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Kimble's story

Kimble was first sexually abused as a boy in the early 70s after his foster parents put him in a children’s home.

‘I thought that was my punishment for taking money out of Mum’s purse; it was “Go and live here for a little while”. You know, “Be abused there and you can come home and learn your lesson and be a good boy”.’

At the home in Sydney’s west, Kimble was sexually abused by at least six men. They’d come into his room at night, touch his genitals and try to kiss him.

‘A few times there were two or three of them in the room.’

‘If I didn’t make my bed properly there, they’d molest me, they’d pull my pants down and do horrible things to me.’

Kimble remembers hearing a younger boy in another room crying out and knew he was being abused, too.

The abuse also made Kimble a target for residents at the home. ‘The other boys would bash us, call us “poofters” and things like that.’

‘I think they knew what was going on but it was a taboo subject. We weren’t supposed to talk about our own abuse.’

Kimble said he was running away two or three times a week, but his foster parents would always take him back to the home.

‘I told them what was happening and I don’t think they understood what I was trying to say to them. I didn’t really understand what was happening at the time, either.’

‘It was like that for a few years.’

As he got older Kimble started getting violent towards the staff. When he explained the reason for his behaviour and reported the sexual abuse he was dismissed with, ‘Oh, that doesn’t happen here’.

Even after Kimble got out of the children’s home, nothing changed. When he was put into another home in the Blue Mountains, he was sexually abused by two men and a woman.

And when he was expelled from high school and got a job at a nearby sports centre, Kimble was abused by the man in charge. Again he reported it to several people, and again he wasn’t believed.

Kimble said he just kept thinking, ‘Well, this is normal. This is how life is’.

As he remembered the past 40 years, Kimble told the Commissioner the abuse had ‘devastated’ his life.

‘Sometimes it’s not too bad, other times I still wake up screaming in the middle of the night from what they’ve done to me. The flashbacks are horrendous.’

The abuse also destroyed his trust in authority, and Kimble has been in and out of prison all his life.

‘Maybe if someone believed me back then, things might have been a little bit different.’

But he’s not making excuses. ‘To break the law was my choice, no one held a gun to my head.’

His personal relationships have been severely impacted, too. ‘There’s no trust with my partners, I can’t trust anybody.’

‘I think everyone’s out to hurt me. If not physically, mentally.’

After finally speaking about the abuse in his late 40s Kimble received professional help. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder and oppositional defiance disorder.

And before he passed away, Kimble’s foster father apologised for not believing him. His foster mother now believes him too, but she refuses to talk about it.

‘Being believed is the biggest part for me,’ Kimble said.

Kimble has never sought compensation or reported the abuse to police. He now talks about what happened to him as a child, in the hope it might help other survivors in prison. And he was grateful for his chance to speak to the Royal Commission.

‘It’s been wonderful being able to tell my story, actually. It’s lifted a burden off my shoulders.’

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