A survivor likened the Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse to peeling back the layers on an onion.
Each time you peel back a layer, there is another underneath but slowly and steadily you move closer to the core of it.
To the truth. With each layer another survivors emerges from out of the darkness with their own story to tell.
Often, their stories are so gut-wrenchingly similar, it's as if each of the survivors are holding a mirror to one another.
And, there are those who don't have a voice because they've died prematurely and the ones who turned to suicide because the pain of the sex crimes was too great to bear.
The commission gives the ones they left behind somewhere to finally place their precious story in the hope their death will be a part of a profound change to protect children of the future.
A friend told me recently how her dad had been sexually abused by priest in Ballarat diocese.
He never told her about the abuse until she nursed him on his death bed.
For as far back as she could remember, her dad had been a broken man.
He loved his kids immensely but his path was one of self destruction, alcoholism, violence and relentless sadness.
The hardest part for her, was the glimpses she would catch of the man her dad could have been had his childhood not been so abruptly interrupted.
She described it as being like dropping a rock into a pond.
Its effects are felt for a long time before the final ripples reach the shore and come to rest.
After he died she wrote everything down in the hope that one day she would have somewhere to put his story.
She made a submission to the Royal Commission this year.
There are so many stories like hers.
The Catholic Church believes that the abuse is in the past but the fact remains people live with this every day.
Until the church acknowledges the extent to which it covered-up sex crimes against children, the hurt will continue.
The church hierarchy of today must answer for the past. All is needed is one courageous priest for truth to prevail.
For eight days, I caught a glimpse into the lives of survivors who carry this burden everyday. I saw a man, barefoot, unkempt, with wild long hair, sitting on the floor outside court-room because it was all too much.
I saw men wipe tears from their eyes. I saw mothers cry for the sons they had lost. It was incredible strength and sadness.
But I also saw so much hope in their hearts and eyes of the Ballarat survivors.
One of the survivors Peter Blenkiron said to me hope for the future must overcome everything else.
He said admission from the church would pave the way for healing and change across the world.
The survivors are the light in the darkness.
It’s time the church showed their courage.