Brayden's story

Brayden was taken from his parents when he was three, due to violence in the home, and was made a ward of the state in Western Australia.

In the early 2000s, at the age of 10, he went to live in a hostel for Aboriginal boys, staying there for a few years. There were ‘a couple of other boys with us, about six or eight. A lot of us were young, but there was probably about two older boys … probably about 15, 16’.

‘We had our own rooms … but two of us would share rooms, and me and my roommate were laying in our room in the morning one day and one of the older boys come in … and laid on my bed and I was laying in my bed at the time and yeah, just laid next to me and took my pants off and touched me and stuff like that.’

The older boy, ‘told me not to say anything otherwise he was gonna bash me … I was only like 11, I think’. Brayden thinks that if he had gone to one of the staff members and reported what had happened, ‘they probably woulda just said, “Yeah, whatever” … The staff … we weren’t very supervised at all. It was just … more or less fend for ourselves’.

There was a school attached to the hostel, and one day Brayden was in a bad mood and ‘one of the teachers asked me what was wrong, and I told one of the teachers, ‘cause I was pretty close with one of the teachers there … The teacher told the staff and … I went to court over it’.

‘As soon as I told the teacher, the teacher didn’t think I was lying or anything … just automatically done something about it, you know.’

Brayden talked to one of the other boys at the home, who had also been abused by the older boy. Before reporting the abuse to his teacher, he ‘asked him to come and do it with me, but he was too scared’.

Brayden doesn’t remember giving a statement to the police. He just remembers going to the court, where he ‘sat down with some people and told ‘em what happened and after that … I didn’t hear anything … [but] after we went to court, the boy was removed from the house’.

The impact of the abuse on Brayden was ‘pretty bad. I never had … people my age, you know. Always hung round older people. Got on drugs. Run away from foster care. I never trusted anyone since, you know’.

When Brayden turned 18 and was sent to adult prison for the first time, ‘the boy that done it to me, I seen him in the prison and I just got memories back from what happened’. He didn’t confront his abuser at the time. Later he learned that when the man was released from jail, he died in a car accident. ‘He done all this stuff to me and now nothing’s happening to him. He’s gone. He’s getting away with it, you know.’

Brayden has tried counselling but ‘just talking to people about it, made me angry. Just having to think back to when it happened again, you know. I tried all these years to forget about it … been through a lot of stuff … drugs and stuff, to try and forget about it’.

When he was younger Brayden attended a family counselling program for a couple of months, but ‘people telling me to do stuff, to forget things that I tried over and over again, just made things worse’.

While he has been in jail, Brayden has done ‘a couple of volunteer courses … anger management and drug courses’ which have helped him control his anger. His schooling suffered, because he attended so many different schools while he was in care, so he has also ‘done a lot of stuff in prison, like schooling and stuff … I can read and write, that’s the main thing’.

The main reason that Brayden came forward to the Royal Commission ‘is ‘cause I’ve got a son now and he’s in care at the moment … So I just want … I don’t want him going through the same things I went through’. He hopes that this time, when he is released from jail he will be able to stay out of trouble, ‘because I’ve got my boy to think about’.

Brayden told the Commissioner that he is ‘just hoping there’s some people out there that can listen to young people, before things are too late … Just for kids to have more people to talk to. Someone to listen to ‘em’.

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