Abuse survivors urge others to come forward as Royal Commission of Inquiry investigates faith-based care

Abuse survivors Mike Ledingham and Steve Goodlass are encouraging others to come forward as a Royal Commission of Inquiry investigates abuse within faith-based care.

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Mike Ledingham and Steve Goodlass shared their stories with Breakfast. Source: Breakfast

Mr Ledingham didn't come forward until he discovered his younger brother Christopher had also been abused, along with one of his other brothers.

He says it was incredibly powerful being able to speak as part of Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions.

"It's the cumulation of a lifetime of bad memories and denial by people who were in power," he told TVNZ 1's Breakfast this morning.

Mr Goodlass was a student at St Bernards when he was abused by one of his teachers, a school counsellor.

"I think that's part of it, that's part of the grooming process to draw you in and make you reliant on them," he says.

"It's been a very long path just to get him out of my head."

Both men criticise the response from the Catholic Church when it comes to the abuse.

Mr Ledingham describes coming forward as a "torturous year", while Mr Goodlass says the church isn't doing what's necessary in private, despite public statements.

"The commission gives us the opportunity to get it out there in the public domain," Mr Goodlass says.

"Survivors, you've got to come forward, you've got to talk about it, because we've got to make a change for the future.

"This institution is not changing its ways. Unless we get it out here in the public domain, and this is our best shot, then it can continue to propagate what it's already done and caused so much harm."

The redress hearings are being held on November 23.

Anyone who wants to contact the Royal Commission can do so by calling 0800 222 727, or by emailing