‘Please help now’ child abuse victims plea

Elderly child abuse survivors are pleading for help with health problems or at least funeral expenses as they come to the end of their lives still suffering from the trauma suffered at the hands of “carers”.


The child sex abuse royal commission on Friday published another 92 submissions it has received in response to a January consultation paper on redress.

Many of the newly published submissions were from abuse survivors and have been added to the 100 already received from governments, advocacy groups and institutions.

In one handwritten letter the commission is told by a 70-year-old: “the older I get the worse I get”.

“I am sad for the way my life has turned out. Lonely, no love from my family, they don’t understand me I am withdrawn”.

The writer tells the commission with “some redress it would make at lot of people so at peace knowing you care”.

One woman who was abused by nuns tells how: “I find I can’t return to that place unless I have my eyes closed going up the road that leads to the main gate”.

She thanks the commission for listening and trying to help people like her.

In other submissions, some lengthy and some angry, people tell how the pain of abuse remains unresolved and burdens their daily lives and has contributed to health problems.

They lament being poorly educated and stress help is needed so they can at least die with some dignity restored.

“Victims are not getting any younger, they have had to endure a life of disgusting memories and the churches and charities and governments have resisted and cry poor and will have to be dragged kicking and screaming to pay, but pay they must,” writes one survivor.

Another writes: “It’s important that redress be what survivors want, not the simple pay-off and go away that both organisations and government are currently telling the commission is the best way forward.”

Another wants the Catholic Church in Victoria to spend as much on each of its victims as it spent on defending its priests in criminal cases, appeals and legal fees against victims.

The commission will hand its final recommendations on redress to the federal government in August.

In its response to the January redress consultation paper the Abbott government has said it will not underwrite a scheme and has no role to play in running it.

It has also said no to expanding Medicare for abuse survivors needing ongoing psychological help.

This week ASCA, the organisation organising support services for survivors of child abuse, has said it has had to stop scheduling workshops for survivors because of funding cuts by the Department of Social Services.