In the mid 1970s, Joss was born into a small family living in regional Queensland. When he was two years old, his mother enrolled Joss and his siblings into a local day care centre. The centre was run by a couple, Joss recalled, who were often strict.
Joss was three years old when he was sexually abused by the man who ran the day care centre. He remembers being led to the shed, just behind the building, where he was forced to perform oral sex. He didn’t understand what was happening.
The man brought him back inside the building in time for the beginning of lessons. However, Joss soiled himself. He recalls being beaten by the woman who ran the centre as punishment. He was mortified and in pain from the flogging.
‘She knew, she was part of it.’
One year later, to the best of his ability, Joss told his mother about the abuse. He hoped that she would take him out of the day care centre because he disliked seeing the man every day. His mother told him that he deserved the abuse and she did nothing to help him.
Joss said he went through his childhood, teenage and adult years as an angry person. He has a tendency to push people away when they get too close. He doesn’t trust people in authority and has had difficulty maintaining relationships. He also takes part in risk-taking behaviours.
When he was 20, Joss moved out of home and has been estranged from his parents ever since. He also has spent time on the streets and has been in trouble with the law.
It wasn’t until his early 30s that Joss reported the abuse. He went to the local police station and made his statement, but he was shocked that the officers were rude and dismissive. They never contacted him or followed up his case. To this day, Joss does not know the name of his perpetrator.
He has been in and out of employment for many years but he has a great relationship with his counsellor and the local church and is eternally grateful for the support he has received from his pastor.