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Corey's story

Corey’s early years with foster carers Susan North and Gerry Fletcher were ‘not fantastic’, but things were okay. He had been placed with the couple as an infant in the early 1990s, as his parents could not look after him.

Corey has a disability which means he has used a wheelchair for all of his life. When he was 13 years old, North and Fletcher began to physically and emotionally abuse him. They would hit and kick him almost every day, and subject him to verbal abuse.

It was impossible for Corey to escape the abuse, as his disability meant he could not move out of the way. Neither North nor Fletcher worked, so they were always at home and hard to avoid. Fletcher would also physically abuse North, and she would do whatever he told her to.

When Corey was 14 years old, Fletcher ordered North to sexually abuse Corey. ‘My foster mother had sexual intercourse with me, while my foster father masturbated.’

They did not make Corey wear a condom, and he believes the intention was that North would fall pregnant. North conceived a son by Corey, and he thinks she may still have custody of this child.

Corey told the Royal Commission that he first reported the physical and emotional abuse to his social worker from the state’s disability services department when he was 13. These reports are recorded on his file. However, no action was taken to remove him from their care.

He also told his social worker about the sexual abuse shortly after it happened. Again this was recorded on his file, but nothing happened to prevent further abuse.

Corey continued to make reports about Fletcher and North until he left the home, but these were never acted upon. He is thinking about getting legal advice and assistance regarding compensation, as the department did not ensure his safety.

Corey spoke to police about what North and Fletcher did to him, and believes that charges will be laid against them. The police officers he dealt with were understanding, and he felt comfortable speaking to them about the abuse.

When Corey was 18 he met a man called Jack on the internet, and Jack took him to live interstate. They still live together, and Jack looks after him. Fletcher and North tried to lure Corey back home after he moved away.

Jack helps Corey deal with the nightmares and flashbacks he has about the abuse. Corey has felt scared all through his life, and now sees a psychologist who helps him feel safer.

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