Catholic Church abuse survivors describe ‘horrific’ experiences, trauma to Royal Commission

Catholic Church abuse survivors describe ‘horrific’ experiences, trauma to Royal Commission

Survivors of abuse at the hands of Catholic clergymen have spoken of their shame, trauma and the struggle to get redress from New Zealand church leaders.

The first of 25 witnesses told the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State Care that after making a complaint, she was offered money rather than a meaningful apology – which she rejected.

Published in News Hub


Upper Hutt sexual abuse victim says abuser was quietly moved to South Island school

A former Catholic boarding school student who was abused by senior staff says one of them was quietly moved to another school in the South Island without being punished.

Patrick Cleary died in July, aged 82, before he could give his statement to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into State Abuse. His daughter Tina Cleary gave a statement on his behalf today.

Published in NZ Herald


Abuse victim tells Royal Commission ‘boys at boarding schools are at risk’

A man abused while at a Catholic boarding school in the early 1950s says he is not convinced the church’s approach to dealing with abuse has changed at all.

The 81-year old Mr F did not tell anyone of the abuse he suffered for 49-years.

On Tuesday he gave evidence to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.

Published in Radio New Zealand


Abuse hearing: Catholic Church told sexual abuse victim that abuse was not criminal, offered him $5000

A former Catholic boarding school student who was abused by a priest says the Catholic Church repeatedly tried to minimise his abuse and deny that it was criminal offending.

The former student, now aged 81, was sexually abused by Father Fred Durning in 1953 when he was a 13-year-old student at St Patrick’s College in Silverstream, Upper Hutt.

Using the pseudonym Mr F, he recounted his abuse before a royal commission of inquiry in Auckland this morning, which is holding hearings on abuse in the care of faith-based institutions.

Published in NZ Herald


Royal Commission told Catholic Church needs to stop honouring paedophiles

A man who was sexually abused as a boy at St Patrick’s College, Silverstream only ever wanted the photographs of his abusers removed from the school’s hall, the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care has heard.

Tina Cleary’s father, Patrick Cleary, was sexually abused by two priests when he was aged 12 at the Catholic boys school in 1951.

Published in Stuff


Survivors prepare for Abuse in Care redress hearings

The chair of the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care, Judge Coral Shaw, today declined all but one of the non-publication applications made by lawyers acting for the Catholic Church, the Salvation Army and the Anglican Church.

The applications asked to temporarily keep the names of deceased perpetrators of abuse surpressed.

Steve Goodlass from the Network for Survivors of Abuse in Faith-based Institutions speaks about the impact of this decision on survivors preparing for the Commission’s redress hearings next week.

Listen to story on Radio New Zealand

By Lately
Published in Radio New Zealand
26 Nov 2020

Bishop at centre of name debate investigated

An independent investigation is under way into the handling of sexual abuse complaints by a former Roman Catholic bishop of Dunedin.

The Catholic Church has appointed an independent investigator to look at whether Bishop John Kavanagh took proper action when he received complaints of sexual abuse during his tenure, between 1957 and 1985.

The news comes as survivors of abuse in faith-based settings, including the Catholic Church, prepare to give evidence as part of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.

Published in Otago Daily Times


Research article: Untold Stories: Male Child Sexual Abusers’ Accounts of Telling and Not Telling about Sexual Abuse Experienced in Childhood

With evidence suggesting that females are more likely to be victims of child sexual abuse (CSA), much of the literature – including that on disclosure – focuses on females. Thus, male victims remain “under-studied”. Given this, the aim here is to contribute to the scant knowledge base on the sexual abuse of males and disclosure by focusing on males whose voices are even more rarely heard than those in the general male popula- tion: those who have perpetrated CSA. The men whose stories are told here had been convicted of, and imprisoned for, CSA in the United Kingdom (UK). They were part of a sample of 101 incarcerated males, 40 of whom reported at interview that they had been sexually abused in childhood. Eighteen of those 40 men are focused on here as they provided some detail as to whether they had disclosed that abuse in childhood or adult- hood, the responses they had received, and also why they had not disclosed. Their narratives shed some much-needed light on the nature of sexual abuse experienced by males, its onset and duration, sexual re-victimization, relationships with perpetra- tors, the diverse nature of disclosure, the extent to which victims disclose and when, the responses received, and why they do not tell. Little is known of these aspects of male CSA. The implica- tions of the findings are considered together with future research directions.

Read article (PDF)

Author: Susan Roberts
Nov 2020

Operation Arkstone: Childcare worker, soccer coach among group charged with more than 800 ‘abhorrent’ child sex offences

Federal police have rescued 46 kids from the grips of their alleged abusers, including a childcare worker and a soccer coach in one of the biggest child sexual abuse cases ever detected in Australia.

Police in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia have arrested 14 men on 828 charges in what investigators have dubbed an alleged “abhorrent systemic sexual abuse” of children, some of whom were just babies.

There were 39 child victims in NSW, one in Queensland, and six in WA allegedly subjected to the production and/or sharing of child abuse material to an online network of Australian and international “peers”.

The operation identified a number of alleged sex offenders in Europe, Asia, the United States, Canada and New Zealand, with 146 international referrals made.

Published in NZ Herald


Teacher accused of sexually grooming, violating teen boys he met on dating app

A teacher picked a 15-year-old boy up from outside his school, drove him to “the middle of nowhere” and tried to have sex with him, a court has heard.

Teacher Edwin John Downing is on trial at the High Court in Auckland. He has denied 13 charges, including sexual violation, sexual conduct with a young person and sexually grooming a young person.

Published in Stuff


Research article: The impacts of child sexual abuse: A rapid evidence assessment

Abstract: The aim of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA or ‘the Inquiry’) is to investigate whether public bodies and other non-state institutions have taken seriously their responsibility to protect children from sexual abuse in England and Wales, and to make meaningful recommendations for change, to help ensure that children now and in the future are better protected from sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse (CSA) involves forcing or enticing a child or young person under the age of 18 to take part in sexual activities. It includes contact and non-contact abuse, child sexual exploitation (CSE) and grooming a child in preparation for abuse.

Read article (PDF)

Primary authors:
Cate Fisher
Alexandra Goldsmith
Rachel Hurcombe
Claire Soares
IICSA Research Team

July 2017