A Blaxland man has written a book about a childhood full of abuse to give a voice to those without one, and to encourage others to speak out.
Glen Fisher has lived in the Blue Mountains for more than two decades and has five children and five grandkids. He runs groups for survivors of abuse, and wants to show people that it is possible to survive and function, against all odds.
He was in and out of Sydney boys homes and foster care his entire childhood, where he was subjected to physical and sexual abuse. At 15 he was on the streets of Kings Cross and turned to a refuge for help, only for the abuse to continue.
Mr Fisher gave evidence at the Wood Royal Commission in the 90s and also at the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse, which has assisted police to hold three abusers accountable in court cases that led to their conviction and imprisonment.
"After a childhood of being sexually and physically abused in the family home and in care, this led me to heroin addiction for 30 years," Mr Fisher said.
"I got my life together and now run multiple sites for other survivors of sexual abuse and for Forgotten Australians."
He says alcoholism and addiction can be a symptom of abuse. "I really want people to know it's safe to speak up. I now have five children and five grandkids. None smoke, drink, do drugs or crime. We've broken that cycle. It nearly didn't go that way. There is so much help for PTSD, depression and addiction.
"I'm so proud of this book and feel professionals in mental health, drug and alcohol, police, and those who work with survivors of sexual or child abuse need to read this story," Mr Fisher said.
"Getting justice in the publishing of the book has not only fulfilled a promise, but has given me closure."
Predators' Paradise was written with the assistance of Kate Shayler, who spent the past 12 months helping Mr Fisher edit the book, for which he is incredibly grateful.
Blue Mountains MP Trish Doyle helped Mr Fisher launch the book, describing him as a "champion, a survivor and a role model."
"Glen impresses me as a thoughtful man and a strong advocate for Forgotten Australians and other victims of abuse," she said.
"I believe it is very important to stand up against abuse and provide a voice for others who have been abused. Glen has done this.
"As advocates we choose to have a voice and speak out. By speaking out we can re-define who we are and hold the abusers to account. We are no longer victims."
Predators' Paradise is available at the Turning Page Bookshop in Springwood, through Amazon, or Moshpit Publishing at https://themoshshop.com.au/products/predators-paradise-by-glen-fisher.