‘I’ve had this inside me for 60 years and I have been, I think, seriously affected by what has happened to me, and I wasn’t game, able or willing to tell anybody about it because of the shame and the dirt and the filth.’
In the early 1950s, at age 12, Trev took a job as a caddy at his local golf club. He was excited at the prospect of making some money and happy to be out of the house. His mother had died many years before, and his father was often away with work so Trev spent a lot of time with his ‘evil stepmother’ who beat him and treated him cruelly.
At first, the job seemed even better than Trev had hoped. A man named Hogan took an interest in him and enlisted him as his regular caddy. After a few sessions Hogan doubled Trev’s pay and bought him an expensive watch, a new bike and other presents.
‘I didn’t understand what grooming was when I was 13 or 14. I just thought it was fabulous that I was being paid 10 shillings a round when other kids were getting paid five shillings.’
Before long the grooming escalated to sexual abuse and over the next few years Trev was raped by Mr Hogan multiple times. ‘Caddying for him in the morning and having sex in the afternoon was the norm.’
Trev felt too ashamed and embarrassed to tell anyone what Hogan was doing. In any event, there was no one to tell – Trev didn’t have any close friends. He was very close with his siblings but by this stage his older sister had moved away and he didn’t want to burden the younger ones with his troubles.
Years passed and the assaults continued until, at 16, Trev finally felt strong enough to stand up to Mr Hogan.
‘I just felt that I’d had enough of that stuff and I need to stop that part of my life. And I was then six foot something and playing football and mucking around as normal boys should, and I didn’t need that in my life, so I broke the tie. And I stopped that pain too. Because you have no idea how much it hurts.’
Trev was free from his abuser but not from the impact of the abuse. It crippled his mental health. ‘I’ve had long-term psychiatric help over the last 40 years and many admittances to psychiatric hospitals. I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD and severe depression and I’ve been on medication for a very long time.’
Trev fears conflict, finds it difficult to trust people and hasn’t been in an intimate relationship with a woman for many years. He also suffers ongoing physical problems as a direct consequence of the abuse.
A few years ago Trev decided to report Hogan to police. They responded with compassion and professionalism but had only disappointing news to offer: Hogan was now dead and so there was nothing they could do.
Trev then turned his attention elsewhere. He had no wish to approach the golf club, believing that they were completely ignorant of Hogan’s activities and hence blameless. But Hogan had been a prominent member of another social club at the time, and Trev suspected that many members of this club knew that he was assaulting boys and yet never intervened.
His suspicions were confirmed in the crudest terms one afternoon when he ran into the club’s president. Trev told the man that he used to caddy for Hogan. In front of Trev’s friends the man responded, ‘Oh, were you one of Hogan’s bum boys?’
That president has since died. Recently Trev wrote a letter to the current president who replied that he didn’t believe the club would have elevated Mr Hogan to his position ‘if he had had a reputation for paedophilia’.
Since then Trev has been battling to keep his spirits up in the face of such willful ignorance. To cope, he immerses himself in his writing projects and draws strength from the loving, supportive relationship he has with his son.
He was relieved to get his chance to talk to the Royal Commission. ‘It’s a cleansing of the soul – being able to open up and tell someone about what happened. It’s that simple.’