ASCA established the Blue Knot Award in 2012 to recognise an individual who uphold the principles of Blue Knot Day. The award recipient stands out in the community for furthering the needs of adult survivors of child abuse. The Award recognises those who have broken the silence and taboo around child abuse and eroded the stigma, to foster hope and optimism.
The Blue Knot Award for 2014 goes to John Ellis. John is a survivor of clergy abuse, perpetrated when he was an altar boy. John had a 12 year battle seeking personal justice from the Catholic Church. The Ellis case which went to the High Court in 2007 established in case law that the trustees that hold the assets of the Church cannot be sued. The 8th public hearing of the Royal Commission examined the response of the Catholic Church to the complaint made by John Ellis to Towards Healing and the conduct of the Church through 3½ years of litigation.
John runs a specialist legal practice for clergy abuse claims, claims against Churches, Charities and other Institutions and to provide assistance around engaging with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. In his role as a lawyer and legal advocate he continues the battle for other survivors. His steadfast determination integrity and recovery despite it all are an inspiration.
Acceptance from John Ellis
"I am humbled and honoured by yesterday’s award.
It is a testament to the hundreds of survivors of abuse who have stood behind me, without which I would not have had the strength to keep up the fight. It is also a credit to all those who have triumphed over adversity. Seeing the light come back into the eyes of a survivor we have worked with and seeing new hope breathed into their lives by having an institution accept accountability and free them from the shackles of shame and guilt is what sustains me and what will ensure that while I breathe, I will continue to do the work that needs to be done to have this be the reality for all survivors."
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