News

Child sex abuse victim speaks up for others after man jailed

Dustan Mossman speaks about his experiences.
Dustan Mossman speaks about his experiences.

IT was one of the hardest choices Dustan Mossman ever had to make.

But the 31-year-old husband and father from Boyne Valley hopes his decision will give other victims of child sex abuse the courage to come forward.

Inspired by the Morcombe family, a brave Dustan yesterday spoke out about his own horrific experience and the changes he would like to see to Queensland's education and justice systems.

"If I can help another family detect it, then something good has come out of it," he said.

"I want to turn a negative into a positive."

He said while children were often taught to be wary of strangers, sometimes the people closest to us could be the most dangerous.

This was certainly the case for Dustan, whose family put their complete trust in Michael Vock.

Dustan's dad Shayne described finding out about his son's abuse as "bloody scary".

"It was like there was a death in the family," he said outside court yesterday.

"Mike was part of the family, but it was all a big charade."

After turning to alcohol and being kicked out of school, Dustan said he hit rock bottom.

"I certainly saw myself going down that path," he said.

"Who knows where I would have ended up, but after my daughter was born it steered me in the right direction."

Dustan said the ongoing support and love from his family also played an important role.

Now, having come out the other side of this terrible journey, Dustan wants others to do the same.

"Don't doubt yourself," he said.

"Take a step forward. People often don't come forward because they're ashamed, but you can't be. It's not a decision you've made."

Dustan called for pedophiles and other sex offenders to be named and shamed and for the education system to implement ways to better monitor teacher access to children.

He would like to see harsher sentences for offenders.

"I was not extremely happy with his (Vock's) sentence," he said.

"The punishment should reflect the crime. Over 10 years this happened to me and he could be out in three."

But Dustan said he was happy people were now aware of Vock's crimes.

He hoped to one day get more involved in helping other sex abuse victims.

Topics:  child sex abuse daniel morcombe rockhampton supreme court



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