There are all kinds of evil in the world, but the worst kind is child sexual or physical abuse. The young minds who have not developed enough to comprehend the realities of the world are pushed into a mental state, coming out of which is close to impossible. The grave life-long effects of childhood abuse ruin the lives of victims. Coping with abuse is not easy, and it is something only the victims can understand. The people who have experienced abuse in their childhood, develop unique ways to deal with their state, and sometimes, these solutions become the problem.
Victims of childhood abuse have to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD. Escaping the mental state and untangling the thoughts in mind can take up years. Unfortunately, it is not a concern for a single city or a country. It is a global concern, and over 1 billion children around the world, from ages 2 to 17, have undergone physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. The numbers are alarming and ever-increasing. However, the number is not as accurate. That is because one of every three victims does not even tell anyone about their situation. In reality, the number goes far beyond the one-billion mark.
There are different strategies that these victims adapt for survival, such as using painkillers or sedatives or surrendering to alcoholism. Avoiding relationships or getting too controlling is another common way to deal with their mental instability. While many victims fail to find a way out and eventually push themselves into self-harm and ultimately commit suicide, some try to change things for the others through their experiences. People like Robert Lloyd Sherriff are the ones that share their stories to spread awareness about the evils of the world. They use their experiences in an attempt to prevent any other innocent beings from falling victim to child abusers.Robert’s Personal Hell on Earth
Now 65 years old, Robert Lloyd Sherriff and his twin brother were born on the 8th of July in the year 1954 in Victoria, Australia. The childhood of both brothers was very tough. Things were bad for them, starting from his birth. He and his twin brother were prematurely born and weighed only two pounds. Unlike the majority of the kids, Robert’s childhood was not ideal. He did not grow up in a well-off or a stable family or got the best toys on his birthday. On the contrary, he was part of a very unstable family.
Robert’s father, Robert Lloyd Sherriff – I was an employee of Royal Australian Air Force Inc and was from Scotland. His father was not that well educated, which was a major contributor to his home’s unusual conditions. What made things worse was his father’s substance abuse disorder. Mary Janet Jackson Sherriff, Robert’s mother was a half-cast, a prostitute by profession who got pregnant to Robert’s great-grandfather. The conditions of his home were not the type anyone would want to live in or experience a childhood like Robert.
Robert and his brother were a subject of harsh beating regularly. The beating-situation reached to the greatest extent in the year 1961. He was just seven years old when his father beat him so harshly as a result of which he got a broken arm and four broken ribs. After the incident, Robert became a ward of the government and was taken to Glandore Boys’ Home in Adelaide. He was living in his personal hell, but little did he know what the future holds for him.Robert Llyod Sherriff – Survivor of Childhood Abuse, Caught by Cancer
Things began to take an ugly turn in Robert’s life when he stepped into the premises of Glandore Boys’ Home. The organization was a part of the state care and established to provide a home to the boys who were taken away from their homes as part of the Stolen Generation. After the intense-beating incident at home, Robert was taken to Glandore Boys’ Home in Adelaide, where something worse was waiting for him.
The shift was to be Robert’s refuge, but it unleashed a higher form of cruelty upon him. At home, he was a subject to physical abuse only but at this organization, he fell victim to sexual abuse. The employees of the state were using the boys there for pleasure and Robert was not their first victim. In the year 2018, when Prime Minister Scott Morrison delivered the National Apology, Robert described the acts of employees of the state as, “…the people behind the operation working for the government, employees of the government sexually abused children at night-time behind closed doors.”
None of the other employees there understood what was causing Robert to lose his sanity and even gave him shock therapy to ‘cure’ him. His X years in the institution comprised of excessive physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Self-harm, self, punishment, leading to self-mutilation. It pushed Robert into a depressive state, the side-effects of which he experiences even today. With high-quality medical support, he was able to begin his path of healing finally.
After he got out of the institute, he expected things to change. Unlike other child abuse survivors, he took upon himself to fight the evil by bringing his story out in the open. In 2018, his book “Nobody’s Home” was published. It was his effort to make the world a better place and spread awareness about something that is a ‘taboo’ for society. His hardships were not over yet. In the year 2018, he was diagnosed with terminal mouth cancer. According to doctors, Robert does not have much time to live.Building a Life for Himself
Despite being a victim of all forms of child abuse and now of cancer, Robert did not give up. He struggles with the side-effects of his disturbing childhood experiences but he did not let it take the best of him. The survivor of childhood abuse married Carol in the year 1981 and began to build his life. Robert pursued acting and even got cast in Time of Zoe in 2016 and Zoe – A Zombie Short in 2017. Moreover, he authored three other books including Dirkbell, The Inner Sanctuary of My Mind, and My God, How Great Thou Art. He lives with his wife and has a huge family. Robert and Carol have six children, te grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Getting beaten daily by his father, witnessing his father beating and raping his mother, and being sexually abused just when he was just seven years old, and now being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Despite experiencing hell, he was able to survive and he even built a life for himself. Robert is an epitome of resilience and an inspiration for all child abuse victims.