News

Historic sexual assault victim: we must be fully compensated

A VICTIM of historic sexual crimes believes there should be full compensation for those who have suffered at the predatory hands of another person, long after the trauma happens.

The 44-year-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was a child victim of Noel Gough, who was jailed last week after pleading guilty to counts of indecent treatment and sodomy.

The gifted sportsman - an undefeated barefoot water skiing champion in the 80s - had his world turned upside down when he was 13, after befriending the now 63-year-old convicted sex offender at the bowling alley where Gough worked.

"Mum should have been able to drop me off at a family bowling alley, knowing I'd be safe," he said.

But these seemingly innocent trips cost him, and his friend, their childhoods.

Gough used his position of trust to take advantage of the boys by performing sex acts on them including anal and oral sex, which left this particular victim injured for days.

"I was brainwashed and believed he was my friend and everything he was doing was right," he said.

"He was our great friend, he'd take us fishing, give gifts of money and gem stones.

"I turned up at his doorstep like a proud school boy only to be re-assaulted all the time."

Thirty years on and the pain is still clearly very raw.

"There is no compensation whatsoever," the victim said.

"It took me years before I could tell my family and come forward with this."

He said because it was a historical crime, the amount of monetary compensation was minimal.

"I'd like to make a point that while the rest of the world carries on, there are victims here waiting for full assistance," he said.

"It should be a hand out to make you feel comforted inside and move on with your life and pay for the counselling you need later in life."

The victim said he has never been able to hold down a job, still lives at home with his mother, struggled with drug addiction and is now a Type 1 diabetic.

"(Monetary compensation) is only comfort - it's a thing that's going to make you feel like it's all worth something," he said.

Sexual assault service Phoenix House director Kathy Prentice said there should be changes to the law to allow victims of historic sex abuse to receive compensation.

"I know the oldest person we have had access our service was in their 70s, and they hadn't reported it or spoken to anyone about it for 60 years," she said.

"Obviously it's taken them that amount of time to come forward because of the psychological trauma.

Topics:  court, crime, sexual assault



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