Alex Daniel's story

Alex grew up in regional South Australia. His stepfather was involved with a number of community service organisations and the local council.

In the 1980s, when Alex was between four and 10, he attended events held by one of the service organisations in a caravan park.

At these events, sexually explicit and humiliating photographs of Alex and other children were taken by a group of men, including Alex’s stepfather. Alex believes that he was often drugged when the photographs were taken, as there are large gaps in his memory. He believes that there was a paedophile ring running out of the service organisation.

Alex also remembers his stepfather forcing him to play sex games with his older sister, and during these games, he would approach Alex from behind, and digitally penetrate him.

Alex began having issues with alcohol and drugs, and at 15 he was admitted, for the first of many times, to a psychiatric facility due to a drug-induced psychosis. ‘I’ve been diagnosed with everything … I don’t know anything I haven’t been diagnosed with.’

Alex has also spent time in jail, but said that he is now ‘trying to keep my nose clean and change my ways’. For the past eight months he has ‘quit alcohol [and] reduced my drug abuse’.

Although he has been under the care of many psychiatrists and psychologists, Alex has never spoken to them about the sexual abuse because he doesn’t trust them. He believes that if he tells them about it, they will just put him on more medication, and he doesn’t want to ‘be bound to medication that don’t help’.

Alex first reported the sexual abuse to the police when he was in his mid 20s. They spoke to Alex’s stepfather, but he denied the abuse, and the matter went no further. In the mid 2000s, Alex tried once again to report it, and he’s been struggling to get justice against the men who abused him ever since.

Alex now lives on the disability pension, and although he has lived on the streets in the past, he now has somewhere permanent to live, and his health seems to be improving. He was accompanied to his session at the Royal Commission by his counsellor from the Victim Support Service who has been a great help to him.

At the end of his session, Alex told the Commissioner, ‘I’m doing good. I’m glad to get this sorted … [I’m] in a good space. I wanted to do more … I think there’s a lot to be answered for … I’ll continue to fight … I’m very passionate about it’.

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