Voiceless Victim

A survivor of clergy child sexual abuse speaks out for those who can't speak for themselves

Why did you make us wait so long?

The sheer joy of Monday’s announcement of a national Royal Commission into child sexual abuse in religious and other institutions in Australia was not the only emotion bringing victims to tears this week.

There was sadness at years of unnecessary suffering by victims who had begged and begged for anyone to stop ignoring this issue and deal with it head-on.

There is the unbearable tragedy of those who did not survive, those who are collateral damage to the reputations of callous careerists and to institutional arrogance and greed.

There is shock that, at the end, as developments accelerated, this decision seemed so simple and everyone suddenly seemed to get it. Or at least, at last, to publicly admit they get it.

There are the feelings of abandonment, and of worthlessness from having been neglected and ignored and knowingly allowed to suffer all those years. Feelings which can come out now that, finally, finally, finally, our leaders are saying in the national media that we are important after all, we are worth saving, we are worth holding the criminals that harmed us and those who protected them, accountable for their crimes.

Suddenly the inexplicable inability of powerful people to understand that child rape is wrong, always was wrong and will always be wrong has evaporated.

What caused them all to suddenly gain so many extra IQ points, almost overnight?  Let’s hope their clarity and understanding don’t disappear as quickly as they appeared.

There is disgust.

Disgust at the disgraceful attempt by the once arrogant and now bumbling, but always callous, Big George Pell to paint himself as the victim here.

And there is pride.

Pride that in this highly flawed country, in this far from perfect world, Australian politicians took the high moral ground to address and eradicate real evil in our midst.

Pride in our own contribution to this outcome, no matter how small.

Pride in those incredible, brave individuals amongst us who made a stand on this issue, no matter the personal cost.

Pride in those who took a terrible beating in the early days, but couldn’t be beaten down. And who made the way easier for those who followed.

The fact that we have announced this Royal Commission is, deservedly, a source of national pride.

Countries around the globe are now looking to us to set a new international standard of child protection.

And, wonderfully, it seems our politicians have given us a real opportunity to achieve just that.

But the fact that wealthy, powerful, politically influential criminals were protected for so long, that brave victims were ignored and abandoned for so many years, that our suffering was increased exponentially, that so many additional children’s lives and potential were derailed, and that far, far too many never lived to see this day, that is, most deservedly, a national disgrace.

Stay safe everyone,

VV

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5 responses to “Why did you make us wait so long?

  1. glorybe1929 November 15, 2012 at 1:48 am

    Praise God! This is a must tor the Vatican to see, hear and eliminate all those connected to this evil to be put on trial and convicted in a criminal court. and put in prison. They must be put out of reach of the innoncents who have been sexually abused by priests, nuns and brothers..Even if the Pope himself is convicted of allowing this and turning his lack of God giiven Wisdom the other way..

    • Tony Hogan December 11, 2012 at 12:08 pm

      Make sure you watch Enda Kenny (Prime Minister of Ireland’s) address to Irish Parliament on Catholic Sexual Abuse in Cloyne

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-14224199

  2. Hanora Brennan November 15, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    There is more love, joy, compassion, sadness and brilliance in this article than has ever been displayed by the RCC to its victims. Not to forget the sheer exquisite excellence!

  3. Tony Hogan December 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    PLEASE NOTE: This has been forwarded to the Bishops and the 10 Person Commitee of the Catholic Church – by Sister Annette Cunliffe
    ———————————————————-
    It is over forty years since I was sexually abused as an altar boy by a number of members of the Catholic clergy in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. And now I speak up to add my story to that of thousands of abused children in Australia.

    This is just a small part of the Australian Catholic Church’s vile history. It is actually something I need to do not only for myself, but also for the boys I grew up with, and also for those who I never met, who experienced what I did in the same environment, or at other locations by the same persons. It is for those who may have gone on to live tragic lives who did not, or do not have the ability to speak up.

    This step that I take is one that in the past, men like me, have not been able to take due to the complexities of the hierarchy in the church, the very entangled legal system which draws the process out with so much fine print, and makes it difficult for people to navigate because of the amount of energy it takes, and because of the humiliation of the experience which we as men have lived with all our lives and hidden, feeling like somebody might be able to tell that men had violated us as children.

    But now I stand proud to speak up, not disgraced by the actions of madmen who have been protected for many years by their obligation to each other because of their religious vows and the structures within the church system, which when analysed are quite sick because it places them outside the law and allows them to repeatedly commit crimes against humanity unhindered, with no accountability for their actions.

    These poor twisted individuals had never considered that boys like me that they abused, would one day grow into men of courage, honesty and integrity and would return to make them accountable for their actions. That we would one day be outside their control, and be able to remember many of the ugly inhumane, humiliating things that happened to us, and to be able look people in the eye and be large enough humans to tell our story; this is something that those spineless individuals would never have considered or would probably not have had the intelligence to comprehend because they were blinded by their sexual fetish for children and their illusory idea that God would be on their side because they considered themselves men of God.

    So now I speak up in an effort to assist all the other men and women who were abused as children by members of the Catholic Church, I wish to help widen the pathway for others who are ready to come forward and tell their story; to let them know that they are OK, that if I can do it, they too can do it, that we can stand together, and that they need not be ashamed in any way because of the actions of others, and we can empower each other with courage.

    In the Christian faith, everyone speaks of judgement day, that great and terrible day when people are accountable for their actions. Members of the Catholic clergy, I will take it upon myself to speak on behalf of the founders of your faith and the broader community that has values and integrity, we are not bound by your rules and THIS IS your judgement day, and it is not in the shape or form that you were expecting, there is no fire from heaven, there is no God going to separate you out as the chosen ones while all the sinners suffer. You need to know that the kind members of your church who trusted you as Gods representatives will be disgusted by you for violating their children. You have not only abused children but you have abused the trust that was given to you, you have broken your celibacy and you have transgressed the sanctity of your vows in the most disgusting way. And those that hid you are also accountable; they have created the framework for this to happen.

    I contacted Father N by email, at the church where I was abused as an altar boy some days back, and asked him to contact the police to advise them that there had been child abuse at his church years before, but he never responded. I said it was his responsibility and it should not be left to people like me to speak up.

    I ask that all people in the Catholic Church request and encourage their clergy to step forward and report the incidents that they know of, and persons of interest, instead of allowing them to be even more disgraceful, hiding and hoping that the abused like me don’t to speak up. I personally consider any person of the church who protects the abusers as supporting crimes against children to also be accountable.

    I have contacted the police.

    Tony

    .

    • voicelessvictim December 11, 2012 at 1:27 pm

      Tony,

      I couldn’t agree more, and so beautifully expressed.

      VV

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