Abuse report can't undo damage: victims

Victims say the Victorian report on child sex abuse has delivered everything they hoped for, but nothing can undo past suffering.

Victims got everything they could have hoped for from the Victorian report on child sex abuse, but it can never be enough.

Mick Serch said as great as the inquiry was, the scar of abuse can't ever be healed.

"You can put a bandaid on it but it keeps falling off," Mr Serch told AAP.

Since he suffered sex abuse at the hands of a Christian Brother when he was in grade five at St Leo's College in Box Hill, Mr Serch has endured chronic depression, panic attacks and suicidal thoughts.

"I've also got paranoid schizophrenia which they say is due to the abuse," he said.

Mr Serch attended a victims' 'rally of hope' on the steps of parliament after the report was tabled on Wednesday.

"The more of this sort of thing we have the better for everyone," he said.

"It's a great thing but there's a lot more that needs to be done."

Victims advocacy group Broken Rites spokesman John McNally, who made specific recommendations to the inquiry, said the committee's report had "nailed it".

"It's a real milestone in this journey," Mr McNally told AAP.

"It validates that the victims are not guilty in any way and the church, through their neglect of their duty, are the ones at fault."

As they gathered to read through the 800-odd pages of findings and recommendations, victims described the result as fantastic, powerful and reaffirming.

Anthony Foster, whose two daughters were abused by a priest, says the 12 months of gruelling submissions have been worth it.

"I think we have the basis for everything we wanted," Mr Foster told AAP.

"The process has been challenging in some ways but I think the outcome is potentially fantastic."

For him, the most significant recommendation would be the exposure of organisations to the legal system.

"We will see the Catholic Church become part of the legal system in the state of Victoria in a way that it hasn't been in the past," Mr Foster said.

"I think that will make it change its operations."

Adults Surviving Child Abuse president Dr Cathy Kezelman says the recommendations are long overdue.

"We can't wait any longer for the changes to be implemented - children need to be protected now," she said.

But for the hundreds - perhaps thousands - of Victorians the report estimated had been victims of child sex abuse, the protective measures come too late.

"It's a scar that can't be healed," Mr Serch said.

Source AAP

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