Read My Story
‘Be Kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle – Plato’
I have been sitting here wondering how to best start telling my story. To be honest my adventures have been very therapeutic for me. I kept my secret for 40 years and it was only since 2011 that I have started sharing my story.
I was sexually abused in the Navy at Sydney’s HMAS Nirimba, a naval training base in the early 1970’s when I was 16 years old. After the months of abuse I thought I had no other way out and I tried to commit suicide.
Since I have started to share my story I have worked with Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Solicitors and the Government appointed DART (Defence Abuse Response Taskforce). I have shared my story with Australian Newspapers and with the television show The Project. I can guarantee that I am not the only victim of this form of abuse, living with the torment of PTSD.
I still continue to share my story. It may be a story that people ‘don’t want to hear’ but I believe that we should stand up and speak out against the abuse to children, unite and say ‘STOP’.
The link below is an article written by David Wroe at Sydney Morning Herald with a call for a Royal Commission into Defence Abuse.
You can watch me on the Project with the link below
When I told my daughters of the abuse they asked me many questions through the process – two of which have stuck with me. One daughter asked me ‘Why keep it a secret Dad? Wouldn’t holding onto the secret cause more hurt for yourself?” and another daughter asked “Why did you give up Dad?”
Now, my girls know me very well and while they grew up I always had an open door policy. They could always tell me anything, no matter how good or bad, whether I would be happy or disappointed. It was always better to tell me than to keep the secret. I am also a very dedicated adventure man; Ultra-marathons, Ironman, long distance swimmer and trekker, so you can imagine my girls have never seen me give up no matter how tough the event. You can see how both questions have stuck with me.
In answering my daughter’s questions, I wrote these three short pieces to help explain why I kept the abuse a secret for so long and why I did give up at one point.
Although sometimes difficult I can talk about my past now so don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you find parts of my story that brings up troubling feelings within yourself there are links to websites below that can help.
If you need help: