Australia

Heroes of the sexual abuse royal commission

Those involved with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse would probably not refer to themselves as heroes.

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Whether they be a survivor of child sexual abuse or someone who campaigned for action, change or justice, the label of “hero” probably sits uncomfortably with them.

But with the royal commission handing down its final report yesterday, Eternity highlights two people who had a significant impact on the commission’s formation and work.

Bishop Geoffrey Robinson devoted ten years of his life to fighting for fair compensation and support for adults who had been abused as children by Catholic priests. He met many of them and was touched by all their stories – especially as he had been abused too. Read Eternity‘s interview with him here.

Joanne McCarthy is the brave journalist who spearheaded the Newcastle Herald’s “Shine the light” campaign which helped to bring about the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Abuse (and an earlier NSW special inquiry).

Eternity spoke with Joanne about her interviews with victims of sexual abuse, many of them scarred by alcohol, drugs and depression. She interviewed 200 victims and uncovered no fewer than 12 suicides or drug overdoses among former students of a priest called John Denham. Read Eternity‘s interview with Joanne here.

 

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