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Clinton Paul's story

Clinton was brought up on a farm in regional Queensland in the early 1970s. As a baby he suffered a severe injury and the loss of a sibling, which was devastating. Clinton had a difficult relationship with his father and they fought frequently. He also didn’t get along with his older brother, Rick.

When Clinton was around five years old, Rick ‘encouraged’ him to perform oral sex. He believes his 12-year-old brother was aroused after finding some pornographic magazines. The abuse happened once, but afterwards, Clinton developed ‘self-destructive’ and ‘troublesome behaviour’.

At primary school in the mid-80s he got a new teacher, Scott Wilson, who was well respected in the community. After realising Clinton was troubled, Wilson took an interest in him.

Clinton said Wilson became his ‘best mate’, and he felt that he could talk to him about anything. Wilson would frequently turn their conversations to sex, then abuse him, sometimes more than once a day. Clinton didn’t tell anyone because he believed, ‘you don’t dob on your best friends’. The sexual abuse continued for two years, slowing down when Clinton went into Grade 7.

After his relationship with his father deteriorated further, Clinton’s mother suggested that he go to a Catholic boarding school. His misbehaviour continued at the boarding school and drew the attention of Sidney Geralds, a minister who looked after the Anglican students. ‘He took a special shining to me’, Clinton said.

One night, driving back from an outing, Geralds pulled his car into a secluded spot. He showed Clinton pornographic videos on a battery-operated TV, gave him alcohol and tried to get him to engage in mutual masturbation.

On another occasion Geralds again gave Clinton alcohol and questioned him about his sexuality. Clinton made it clear he ‘wasn’t homosexual’, and believes this stopped the man from going any further.

As an adult Clinton was diagnosed with low self-esteem, anxiety, major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. He damaged his health with alcohol and cannabis, and self-destructive behaviour meant he ‘smashed up’ most of the vehicles he owned. As a result, he’s ended up in hospital numerous times.

In the late 90s Scott Wilson was charged with sexual offences against other boys. When Clinton confronted him during his trial, he was shocked at Wilson’s reaction.

‘He had no idea that he was doing the wrong thing. He thought he was being your best friend and helping you. He could not see an error in what he was doing.’

Clinton believes his education was stolen and holds the primary school responsible for what has happened in his life. He is currently considering taking civil action against the Queensland Department of Education and the Catholic and Anglican Churches. Clinton is also seeing a counsellor, which is helping him heal.

‘It took me almost 30 years to realise it wasn’t me that was the problem. Making that discovery was very important … Now I understand it was them that was the problem.’

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