Harrowing tales at abuse royal commission

Daily Mail (UK)


“The ones who suicided are the lucky ones; we are the walking dead who remain.”

The 66-year-old man who had been placed in the children’s home run by the Anglican Church in Lismore when he was two, sat slightly hunched in the witness box at the royal commission hearing.

His evidence, like that of many abuse survivors who told their stories during 14 public hearings into child sex abuse in institutions, was listened to in numbed silence.

In a broken voice and sometimes in tears he told how his six-year-old brother used to protect him, but then his brother was sent to another home.

Forty years later in 2006 the man giving evidence read an article by Tommy Campion, another former resident of the North Coast Children’s Home.

He said he cried for days.

In the 1980s he had been diagnosed with depression and attempted suicide several times. He now had leukaemia. In broken voice he told of beatings that left him scarred; of being left at a table for ten hours because he could not eat the food. If he threw up he would be made to eat the vomit.

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