Victims of sexual assault by clergy continue to receive unjust and inhumane treatment from Catholic Church responses across Victoria:
Noreen was sexually molested and raped as a private hospital patient by its priest chaplain. Her basic needs for safety, care and support have been ignored by the Archbishop and his Melbourne Response, causing her continuing serious trauma.
Maxwell is 70 and cannot read or write. He was 11 when he was molested and raped repeatedly by his priest ‘carer’ in a Victorian orphanage. Telling the Church only recently, he was offered $5000 and a written apology. He refused this, and suffers daily from his lifelong trauma.
Father Kevin Dillon of Saint Mary's Parish Geelong, who has long supported victims, says, “Keeping people alive is the priority!”
The church hides its harmful behaviour. No church records are available for scrutiny, hiding the breadth of victims’ suffering, the neglect that they endure and the extent of related suicides. Thirty-four men are known to have suicided as a result of sexual assaults by two separate clergy. Families continue to be torn apart.
When victims report sexual offenders to the church and not the police, the Church conducts a private process and does not report any complaints to the police. and offenders remain in the priesthood and religious life, and may re-offend.
These private church processes must come under police, government and public scrutiny. Justice Cummins has already made a recommendation, a whole of government inquiry cannot wait.
We speak for the Melbourne Victims’ Collective, survivors throughout Victoria, priests of integrity from Victorian parishes, parish members, concerned families, supporting professionals and members of the wider community.
This injustice and harm must stop!
Stand with us and help call for an urgently needed inquiry.