Laidley woman campaigns to help child sex abuse victims

Lynell Crowther's dream is open a refuge for child sex abuse victims in rural Thornton.
Lynell Crowther's dream is open a refuge for child sex abuse victims in rural Thornton. Derek Barry

FOR Lynell Crowther, our society is hiding a big taboo she is trying to break open.

Fixing the problems of domestic sexual abuse is Lynell's passion - something she knows a great deal about as the victim of abuse herself.

"Eighty-three per cent of all child sex abuse cases happen in the family," Lynell said.

"It was a family member that abused me for over 10 years, but I never spoke about it until after my parents had died."

Lynell subsequently brought that family member to justice, but now she wants to help other victims.

"Being abused as a child kills our dreams and leads people into a downward spiral of alcohol and often drugs," she said.

Lynell avoided the drugs, and therapy has helped her rebuild her life, but she said there is a big gap when the therapy is complete.

"Victims need the time to find the answers that are often deep inside them," she said.

"They often need a place to live away from the pressures of life."

Lynell has set up a group called Small Rights, Big Changes that has a dream of creating a Living and Learning Centre in the bush.

She already has a property in mind near Thornton.

"The place is perfect - it will cost a lot of money, but we are going to start crowd-funding for it very soon," she said.

Lynell said she has received offers of support from overseas, but desperately wants more local help.

Lynell has obtained the services of an animator who is currently putting the final touches to an animation she hopes will effectively get her message across.

"We also need more survivors to come forward and join in," she said.

To find out more, join the Facebook group called Small Rights, Big Changes.

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