Royal commission into child abuse: Victim 'living a nightmare' after sexual abuse by Christian Brothers

A man has described being "consumed by guilt and shame" as a result of savage abuse he suffered at church-run institutions north-east of Perth.

The man, known only as VV, was giving evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sex Abuse in Perth on Tuesday.

He described being molested by his school's priest as the man comforted him following a brutal sexual assault by one of the Christian Brothers.

"When I look back on my life I'm consumed by guilt and shame and a sense of betrayal, denial and abandonment," he said.

"I have an overwhelming sense of helplessness, hopelessness and my inability to change my past and of complete desperation, knowing that my future would always be tainted by the past.

"I'm tired and weary from always wearing a mask, of portraying a false sense to the outside world, of bearing this guilt and shame regarding my past while living a nightmare of inner turmoil every single day of my life".

VV told the commission he was attacked while out on a tractor with one of the Brothers within weeks of arriving at the Bindoon school north-east of Perth.

He said the man sexually assaulted him, then dumped him in a water drum and said "clean yourself up boy".

"It was terrifying, I was consumed with fear," the abuse survivor said.

Walking back to the institution, VV came across a Father Williams, who took him back to his room and put cream on cuts and abrasions he sustained in the attack, but then the man began to fondle him.

He said the physical and sexual abuse continued over many years, and was perpetrated by more than a dozen people including older boys, Brothers and priests, and a regular visitor to the school who took boys on "picnics".

Another abuse survivor, known as VG, described in graphic detail the brutal sexual assaults he endured and witnessed, including one so horrific he was hospitalised for six weeks.

He said he often saw boys' beds soiled with blood and the boys themselves could barely walk or talk.

VG, who had come to Western Australia as a child migrant from Malta, told of the night a man known as Brother Simon came for him.

"I had always feared this. He came to my bed and said, 'Get up and come with me,'" he said.

"After I got into his room he started pulling my pyjamas down, exposing my buttocks.

"He pressed me down on him and I felt an agonising pain on my backside, and I realised it wasn't just his fingers that he was hurting me with. I somehow managed to get free and a got hold of a chair and hit him."

VG was strapped on the head and lost consciousness. He spent six weeks in hospital. When he returned to Tardun, he told a priest what had happened during confession.

Afterwards he was taken to an office and beaten by Brother Simon with a leather strap. Another Christian Brother told him he had a "dirty mind".

"I felt isolated and desperate. It seemed suicide was the only option," he said.

Victims call for adequate compensation

Clifford Walsh, another abuse survivor who gave evidence at the commission, called on the Catholic Church to pay compensation to victims.

Outside the hearing, Mr Walsh told reporters the conditions at the school in Bindoon, north-east of Perth, were horrendous.

"The way we were treated at Bindoon was horrific, and the Christian Brothers and the Catholic Church should be brought to task for allowing it to happen," he said.

Earlier, in his evidence to the inquiry, Mr Walsh described being sexually abused by one Brother who lured him into his room with the promise of molasses.

He said another brother attacked him after he stayed back to polish wooden floors.

Mr Walsh told the hearing he was also beaten and that he witnessed horrific attacks during which children were punched in the face and body, and hit with straps.

Children at the Bindoon school were malnourished and forced to do hard labour, Mr Walsh added.

He said he spent time at both Bindoon and Castledare, two of the four institutions being examined by the commission.

Mr Walsh said he reported some of the abuse to the school's priest at Bindoon but that he was made to feel very scared and, thinking that he was in trouble, backtracked on the story.

He was sent to a monastery in New Norcia for almost two years, an effort he believes was taken by the brothers to get him out of the way.

Payment offered but inadequate: abuse victim

Mr Walsh said he had taken part in legal action against the Christian Brothers but they had argued the statute of limitations on the crimes had expired.

He eventually received a payment of $45,000 from the Redress WA scheme.

Mr Walsh also received a $20,000 payment from the church, which he said was inadequate.

Outside the inquiry, he said each victim of abuse should be compensated.

"The Catholic Church, who have more money than is measurable, they will never do anything," he said.

"All they want us to do is to shut up and go away."

He said he was gratified that he had been able to tell his story and be believed.

"So many things happened, and I would tell people and they wouldn't believe me," Mr Walsh said.

"I was dubbed a chronic liar. It's now very gratifying for someone to actually believe me."