A child sex abuse victim has spoken after making a Royal Commission submission.By Riahn Smith
A year ago, Neville could not imagine talking about his scarred childhood and years of anguish as comfortably as he can.
The Goulburn Valley man was sexually and sadistically abused aged six, by a woman in a position of trust.
He spent years blocking it out and many more years coming to terms with the painful truth.
It has been three months since Neville shared his harrowing story of child sexual abuse with The News and one month since he made a submission to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
He said it was liberating to talk freely, without the restraint required during official legal proceedings.
‘‘I found it very rewarding, it’s not as daunting as people might think,’’ Neville said.
‘‘It’s private, everything is confidential, and what struck me was the flexibility of how you could present your case to them.
‘‘You can even choose the gender of the commissioner and assistant that you talk to.’’
Neville said his decision to put his story on the record was driven by an urge to increase public awareness of the broad-reaching impact child sexual abuse had on the entire community.
‘‘A lot of people think because it’s an institutional thing they don’t have to worry about it, but those institutions are part of the fabric of our society,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s so important that the general public have some sort of understanding about the experience of survivors to ensure it doesn’t happen again.’’
He said it was also about encouraging others to speak out about their own experiences, especially those who fell outside the commission’s terms of reference.
‘‘I want to help those people because they’re the ones that are going to be left in the cold. A lot of (those cases) are worse too because it’s abuse within families,’’ Neville said.
‘‘I hated talking about these things at the beginning, but a lot of the traumatic feelings, the more they’re talked about, the less traumatic they become.
‘‘There’s no need to sit back and let it carry on ruining your life. It’s not an easy job, but it can be done. I’ve healed and I want to help others heal too.’’
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