May 29, 2017

Survivors of child sexual abuse lost one their greatest advocates last Friday, with the death of Anthony Foster

Anthony passed away just a few months before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is due to hand down its final report.

A Royal Commission that his tireless advocacy did so much to bring about.

Mr Foster and his wife Chrissie told the horrific story of their family's treatment at the hands of Catholic priests to the Royal Commission.

They attended hundreds of hearings at the Royal Commission - providing support and strength to survivors telling their own stories.

Anthony’s daughters Emma and Katie were sexually assaulted by a paedophile priest when they were in primary school.

Emma died at the age of 26 from a drug overdose after years of battling eating disorders and drug addiction.

Katie too suffered. And tragically she was left profoundly disabled after being hit by a drunk driver.

And yet Anthony was able to turn the pain and suffering that he and his family had experienced into a fight for justice for survivors of child sexual abuse.

As his family stated on the weekend:

Anthony’s heart was so big — he fought for others to make sure what happened to our family, could not happen to anyone else.”

Our thoughts are with the Foster family.

I hope that Anthony’s courage, in his life, gives others the strength to speak out and advocate for justice for survivors of child sexual abuse.