Loyd's story

Loyd had a tough childhood growing up in Queensland. His father walked out on the family when he was young, leaving his mother to care for him and his siblings. For reasons he never understood, Loyd was sent to live with Christian foster parents who had several biological children of their own. This was in the early 1980s, before he had hit his teens.

‘I didn’t go to school. They didn’t send me to school or nothing. I stayed there for about four years. Then I was back to Mum.’

While he was living with his mother in his mid-teens, Loyd was picked up by the authorities and sent to a youth correctional facility. He doesn’t have a strong recollection of why he was sent there, but suspects it may have been for stealing. He was not sexually abused in this institution, but the environment was not a happy one, and the officers were ‘very nasty people’.

Loyd was then sent to a state-run reformatory farm for boys. He was never told why he was sent there and his mother was not informed of this. Upon arriving, Loyd was set upon by a handful of residents who sexually assaulted him, and some days later was sexually abused by a staff member. He never knew the names of his attackers. He does not know whether other staff members knew that abuse of this nature was occurring, or whether ‘they just couldn’t do much about it’.

The abuse continued for approximately one month and Loyd never reported it. He tried to escape ‘a couple of times’ but was not successful.

After the reformatory farm, Loyd was sent to an adult prison, again without being given a reason. He was very small at the time, so there should not have been any confusion that he was under 18.

‘I shouldn’t’ve even been in there. That’s what Mum said “Shouldn’t even be here”.’

Soon after his arrival in the prison, he was abused by a supervising staff member and accosted by four inmates who raped him.

When Loyd was released from prison, he tried to bury the past and forget about what had happened to him. He turned to drugs and alcohol to try and cope because he was ‘sick of the memories … It just comes up’. He attempted suicide at one stage by overdosing on heroin. These days he smokes marijuana ‘a little bit but not as much as I used to’ and doesn’t drink at all. ‘I don’t drink no more. Haven’t drunk for a few years now ‘cause that’s one of the problems. ‘Cause if I do drink something real bad happens. I choose not to drink.’

As an adult, Loyd moved around a lot. He had two children with the same partner, but prefers to be alone. ‘I just do my own stuff.’ Currently he lives on a rural property and only visits town when necessary. Because of his lack of education he has struggled his whole life to find suitable employment. He has had complications with his back and bowels ever since he was raped in prison but has not sought medical attention for it. ‘I never told any doctors or anything.’

The Commissioner was the first person Loyd ever told about the abuse. He didn’t tell his mother, who has since died, and has never reported it to the police. ‘I haven’t told anyone about anything … I wasn’t gonna ever bring it up again.’

Loyd recently discovered that a friend was also abused at the reformatory and received compensation relating to it. ‘My mate, he’s been in the same situation, and he was telling me about it … I didn’t tell him about me but. He got big compensation for it. That’s when I started to think “I’ve been there, yeah”.’

Loyd has not sought compensation, although he may consider doing so in the future.

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