HELP IS NEAR: Child sexual abuse survivor Robbie Gambley of Casino urges other survivors and their families to attend the Blue Knot Day church service in Casino on November 18.
HELP IS NEAR: Child sexual abuse survivor Robbie Gambley of Casino urges other survivors and their families to attend the Blue Knot Day church service in Casino on November 18. Janelle Mclennan

Victims wish to help

EVERY year for the past four years, Robbie Gambley has organised a church service in Casino to mark Blue Knot Day to support local men and women who have survived physical, emotional or sexual abuse as children.

His aim: to stamp out the stigma and taboo around child abuse and encourage victims to seek help.

This year's service will be held at St Mark's Anglican Church, Casino, on Sunday, November 18, at 9am.

It is the only Blue Knot Day event held between Sydney and Brisbane.

"If we can help just one victim of abuse reach out and begin the healing process, how wonderful would that be," Mr Gambley said.

He should know. Mr Gambley was sexually abused as a young teenager by a teacher, and, like many victims, kept the abuse a secret from family and friends for more than 20 years.

He blocked the terrible memories by abusing drugs and alcohol and driving recklessly. Finally he told a social worker.

"She was so kind to me when I went to seek help with another issue that I found a deep trust in her and was able not only to recognise my trauma, but open up to her about the abuse," he said.

"She saved my life. The healing process started after many years of counselling and I now have a new life filled with peace, happiness, good friends and a family."

Survivors of abuse wanting help can contact the ASCA support line, 1300 657 380; Heartfelt House, Alstonville, 6628 8940; Richmond Sexual Assault Service, 6620 2970.



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