‘They were empty words’: Abuse survivors lose faith in George Pell’s Roman vow

The Age

Melissa Cunningham

For years, Dominic Ridsdale held a secret locked inside him.

The fear his uncle, disgraced paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale, held over him was so entrenched it stopped him disclosing his sexual abuse until 30 years later.

“He told me if I told anyone, I would die,” Dominic said.

“I pushed the pain further and further down until I slid down into a hole and I couldn’t find my way out.”

Dominic battles depression, severe anxiety and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

He was one of thousands of survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy who broke their silence during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

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