‘When I look back at things now, I can see all these little footprints that [Frazer] made to set it up.’
Louie was born into a small family living in a regional South Australian town in the 1960s. His mother stayed at home to support the children and his father regularly travelled overseas for business.
When he was seven years old, Louie and his school friends joined the local scouts club. He enjoyed the activities and had a great relationship with his scout leader, Murray Frazer, who was also a family friend. Louie looked up to Frazer as a male figure who often defended him when other boys teased him.
On one occasion at a scout camp when Louie was 10 years old, he wet his sleeping bag. He went to Frazer and told him what had happened. They went to Frazer’s office to clean up. Frazer then washed Louie down, which made him feel very uncomfortable. Louie explained that that was the first time he felt awkward around Frazer. Frazer gave him a pair of pants to wear and then left the room.
When Louie was 12, he and his scout friends were on another camp, where they all slept in the great hall. Louie was being disruptive and got into trouble with Frazer, who forced him to sleep with him in the office as punishment. Later on that night, Louie woke up with an erection and felt Frazer’s hands touching his genitals.
‘I just closed my eyes and made out that it wasn’t happening.’
Louie felt ‘creeped out’ and confused by the situation. He wasn’t sure if it was a dream or had really happened. He also felt incredibly guilty and didn’t tell anyone about Frazer’s behaviour.
Shortly after the abuse occurred, Louie’s father passed away. He said it was devastating for the family, especially for his mother. As Frazer was close with the family, he took the next step and wanted to be there to support Louie’s mother. Louie recalls Frazer helping out around the house, transporting Louie and his siblings to and from school and scouts.
‘He was always around, he had no problem coming into the bathroom if you were in there. He was part of the furniture.’
Louie couldn’t disclose the abuse to anyone, least of all his mother. He said he didn’t want to spoil his mother’s friendship with Frazer. Louie was sexually abused two more times in the family home.
In the mid-1970s when Louie was 13, his family relocated to another state. He recalls his mother asking Louie and his siblings whether they wanted to attend scouts in their new town and he said no. He didn’t want to have anything to do with scouts again.
During his teens and adulthood, Louie abused alcohol. In his mid-20s he moved onto drugs and was addicted to heroin for several years. He described himself as ‘manipulative’ and found it hard to maintain friendships and intimate relationships.
In the mid-1990s Louie began drug rehabilitation, which has helped with his addiction. He said his children have saved him from going down a bad road. He sought out counselling and cared for his children after their mother left the family.
‘I stood up to the plate to become a parent. I was a [sport] coach for the kids. I did as much as I could and I tried to be everything my father wasn’t to me.’
In the late 2000s, Frazer contacted Louie, saying that he ‘might hear some bad things’ about him. Frazer also turned up at his house several months later. Louie believes Frazer was ‘scoping’ to see if he would report him to the police and he later learned that Frazer was charged with several child sexual abuse offences.
It wasn’t until recent years that Louie was able to disclose the details of his abuse for the first time to his counsellor. Louie then told his mother and close friend Janet. He recalls his mother bursting into tears and saying she felt guilty for not protecting him.
He had every intention to report Frazer to the police but discovered that he had died. He hasn’t engaged in civil action against Scouts Australia but would like to. He would also like to see programs in schools to educate children about child sexual abuse.
He said it is important to maintain a high degree of publicity on child sexual abuse. He wants children to know that it’s okay to disclose to others and ‘it’s not their fault’.