For nearly four decades, Kevin believed his mother had died giving birth to him in the 1940s and that this was why, at a young age, he was sent to a Christian Brothers boys’ home in regional Victoria.
At the home, Kevin was sexually abused.
‘From the age of 12, I got molested by Brother Lawrence three times a week for two years. I’m pretty sure other Brothers knew what was going on, because they seemed to facilitate his access to me.’
When a senior Brother directly asked Kevin if Lawrence was molesting him, he confirmed that he was. Not long after, Lawrence was ‘moved on’.
At 15 Kevin was placed in foster care. He was sent to live with foster parents and their 23-year-old son, Stanley. Kevin believes the foster care arrangement was informal and unknown to the Victorian Social Welfare Department.
‘I shared a bedroom with Stanley and he sexually abused me the whole time I was there. In three years no one came to check on my welfare. When I left, I didn’t even know where my family was.’
In the 1990s Kevin lodged a complaint about Lawrence with the police.
‘There were four other victims involved in a criminal prosecution against Lawrence, but he was found not guilty on all charges. Back in those days there was no DNA, there was nothing to prove that it happened. I can prove what happened. I have pain all the time and I can’t go to the toilet properly.’
Kevin told the Commissioner about feeling ‘incomplete’ on his wedding night.
‘The system sent me to a paedophile, and by the time I left the orphanage, I didn’t know what I was. Who gave them the right to take my innocence, to take my virginity? That was something I was given by God. I get married and my wife’s a virgin, and here I am I’ve been raped by dogs.
'I couldn’t perform, the abuse was always in the back of my head.’
Nearly three decades later, Kevin discovered his mother was alive, and had been living just 20 kilometres from his foster home, with his brothers and sisters.
Kevin went to Towards Healing and to the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal, ultimately receiving $75,000 in compensation. He said antidepressants are helping him to cope with life and what he perceives as past regrets.
‘I have [children] and I don’t know if I’ve been a good father to them. I haven’t been able to do things with my children that I would like to have. People always ask me why I didn’t run away. I did. I’d get to the front gate and stop because I had nowhere to go.
'My wife and I have been married for more than 40 years, very happily. My music’s also helped me get through and I still have my church. You go outside and look up and you’ll see the beauty in my church. Mine’s built by the old man himself.’