Our children were sexually abused in Catholic Church care, now their lawyers are crushing our families
I can't imagine a worse nightmare for a parent. I still live it everyday. My son, who is profoundly disabled, was sexually abused at the Catholic Church's St Ann's Special School. For years they covered it up. Brian Perkins, the man they employed as the school's bus driver was a convicted paedophile. Over five years it led to more than 30 children being sexually abused, including my son. They didn't bother telling us parents until years later. Now, the Catholic Church have spent the last 12 years using their lawyers to avoid us – and our hope for some sense of justice. When all the Church offered was an apology and a small "gift payment", a group of us parents decided to sue the Church. We hoped it may bring justice for our kids – and the desperately needed financial security for the counselling and care they’ll need for the rest of their lives. But while the Church make a big public song and dance of sounding sorry for their history of sexual abuse, away from the public spotlight they're still using lawyers to crush victims and families. They're refusing to acknowledge what went on under their watch. Using their legal and financial power to push back on parents. It's meant we've been waiting 12 years, and we're not even close to getting to court. I’m now 60 years old. I can't take this much longer. I think they’re waiting for people like me to die or just give up. The Royal Commission is coming to Adelaide in March to investigate what went on behind closed doors at St Ann’s. If the Church is serious about making amends, they’ll stop using legal tactics to put our case off, and settle this now. This could all be fixed with one phone call from the Archbishop to his lawyers. So far he's clearly not done that. Can you please help show him that it's time to show they're really sorry for this devastating abuse – by making a settlement with us? After 30 years, we just want justice - and some peace at last.