My name is Campbell Porter and I was abused by Paul Symonds from the age of 12. The abuse and conditioning was so complete and so insidious that it was not until 2009 that I reported this to the Jesuits. His ‘holy grail’ of self-gratification was not genital or sexual – it was to do with feet. How does a 12 or even a 16 year old defend themselves against that? I was ignorant about sex in general; paedophilia and accompanying paraphilia – that’s just another planet too far for a pre-adolescent.
From when I reported the case, and throughout the investigation and legal process, I have seen documents, letters and statements, but none of these can I share. Jurisdiction, contempt of court, changes in legislation, legal aid, statutes of limitation, have all influenced the proper process of justice. Police statements from my Headmaster and also my Year Master (and Symonds’s direct supervisor) and then letters between Symonds and the Jesuit Provincial and even his ordination references. And do you really think that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is going to make a 50 grand payment based on a whim?
But all that aside, I know (and more importantly – he knows) that he abused me, and profoundly affected my life, negatively, through his behaviour. That’s his problem.
Today, in the course of my business, I attend people who have suffered terrible abuse, and I share the pain with my clients. I am very effective because I can understand from an experiential standpoint what’s going on. (I’ve been there!) I also work successfully with addicts (substance abuse is known to be a favourite of abuse victims). And, after all, Paul Symonds introduced me (at 13 years) to alcohol as a way to ‘having his way’.
From when I reported this abuse in 2009 – seven years ago – I have devoted all my energy and done everything required (and it has been really unpleasant) raking over my past, being investigated and used by the lawyers, systems and authorities. But, today, it is over. I did as much as I could to bring about the truth and justice, that this deserved, and although I did not get proper justice myself, the clients I attend get the benefit from the experience. If you have been abused, you need to really think very carefully about what you’re going to do about it. Call me!
This blog, and our community, is not anarchy, the people you have elected (within the Church) have made a pronouncement that has to be respected. I have shared in your community. I was there in ’95; I went to the homes of Symonds’s parishioners – I personally saw and experienced his personal disregard. It’s your problem.
I would be delighted to engage publicly or through private means with anyone who so wishes.
Campbell Porter Duncan
Telephone: +(56-9) 6428 0100