Blue Knot Foundation Blog

This blog is being managed by Blue Knot Foundation’s Marketing and Communications team and will be updated regularly. Articles included here are written by Dr. Cathy Kezelman, President of Blue Knot Foundation and other guest authors. 

Should you have any suggestions as to how we might improve the blog or any topic you would like us to consider writing about please let us know by emailing kbraude@blueknot.org.au

Feb
09
By Lisa Flynn

What we have learnt is that it was almost inescapable. The revelations at the royal commission of how widespread the child sex abuse was in the Catholic Church has shocked everyone. It really is the first time the community have truly understood how pervasive and extensive this abuse was over the decades in Australia.

But believe it or not there will be some good that will come from hearing this horror.

For far too long victims of child abuse have lived with the shame and the fear and the worry  that no one would believe them. But this was happening on a bigger scale than anyone had thought.

We also know the courage and bravery it takes to come forward to authorities and report it. My team has helped hundreds of people seek justice in crimes against them, including helping them give evidence to the royal commission. 

Now that this is being discussed so openly and armed with these statistics showing the magnitude of the abuse it cannot be underestimated how empowering the knowledge will be that the offending was clearly out of control. It is absolutely never a child's fault when they are abused, but the way abuse has worked is that a child is made to feel it is their fault, they are made to feel too afraid to say anything. That terrible burden is then carried with them, many will carry it for a lifetime.

This evidence at the commission will give a voice to so many. We hope that survivors of abuse know that now is the time; the nation is listening and there are people who want to understand and to help. Speak to your family, your loved ones, a trusted doctor or other professional, you will be heard.

The truth is only a small percentage ever bring themselves to speak publicly of their experience. It has also never been more clear that the Catholic Church and other religious institutions failed miserably those in their care. We have heard so much evidence but still the Catholic Church remains recalcitrant.

Much of this abuse happened under the watch of Cardinal George Pell who remains in the Vatican. Allowing Cardinal Pell to stay in Rome in the top job means the Catholic Church has no chance of proving that it is an organisation that has learnt from the past and has committed to changing the culture that allowed such horrific abuse to happen.

Many clients that we have represented or continue to represent would have liked to see Cardinal Pell accept that there were failings under his administration and step down from his position. He has chosen not to do this. Many now live in hope that the Pope will act, where Australian Catholic leaders have not, to ask this man to leave his high-ranking office.

This will be symbolic of the fight to be heard and will have reverberating positive effects on many survivors of abuse within the Catholic Church and beyond. 

We want to send this message to survivors: the abuse was clearly inescapable. Share your stories with your families, and with authorities if you want to, but take this opportunity to bring yourself into the light.

Lisa Flynn is principal of abuse law at Shine Lawyers.

Original article published here http://www.smh.com.au/comment/some-good-will-come-from-the-horror-of-the-royal-commission-20170208-gu7zt2.html

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Testimonials

“Blue Knot Foundation has a key role to play in the building of community capacity in care provision to those who have experienced childhood abuse and trauma in any environment.”

NIALL MULLIGAN Manager, Lifeline Northern Rivers

“I think Blue Knot Foundation is a fantastic support organisation for people who have experienced childhood trauma/abuse, for their families/close friends and for professionals who would like to learn how to more effectively work with these people.”

Psychologist Melbourne

“It's such a beautiful thing that you are doing. Helping people to get through this.”

ANONYMOUS

“It was only last September when I discovered the Blue Knot Foundation website and I will never forget the feeling of support and empathy that I received when I finally made the first phone call to Blue Knot Helpline, which was also the first time I had ever spoken about my abuse.”

STEVEN

"At last there is some sound education and empathetic support for individuals and partners impacted by such gross boundary violations.”

TAMARA

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Phone: 02 8920 3611
Email: admin@blueknot.org.au
PO Box 597 Milsons Point NSW 1565
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm AEST

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Email: helpline@blueknot.org.au 
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For media comment, please contact:
Dr Cathy Kezelman AM
0425 812 197 or ckezelman@blueknot.org.au

For media enquiries, please contact: 
Christine Kardashian
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