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To Prey and to Silence

by Joan Katherine Isaacs

One survivor’s story of child sexual abuse and her fight for justice.

Joan Katherine Isaacs is a wife, mother and doting grandmother. Born in 1953 into a Catholic family, Joan was the middle child of migrant parents. At the age of fifteen Joan’s normal and happy life changed irreparably when the chaplain at her school groomed her for his own sexual gratification.

Despite the trauma of her teenage years, Joan became a teacher, initially working in primary schools and later focussing on children with special needs and learning difficulties.

Silenced by her abuser and later by the Catholic Church through their Towards Healing program, Joan was finally able to speak in 2013 when she gave evidence at the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. “To Prey and to Silence” is Joan Katherine Isaacs own powerful account of her battle to be heard.

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