6 ‘Losing My Religion’ - The Royal Commission

About This Episode

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (2013 – 2017) was established by the Commonwealth government to inquire into and report on responses by institutions (such as churches, schools, sporting groups and out-of-home care) to instances and allegations of child sexual abuse in Australia.

To be abused by someone who has authority over you causes unique impacts for men. A significant number of child sexual abuse survivors are abused outside the home by male authority figures working in trusted institutions, such as religious leaders, teachers or coaches. These figures were often role models. When survivors tried to disclose or report to authority figures they were often disbelieved, re-traumatised and sometimes re-abused. This abuse of power by perpetrators and institutions with authority has caused significant long-term harm, including fear, distrust, avoidance and sometimes hatred of authority that can lead to clashes with teachers, bosses and those in positions of power. This sets many men on a life course leading to denied opportunities, failure to achieve, and clashes with authority figures.

This episode shares some personal experiences of engagement with the Commission, as survivors spoke out to the community (often for the first time) about their abuse, their quest to be heard, and pursuit of justice and redress from the institution in which they were abused.

Featuring (in order of appearance):

Lindsay G, Journalist Philippa McDonald, Formal Royal Commissioner & SAMSN Patron Robert Fitzgerald AM, Professor Rita Shackel, Dr Judy Cashmore, Sheridan & Pete R.


Resources for Survivors:

Useful resources for survivors of male childhood sexual abuse can be found here.


Thanks to:

Ric Herbert and Pearl Herbert for our ad.



Licensed via Audiio.com

LINDSAY – Farewell (Instrumental)
AD / RIC HERBERT – Sebastian Kauderer: Two Big Reasons (Instrumental)
PHILIPPA – Centre of the Sea: Condolences (Instrumental)
PETE / FELICITY – Outland: Footprints (Instrumental)
PHILIPPA – Sebastian Kauderer: Saving Carl
CLOSING CREDITS – Seth Öphengon: A Safe Place (Instrumental)


For survivor stories, exclusive video content and inspiration, click below:

SAMSN acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live and work. We pay our respect to Past, Present and Future Elders.

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