SURVIVORS of clergy sexual abuse in Ballarat have denied claims that victims are attempting to gain compensation under false pretences.
It follows a letter published this week that inferred people claiming to be sex abuse victims were trying to raise their profile and receive compensation.
Details of the letter were not verified and The Courier apologises for any distress its publication has caused.
Broken Rites volunteer and survivor Stephen Woods said all victims’ stories were carefully vetted by police and Broken Rites.
“We have never allowed the organisation’s credibility to be taken over by lies,” Mr Woods said.
“Not one person who has complained to Broken Rites or the police have been found to be a liar, and we’re talking close to thousands.
“And the first step we do is send victims to the police and to counselling.”
Fellow survivor Andrew Collins said he was concerned the allegations would stop other victims coming forward.
“The insinuation someone is trying to jump onto the bandwagon is outrageous,” Mr Collins said.
“We know the impact this has had on victims’ lives and businesses by coming forward. The impact on families is so large.
“It’s not something you do for fun. And you’d probably get more money if you fell over in the supermarket.
“By the time someone stands up to tell their story, they’ve been to a doctor, psychologist, counsellor, the police.
“To think that there is someone out there fooling all these people is just ludicrous.”
Mr Collins said people still see speaking out as church bashing but it should be seen as the opposite.
“It’s an opportunity for the church to heal and get rid of all the darkness, all the horror.
“We’re not anti-church, we’re anti the perp-