Summary: Ballarat in western Victoria became the location of an epidemic of clerical paedophilia. The dark tragedy affects thousands of lives to this day. It is widely acknowledged the Catholic Church protected its worst offenders and moved them on to prey on new unsuspecting communities. What is not understood is the Victoria Police Force also bears a grave responsibility for the betrayal of Ballarat's children.
For decades, victims of clerical paedophilia in Ballarat had suffered in silence. With the first conviction of Gerald Ridsdale in 1993, the wall of silence began to break. Victims were encouraged to come forward and have their day in court. But what price justice?
In the wake of the Ryan-Day episode in 1972, rates of clerical offending exploded in the Ballarat Diocese. Priests and religious figures preyed upon children with impunity, and victims did not know where to turn.
The Ballarat Diocese of the Catholic Church became the epicentre of an epidemic of clerical paedophilia. The obvious question is: how could thousands of children be abused without coming to the attention of police?