Andy Kevin's story

Andy’s father was an alcoholic, and his mother was unwell. When he was born in the early 1960s, he ‘was just as normal as all other kids', but after a serious accident, he spent a long time in hospital, and ‘[I] become the outcast of the family’.

Andy came out of hospital with visible disabilities. ‘Through my life I had always been treated as if I was some dumb retarded spastic … [and] this caused me to feel as if I was no good for anything or anyone. I was teased by many others, and this included my own [family].’

The teasing from family members, and the cruel comments he heard from strangers, ‘always made me feel so bad that I would think of killing myself. Sometimes I would run and hide so that I would not be teased’.

When he was six, Andy was sexually abused by his uncle. Two years later, an older boy forced him to perform oral sex in the school toilets. When word of this got around, another boy tried to get him to do the same. When Andy refused, the older boy knocked him to the floor, and then sexually abused him.

At school, when Andy was nine, he started to notice that ‘the girls … were always flashing their panties at us boys’. He and a female schoolmate were experimenting with oral sex under a bridge when they were caught by the girl’s mother. Andy was charged by the police, and made a ward of the state.

He was sent to a boys’ home. He was nine and a half, and on his first night there, he was woken up by a 15-year-old, who ‘took me up into the bathroom and … basically made me do sexual things to him’. His abuser told other older boys what he’d made Andy do, and he was ‘forced to do the same with two others’.

The most violent of the older boys at the home took Andy to the goat shed and raped him ‘probably four or five times before he was removed from [the home]’. Boys left the home when they were 16.

When Andy was sent to another boys’ home, so that he could be with some of his family members, the sexual abuse continued, both by other boys and his housemaster. When the housemaster walked in on another boy forcing Andy to perform oral sex, the other boy said that Andy had been the instigator.

When he began to resist the housemaster’s abuse, he was sent back to the first boys’ home and named as a perpetrator of sexual abuse.

There was a new housemaster at the home. He told Andy ‘that from now on I will be his boy and when I am told to do something by him, not to disobey him’. The housemaster not only sexually abused Andy himself, he made Andy participate in sexual activities with other boys, including anal penetration of one younger boy.

Sometimes, the housemaster had an adult friend in the room, who participated in the sexual abuse.

Andy tried repeatedly to report the abuse to other staff members, but they just kept saying, ‘Stop lying. Doesn’t happen’. He was sent to see a psychologist and she, too, accused him of lying. In the early 2000s, a large number of men came forward to make complaints about the housemaster, but he died before he could be charged.

Andy finally had enough of the abuse he was experiencing at the hands of the housemaster and older boys, and when he was 13 he ‘walked outside and climbed up a power pole, to try and end my life’. This was not the first time Andy had made an attempt on his own life, and it wasn’t the last.

When he was 15, Andy was sent to hospital to address some of his health issues. There, he encountered one of his abusers. Once again, the older boy raped Andy and when Andy reported it, he was told, ‘Stop your fucking lying’. He ran out of the hospital and climbed a transmission pole. He was rescued after receiving a jolt of over 110,000 volts.

Andy told the Commissioner that, after years of not being believed, he ‘ended up becoming an abuser myself. I had sexual contact with a few boys … and each of these boys were 16. The legal age … [was] 17 … I spent time in prison for that and now I’m on the sex offenders register as well’.

Andy told the Commissioner that ‘up until last year, I was considering myself to be bisexual confused’, but after talking to his psychologist, ‘I accepted as being gay. Since [then], it’s been a lot easier for me’.

Andy still has bad dreams about his abuse. ‘I wake up in a cold sweat, or I might wake up … and think of ways of ending my life … not as often as what I used to, but I do have them thoughts on occasions … I have dreams of me, at times, standing there as an adult, watching me, the nine-year-old, being raped and that’s when I get … panic attack[s].’

At the end of his private session, Andy told the Commissioner, ‘At least now I can say … it is recognised that it is going on, not like when I was in care … “You’re lying … You’re a liar”’.

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