A LANDMARK decision was made behind closed doors this week, with the Catholic Church awarding a clergy abuse victim a multi-million-dollar compensation payout.
The victim dedicated his settlement to others who had been abused, and those who will never see a cent, after taking their own lives due to the trauma they suffered at the hands of the men they thought they could trust.
The case is expected to have a massive impact on hundreds of other lawsuits filed in the courts.
The brave victims, some who knock back the tag of survivor as they say they are barely surviving, are the ones who have stood up and told their stories after years of secrecy.
The Catholic Church admitted liability for the actions of defrocked pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale.
The Standard started writing about clergy abuse more than two decades ago.
Senior journalist Andrew Thomson published a story in 1996 after an eight-month investigation which proved the then Bishop of Ballarat Ronald Mulkearns knew about Ridsdale.
The priest was moved from parish to parish within the Ballarat Diocese, starting in Ballarat, before serving at Warrnambool, Edenhope and eventually Mortlake. He admitted molesting hundreds of children.
Thomson's first story solidified his dedication to finding the truth and justice for the victims.
It has defined his career and every day, without fail, he is in contact with clergy abuse victims.
He has been a confidante for those abused for years and provided support and advice in their darkest hours.
Back in the '90s he pursued the story like a rabid dog.
Thomson had a map, which he would constantly refer to searching for links and even opened up a dialogue with nuns in Papua New Guinea.
Recognition and compensation is a small win for the victims and those who have believed them.
It will never heal the wounds created by the monsters of their childhoods.
Abuse victim JCB said: "We've held the church accountable and I hope that's some small recognition, some small solace. The church didn't get away with it".
He said without Thomson's dedication he would never have been compensated.