Thousands upon thousands of Survivors of childhood sexual abuse could have written this brief article.
Their experiences may differ from mine in detail. But what we all have in common together is that we are living proof of the negative legacy that our experiences of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church has had upon the course of our whole lives. We are the most compelling of witnesses where the highlighting of this type of heinous crime is concerned.
Across all legal cases where witness is borne against the Catholic Church, and other institutions, there exists an echo of commonality.
From 1957 through to 1964 I experienced much abuse including being physically assaulted and sodomised by a Catholic Priest in the Church Sacristy of St. Vincent’s Orphanage, Nudgee, near Brisbane. That rape experience was not one of a kind. I was subject to far more than that over an interminable period of time.
There were no ‘dissenting’ witnesses to my experiences, there were no ‘witnesses of opportunity’ rounded up to oppose my case and support the Church. Yet my case was so easily minimised and pushed aside by the power of the Catholic Church – I was brow beaten into accepting a minor settlement and I did not even receive the pretence of an apology.
How many other Survivors of childhood sexual abuse have also been terrorised down that path by the Catholic Church?
Today, a judgement was handed down in the highest Court in this country. One man had his day in court. Some people are concerned that from now on Survivors will be reluctant to come forward. Some may be, but many of us will not be dissuaded from our efforts to achieve real and lasting justice.
I will re-pursue the Catholic Church. Many other Survivors will pursue or re-persue the Catholic Church.
We are the most Compelling of Witnesses!
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