Andi Lavery (Survivor; Fort Augustus Whistleblower)

May I say that I  fully back every one of my previous fellow speakers

Firstly know that today is another step in my own journey from my initial disclosure of my abuse back in winter of 2012. What I’m prepared to say is that I suffered the most horrendous abuse at a Catholic monastic school for number years. Due to my determination that no child should suffer as I did, that abuse and of many others is only now bring taken to task. At every single Benedictine school in this country, and in many others, there was abuse of children.

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Due to them relocating staff to other countries, Australia, Europe, Canada, USA, I was asked last June to testify to the Australian Royal Commission on Abuse; given relocation of staff there and harm they caused subsequently. The authorities, police etc were never told, and the abuse went on, the cover up went in. My inquiry experience in Australia is opposite to this here in the United Kingdom; it is akin to the light and the dark side.

Australia’s Inquiry is: One of Support. Advocacy. Disclosure. Aftercare

Whilst in the UK I appreciate Theresa May for setting the inquiry up, however it has been an unmitigated disaster; so far it seems like the inquiry was written on the back of a fag packet

The denial of accountability, confusion, basic needs inquiry not even met, and a panel member threatened me for saying so on TV

• No apology over and nil duty of care from said inquiry, doesn’t that worth anyone? He specifically went to attack me calling for justice

• My distress due to this was very real, but for family & friends I wouldn’t be here today

• Why?  Well besides the panel member, I additionally have at least one convicted PAEDOPHILE also regularly threatening myself & my family

Another panel member says Islington abuse was alleged !

Why should we be let down as adults too?

Who thinks any of this is acceptable?

To me there is implicit denial over child abuse in this country across much of our society

The behaviour of members of the current panel has been abhorrent and for anyone of conscience it is wholly unacceptable, or is this a Britain that just shrugs shoulders accepts our lot, abused as kids, isolated as adults and years of loss and now just accept this horrendous current situation? For over 18 months I’ve pressed the SCOTS government on action, now they have promised to back our ideas and sanctioned an inquiry. They treated me with dignity.

  • Inquisitional inquiry
  • Seeks accountability and justice
  • Real 1:2:1 Care for those harmed and full redress
  • That we make dam sure we better protect our children

In Ireland since March of last year they have a survivor care agency: Cancura in a wee country of 4 million, looking after 18,000 survivors of abuse, via Catholic Church Barnardos and other usual suspects

Why can’t we do that here?

Therefore I say now, I will throw my heart and soul into making sure we get a truly just inquiry and one that works and that survivors are put first. I look at what I have in common with other survivors and where we need to get to, thus I say: Let’s do this right, me I’m tired of surviving, I only wish to live and thrive

We  get cars from Germany, TVs from Asia, ignore an excellent inquiry in Australia, while here we just seem to produce lots paedophiles & arms manufacturers

Lets demand justice through unity

Alex Wheatle an exceptionally gifted survivor recently said ‘the evidence lies in our memories’

History says, Don’t hope

On this side of the grave,

But then, once in a lifetime

The longed-for tidal wave

Of justice can rise up

And hope and history rhyme