FOR more than 50 years Bob O’Toole lived with the consequences of being sexually abused by a Marist Brother at Hamilton.
In 2008 he broke the silence and told his wife.
In December last year, Hunter woman Patricia Feenan broke another silence and released her book, Holy Hell, about the crimes of paedophile priest Jim Fletcher against her eldest son, Daniel.
Last night Mr O’Toole and Mrs Feenan took another step on behalf of victims of the Catholic church’s child sex abuse crisis, and launched a DVD in association with Maitland-Newcastle diocese.
Breaking the Silence: the Impact of Sexual Abuse by Church Personnel was produced by Insights, an arm of the diocese’s Zimmerman Services.
In the 30-minute DVD Mr O’Toole and Mrs Feenan speak frankly and movingly about why abuse that might have occurred decades ago was not ‘‘ancient history’’.
‘‘People just don’t understand how difficult it is to speak up,’’ Mr O’Toole, 67, said.
A spokeswoman for Maitland-Newcastle diocese said the DVD was confronting, unflinchingly honest and compelling viewing, and would be used by church and community groups considering child sex abuse and its consequences.
■ A THIRD complainant has come forward with allegations of sexual assault by Catholic brother John Patrick Gleeson, Newcastle Local Court heard yesterday.
Brother Gleeson, 83, of Glenbrook, near the Blue Mountains, did not attend court, where his case was briefly mentioned before magistrate Ian Cheetham.
Brother Gleeson was issued with court attendance notices last month for eight charges of indecently assaulting two males at Hamilton in 1962.
A fresh charge relating to a third man has since been laid, court documents revealed.