van de Zandt stated, “The time of silence is over. In speaking out and reporting my sexual assault, I have gone from being a victim to a survivor. And the more of us who report sexual violence, the stronger we become. I encourage all victims to speak up and redirect the shame to where it belongs – with the perpetrator.”

Chief Justice Lucy McCallum, in delivering the sentence, emphasized the serious breach of trust involved in the offense. She noted that despite the apology from van de Zandt and his acknowledgment of his niece’s suffering, he still maintained that he had been asleep during the assault. Chief Justice McCallum deemed his comments as a “cynical exercise in self-ingratiation.”

While recognizing the 37-year delay in bringing the matter to court, Chief Justice McCallum did not believe it should shorten van de Zandt’s sentence. However, taking into account his age, physical health, and mental health, she decided to suspend the sentence after six months in jail. Van de Zandt will then serve a good behavior bond until November 30, 2026.

This case serves as a reminder of the importance of supporting survivors and creating a safe space for them to come forward. By sharing her story, Aquinia van de Zandt hopes to empower others to break the silence and seek justice for the abuse they have endured.

Leave a Comment