Heartbreaking death of ABC interviewee
A CHILD sexual abuse survivor who shared his story on last night's episode of the ABC program You Can't Ask That took his own life before the episode made it to the air.
Dr Stuart Kidd featured heavily in this week's sexual assault-themed episode of the popular interview-based show, which sees members of the public submit themselves to answer difficult questions on taboo topics.
A statement released by the ABC yesterday explained that Kidd's interview was filmed in November 2017 - and tragically, he then took his own life in May of this year, aged 60.
The ABC statement included correspondence from Kidd, showing he was happy with how the episode had turned out.
"This February, Stuart, a retired assistant orthopaedic surgeon, and his wife Janet viewed the episode before it went to air. Stuart then emailed the producers to thank the ABC for the opportunity to share his story, writing: 'WOW! Gobsmacked. Speechless. Brilliant. A. MAZING! … Janet and I are both so very impressed and very grateful. WHAT a special 'ministry' you guys have of bringing these stories to everyday Aussies … Thank you,'" the statement read.
In last night's episode, Kidd detailed the horrific sexual abuse he endured as a child and teenager.
"I was raped both ends by men 30, 40 years older than myself. And then by an older boy who I thought … thought was a friend. And then by older men again as a teenager," he said.
"I was just being myself, being a boy … paying the consequences for it."
Kidd spoke of lifelong feelings of shame and self-hatred as he tried to deal with the intense childhood trauma.
"Deep down, despite 30 years of therapy, I still think it's my fault … I know, deep down, that I still blame myself," he said.
Kidd revealed on the program that he tried to kill himself three times at the age of 11, "because I was such a piece of filth that the world needed to be rid of me".
QUEENSLAND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES
You Can't Ask That series producer/director Aaron Smith paid tribute to Kidd, saying: "In the very short time we knew Stuart, we were struck by his honesty, openness, strength and resolve in dealing with traumatic childhood experiences.
"Stuart's contribution to You Can't Ask That will have a lasting and profound impact on the audience, helping to reduce stigma and increase awareness and understanding for survivors of sexual assault. We share our heartfelt condolences with Stuart's family and friends."
Kidd's own wife Janet spoke of her late husband's lifelong struggles to deal with his childhood trauma.
'I watched the episode of You Can't Ask That with Stuart in February and he was pleased with it. It was tough, but we are all proud of him for putting his story out there and we all think it's well done and powerful.
"My husband was a survivor of complex early childhood trauma for over 55 years. He had been sexually assaulted from a disgustingly early age. He never stopped trying to find help and healing. He was acutely aware of the terrible effect his struggles had on us, his family," she said in the ABC statement.
"In the 1990s, he found support through ASCA, now the Blue Knot Foundation; and I was told that my children and I were secondary survivors of his abuse.
"Years later, after putting an enormous effort into being the very best doctor, husband, father and grandfather that he possibly could be, my husband became even more deeply depressed as he saw the struggles of our adult children to find healing for themselves, from the consequences of growing up seeing him struggle.
"SAMSN has kindly begun a fund in his memory to support family members of male survivors of sexual assault. Please help by making a donation. We needed it, others need it, too."
Donations can be made to Survivors & Mates Support Network
If you or someone you know is in need of crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp. If you need help with depression, please see Beyond Blue for a list of organisations that can help.