A 92-year-old widow taking on the Catholic church over her daughter’s alleged rape and sexual abuse now has an army of almost 50,000 supporters behind her.
Eileen Piper’s daughter Stephanie tragically took her own life 23 years
ago, one year after police charged disgraced priest Gerard Mulvale over
her alleged rape.
Mulvale and the Catholic Church have denied knowing about Stephanie’s
sexual abuse, but Mulvale was later convicted of sex crimes against two
boys in her friendship circle and sentenced to three years’ jail.
“They’ve been brutal and heartless,” Ms Piper said of the church.
“They’re hoping I’ll die so that they don’t have to deal with me anymore
or pay me proper compensation for the heinous sexual abuse to
Determined to get justice for her only daughter, Ms Piper started a Change.org petition, becoming Australia’s oldest online petition starter.
The petition is now just 1000 signatures off its target of 50,000.
Ms Piper said her daughter had told her how Mulvale allegedly threw her in the boot of his car and raped her.
“He locked her in the boot of his car, drove her down a dirt road and brutally raped her,” she wrote in her petition.
“She described it as “being torn apart internally”. That image still haunts me.”
In a video message, Ms Piper said she would never give up fighting for justice for Stephanie.
“Unless you apologise personally to me, recognising Stephanie’s horrific
sexual assaults, the fact the church says it’s ‘changed’ is a lie and
won’t be believed,” she said.