‘Silly that I didn’t pull it up more at the start when it happened. He wouldn’t be able to do what he’s done. Or, if he’s still doing it – I don’t know what’s going on.’
Alexi remembers a stable family life in Victoria in the early 1970s. He ‘never listened to his parents’, however, and was deemed ‘uncontrollable’. After being caught stealing, Alexi was sent to a state-run boys’ home when he was about 11 years old. For the first month Alexi slept alone in a room.
‘One night while I was asleep someone grabbed me by the side of the head and lifted me off the pillow by the hair and put a gun to my head … and then he said, “If you walk down Wattle Street again I’ll blow you away”.’
The man was one of the supervisors at the home. Alexi believes that terrifying threat related to a minor crime he’d been accused of months before. Over the next three weeks the man returned repeatedly to Alexi’s room at night and forced the boy to perform oral sex on him.
‘When that happened I went to the man in charge and told him about the gun incident. He said, “Mate you’ve been dreaming. None of the officers here carry guns”.’
‘I wasn’t dreaming. And about the sexual things – I didn’t mention that because I was too scared. Was he going to bring the gun back? I didn’t know what he’d do to me. I let it be.’
Alexi told the Commissioner, ‘When I went to the man in charge, his room was nearly opposite mine. Why don’t they ever see things … He just shrugged it off like, “It’s a nonsense, what you’re saying”’.
Alexi sees himself as a very damaged person. Alexi believes the things he was forced to do as a child left him open to predatory sexual behaviour by adults later in his life. He feels great shame over the abuse and later incidents with other males.
Alexi also lives in constant fear of physical assault and threats to his body. He avoids certain situations because of this. Alexi won’t use some forms of public transport, for instance, because of a past run-in with an angry employee.
Alexi has been in trouble with the law, and has spent time in jail.
He has told some friends about his childhood abuse over the years, but has not made a report to the police. ‘I’ve mentioned it to ‘em in anger when they’ve come to my house, to say, “I don’t trust youse and this is the reason why”.’
In recent years Alexi has begun talking to a counsellor and working through his experiences. He welcomes the opportunity to pass his story on to the Royal Commission.
‘I feel a lot better about it now. Let it go. Let it be.’