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Jonathan Tim's story

Jonathan’s parents divorced when he was a toddler in the early 1990s and his childhood was not a happy one. His mother and grandparents moved around a lot so he went to several different schools in Queensland. Any school friendships he made were short-lived. He was a bit of a loner and remembers being bullied and picked on.

From the age of six or seven, Jonathan was sexually abused by older children in two different schools. He reported the incident but wasn’t believed. When it happened again, he was about 10, and his parents got involved. This time he was believed but the two older boys were given very light punishments, along the lines of picking up rubbish and writing out lines.

Jonathan can’t remember if he got any kind of support after the sexual abuse, but he does remember hearing comments like ‘Kids being kids … Kids play doctors and nurses … There’s nothing to it’.

When Jonathan was almost a teenager, he was sexually abused on a school or church camp. His memory is hazy, so he can’t recall any names; only that the abuser was an adult carer. Even though this was the most serious abuse he had experienced, because of his prior experience of disclosure, Jonathan did not bother to tell anyone. ‘I believed, "Well, what’s the point if no one’s going to get reprimanded?"’

Jonathan was expelled after he had sex on a school trip. He then went to TAFE and did various certificates.

For a long time afterwards, he couldn’t watch any kind of male sex scene on TV. ‘It was the fact that a male was involved in an intimate scene, just disturbed me.’

Then when he became sexually active he watched only lesbian pornography ‘to simply stay away from any male appendage ... I was petrified’.

He saw psychologists throughout his childhood and early teens. Adolescence was a traumatic time for him. Jonathan and his mother just tolerated each other so he’d moved in with his grandparents for which he is still grateful.

Jonathan thinks the sexual abuse also led to him becoming over analytical – reading things into situations and trying to predict any potential dangers. ‘I can be clingy in relationships, not wanting to lose that love and support network.’

He’s currently in prison for committing a child sex offence, a charge he denies. The psychologist assessing him before he was sentenced told Jonathan that the child sexual abuse he suffered led to his offending as an adult. Jonathan does not believe this theory at all.

‘I believe it’s actually quite the opposite. I know the effects of what this can do. I didn’t commit the crime I’ve been accused of. One, that’s not who I am and two, I know the recourse it can have.’

Jonathan came to the Commission because he’s concerned that other children will feel the way he did and not bother to report sexual abuse.

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