Simeon's story

‘I’ve pretty much been afraid of most males my whole life ever since … ‘cause the things didn’t just happen to me once. It happened to me multiple times.’

Simeon grew up in South Australia in the 1990s. From the age of two months he was fostered, as his mother was too unwell to look after him. Simeon stayed with the same foster family throughout his life. His foster parents were good to him.

In primary school, Simeon was ‘misbehaving’ so was sent to a specialist school. Families SA arranged for a taxi to take him to and from this school. Simeon was sexually assaulted by the taxi driver on a number of occasions.

Simeon told his foster mother, who made a complaint to Families SA. Nothing happened and Simeon kept getting picked up and dropped off by the same taxi driver.

At some stage Simeon stopped going to this school and that’s how he escaped the abuser. Over the years Families SA sent ‘multiple’ counsellors but none of them asked him about the taxi driver.

A few years later, when Simeon was 13 or 14 years old, his foster brother, Geoff – by then an adult – would come home drunk several times a week. He used to come into Simeon’s bedroom and sexually abuse him. This happened several times.

‘I didn’t even report to anyone because I was too scared to leave my foster family at the time.’

Simeon’s foster parents divorced when he was five. He stayed with his foster mother. ‘So pretty much all my life I didn’t really have a big father figure. And then this happens with my foster brother and I’ve pretty much been terrified of him even ‘til today.’

He didn’t know sexual abuse was common and felt very alone at the time. He became very afraid of men. ‘I didn’t really have much of a social life because I was too scared even to go into Adelaide by myself. I had hardly any friends growing up.’

Simeon ‘stuffed up a few times law-wise’ and is currently in prison. This is frightening as he is so wary of men. He is in protection, which he says is working. He has never reported the abuse to police, sought compensation or been to counselling.

The first time Simeon disclosed the sexual abuse by his foster brother was to the Royal Commission. ‘I feel like I’ve let a lot come off. I feel like I’ve lost a lot of weight from saying it.’ He has also told his foster mother. Over the years the family has lost contact with Geoff.

Simeon sometimes gets anxious and has flashbacks of the abuse. He’s not sure what has sustained him. Perhaps his family, who are still supportive. He also has a four-year-old son on the outside and is in contact with his son’s mother. ‘When I get out, whenever I get that chance, I want to … relax and sit with him.’

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