Campaign To Fly Abuse Survivors To Pell Smashes $55k Target In One Day

A crowdfunding campaign to fly survivors of sexual abuse over to Rome in order to hear Cardinal George Pell give evidence to the Royal Commission has smashed its $55k target, reaching over $80k overnight.

Comedian Meshel Laurie and TV presenter Gorgi Coghlan started the GoFundMe page, after the commission accepted evidence that Cardinal Pell was – *cough cough* – too sick to fly to Australia.

“Cardinal Pell is due to give evidence on February the 29th so they [the survivors] don’t have much time,” they wrote. “The opportunity to face Cardinal Pell is the least our community can do for these brave people who have bared their souls to ensure the world is a safer place for all children.”

Flights, accommodation and food for 15 people – including abuse survivors, support staff and the City of Ballarat representatives – are now covered, helped along by one anonymous donation to the tune of $10k.

The excess funds raised are going into establishing a healing centre in Ballarat, with Laurie telling PEDESTRIAN.TV that they’re “already in the planning with local mental health specialists.”

Abuse survivors are pushing for Cardinal Pell to give evidence in an “open” place like the Australian embassy, with one survivor, Stephen Woods, telling the ABC:

“It has to be somewhere where he’s not in control, his lawyers are not in control and that way he will actually be punished to give better answers than the usual ‘I can’t remember’.”

Fingers bloody crossed.

BTW, comedian Tim Minchin released a delightful little ditty urging “Coward Georgie” to come home because “it’s the right thing to do / they have a right to know what you knew.”

This – this is poetry. Someone get the man a damn ARIA.

Source: GoFundMe.

Image: Andreas Solardo / Getty.