What is Power: Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church

Child Sexual Abuse & the Catholic Church: a discussion at the Byron Bay Writers Festival


Photo: Cath Piltz Chair Janet Steele, child abuse survivor John Saunders, journalists David Marr and Joanna McCarthy. Photo: Cath Piltz

In 1996 John Saunders – author of Sexual Abuse Survivor’s Handbook – walked into the local police station and reported he had been sexually abused as a child.

In the gruelling proceedings that followed, John’s sexual abuse claim was dismissed on the basis that Saunders was made to feel special by the perpetrator, therefore enjoyed the interactions, and therefore is not considered a victim of sexual abuse.

In an emotionally charged session at the Byron Bay Writers Festival, Saunders violated every aspect of the gag order placed on him by the Catholic Church after receiving insignificant compensation.

David Marr – journalist and author – revealed that American victims of abuse are compensated $1,000,000, by the Catholic Church, whereas Australian victims receive approximately $60,000. The difference in compensation is due to the fact…

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