Gary Sculley spent years of his life hiding in the shadows.
He would wait until late on a Sunday night to do his supermarket shopping.
The fear of having to see people was crippling.
"I'd wait until late at night when nobody was around because I didn't want to see anybody," he said.
"Day to day things were always so hard because I was spending my life avoiding the world."
The horror inflicted on him for years of his childhood at St Alipius Boys' School in Ballarat by disgraced paedophile Christian Brother Gerald Leo Fiztgerald and another brother who cannot be named for legal reasons is so raw it's as if it happened yesterday.
"There is no greyness, there is no blurriness, it's all so clear," Mr Sculley said.
"The memories will never go. They'll always be there. But I have learnt to handle them better."
On the same day Mr Sculley, 59, left Ballarat for Rome with a group of clergy sexual abuse victims last week on a mission to bear witness to Cardinal George Pell's evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse, he drove to the Victoria Street School.
He had spent years avoiding the street.
The thought of driving past the school would immobilise him.
But on this day, with his daughter by his side, he drove there.
He parked the car on the side of the road.
He stepped outside and walked up to the gates of the school and stood staring directly into the derelict, red brick building.
The bright, bold colours of the ribbons on the school's Loud Fence glistened under the sunlight as they floated the wind.
"I got out of the car and there were all these ribbons tied to the fence and it was like it was a force field, it was like they were protecting me...this vortex of colouring swirling around me," Mr Sculley said.
"I just stood there looking at the horror behind it. Instead of feeling afraid I had this beautiful feeling of all those ribbons protecting me from the evil."
When he got back into the car, his daughter was staring at him with tears in her eyes.
“She was so amazed at what I had done,” he said.
Supporters of abuse victims started Loud Fence outside the institutions where so many had been hurt in Ballarat last year during Royal Commission into sexual abuse hearings.
Bright ribbons are tied outside institutions as an overt response to traumas long held silent and a symbol of solidarity with sexual abuse victims.
It has since gone viral with Loud Fences created all over the world including at the gates of the Vatican, London, New York and Bali.
Mr Sculley has decided to go public with his story for the first time in the hope other sexual abuse victims suffering in silence would seek support.
The first day the group arrived in Rome, Mr Sculley hid inside his hotel away from the glare of the world's media.
"I wasn't ready to show my face to the world yet," he said. “I just wanted to disappear again.”
His blue eyes welled up with the tears the first time he had his photograph taken by the media.
He slowly lifted his head to stare directly at the camera. The face of a broken man who didn't want to be invisible anymore radiated out into the world.
A light rain fell and the bright lights of the world's media were on them as the survivors marched to the last night of Cardinal Pell's evidence in Rome last week.
Leading the way was Gary Sculley wearing a hat that said it all: No more silence.
Mr Sculley said he had been floored by the groundswell support survivors received after a national crowd funding campaign raised more than $200,000 to send clergy abuse victims to Rome.
We've shown the Catholic Church we're not going to be pushed around now it's up to the authorities to take action and the Royal Commission to hand down its recommendationsGary Sculley
The fund was sparked after the Royal Commission accepted a medical report which deemed Cardinal Pell at risk of heart failure if he flew back to Australia to give evidence.
"You can't thank people if you're anonymous," Mr Sculley said.
"People have to see the damage to understand."
"It's has been an amazing journey. I have never been so exhausted in all my life. I feel like Ballarat and the rest of Australia are behind me so that's what's kept me going."
But he said it had been a harrowing journey to get to the point where he felt he could speak out.
"You have to know when the right time is right to do it," he said.
"If I look back at the beginning of my journey I wouldn't have believed I could have never have done any of this."
But gently spurred on by the love of his family he joined the Centre Against Sexual Assault men's survivor group two years ago.
It's a move that gave him his life back.
"I was just existing before I met the other guys," he said.
"We support each other through everything. I feel like I have finally found a purpose."
Mr Sculley said even if one victim came forward, sharing his story would be worth it.
"All it takes is a phone call to talk to somebody," Mr Sculley said.
"It's going to be the hardest phone call of your life but the journey you will go is an amazing journey and all the way through it you will come to different milestone which will give you the strength to move froward."
Mr Sculley said the group had achieved "a thousand times" what they had set out to do.
But he was one of several Ballarat survivors who had lost faith in Cardinal Pell and refused to meet him after he completed his evidence to the sex abuse inquiry.
"We've shown the Catholic Church we're not going to be pushed around now it's up to the authorities to take action and the Royal Commission to hand down its recommendations," Mr Sculley said.
"We 're not little boys anymore and we can fight for all children.”
“We want supportive systems in place that protect kids from institutional abuse and we want support systems in Ballarat and across Australia which stop the suicides and stop people dying because they can't deal with the pain."
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BALLARAT CENTRE AGAINST SEXUAL ASSAULT: 5320 3933