We stand in solidarity with survivors and the truth: a response to the Pell case

As we begin to digest the news that a Justice system has carried out a process, and handed down a decision that many of us may find the very hard to reconcile, the narratives of abuse in institutional settings, and beyond, will be sitting heavy with many survivors today.

We believe those who have experienced abuse at the hands of perpetrators. We accept the narratives of trauma and sexual abuse that people have the courage to share, to grow through and the bravery in finding their voice.

Whether through the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the #Me Too campaign or any other powerful truth exposing environments in recent years, the experiences and courage of survivors is beyond anything that those who have not suffered abuse can possibly imagine.

Today as Cardinal Pell walks free, following the High Court decision to overturn his conviction, we are left with the heaviest of feelings.

We can simply must focus on accepting the truth of the survivors, In order to do so, finding acceptance that a person who abuses another is responsible for their actions and the abuse is coming from their own suffering: The perpetrator is behaving that way because of their own misery and in doing so inflicting harm onto another. It is never the responsibility of the survivor.

Avoiding choosing to be lost in the conspiracy, and inevitability, that may seem so present in the High Court decision, but acknowledging the questions of reality seem important:

How could a person with such authority, in such an institution, ever be found guilty when the sun goes down?

In a society of social injustice and patriarchal doctrine, when the highest court came to review the decision against someone in equally high echelons of society, the outcome was inevitable - perhaps?

Today we stand in solidarity with survivors. Instead of engaging in the legitimate rage, fear and overwhelm about justice or injustice, the potential wrongs of any patriarchal legal process, today we stand with those who have and continue to face abuse as a child or as an adult and say we accept your truth as the whole truth.

We stand in solidarity and love with survivors and the truth