Lloyd Michael's story

Lloyd was raised in a small town in northern New South Wales. His father was a devout Catholic and the family attended church each Sunday. The parish priest, Father Brian Moss, would often visit Lloyd’s home and stay the night.

‘He was a very outgoing person, when he got to stay at home he was always laughing and joking and pulling your pants down and all that sort of stuff.’

In the mid-1970s, at the age of 13, Lloyd became an altar boy. He would sometimes sleep over with other boys at the priest’s house. Lloyd was sexually abused by Father Moss many times, either in the church or presbytery.

Lloyd did not tell his parents at the time as he thought he would not be believed. ‘This bloke was actually one of Dad’s very good friends, so it was very hard to say anything once something happened.’ The abuse ceased after Lloyd’s father died suddenly and the family moved to a larger town.

The damage had been done. From then on Lloyd had trouble at school. ‘I rebelled later on, rebelled big time in myself … Couldn’t handle authority.’ He left school early as he found it hard to concentrate. Lloyd has since worked mostly in labouring jobs.

‘It turned me into such a loner and I still am. And I always was at school, after all that.’

Lloyd’s marriage has lasted, though he believes the abuse has had an impact on it as well. ‘One of the worse things is I never wanted children because of it. Because I can’t handle kids … We ended up having one child, but I don’t put myself in a room with kids. That’s just the impact it’s had on me.

‘Now I’ve got a granddaughter and I don’t want to go near her … It’s just mind over matter, it’s all bloody stupid stuff but you just do not feel comfortable.’

Lloyd has suffered with depression, anxiety, guilt and problems with intimacy. He has seen a counsellor on and off for several years and this has helped. After many years of abusing alcohol, Lloyd realised he needed to get his life together and is now sober.

A few years ago Lloyd reported the abuse to local police, who carried out an investigation. This included setting up a phone call between Lloyd and Moss, now in his 70s. ‘He apologised, but he said, “For whatever I’ve done, and I don’t know what I’ve done”. But he apologised.’ Lloyd then phoned again, but Moss refused to speak with him. Consequently, the police wouldn’t proceed. ‘They seemed to think there wasn’t enough evidence to carry on, because I had no third party on my side, to back me up.’

Lloyd has been considering approaching the Church with the assistance of a lawyer. Although compensation doesn’t interest him, he would like an apology and redress for counselling.

Lloyd wants to see uniform laws and codes of conduct so that adults in churches and schools can never be left unsupervised with a child.

‘There’s no reason for a Brother to take you into an office and have a closed door.’

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