Content warning: this article deals with suicide, sex abuse, and mental health. If you or someone you know is need of support or suicide prevention, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit beyondblue for a list of organisations that provide mental health support.
A doctor who opened up about suffering from child sex abuse on ABC’s You Can’t Ask That tragically took his own life before the episode made it to air.
Dr Stuart Kidd was featured on last night’s episode of show, which sees people from various communities answer questions on taboo subjects.
“I was raped both ends by men 30, 40 years older than myself,” he said.
“And then by an older boy who I thought… thought was a friend. And then by older men again as a teenager.
“I was just being myself, being a boy… and paying the consequences for it.”
The ABC released a statement yesterday explaining that Kidd’s interview was filmed in November last year and that he took his own life in May this year.
“This February, Stuart, a retired assistant orthopaedic surgeon, and his wife Janet viewed the episode before it went to air,” the statement read.
“Stuart then emailed the producers to thank the ABC for the opportunity to share his story, writing: ‘WOW! Gobsmacked. Speechless. Brilliant. A. MAZING! … Janet and I are both so very impressed and very grateful WHAT a special ‘ministry’ you guys have of bringing these stories to everyday Aussies … Thank you.'”
Producer and director of the show, Aaron Smith, said the ABC was “saddened” by Kidd’s death.
“In the very short time we knew Stuart, we were struck by his honesty, openness, strength, and resolve in dealing with traumatic childhood experiences,” he said in a statement.
“Stuart’s contribution to You Can’t Ask That will have a lasting and profound impact on the audience, helping to reduce stigma and increase awareness and understanding for survivors of sexual assault.”
In the episode, Kidd said the abuse he experienced led to feelings of shame and self-hatred, and caused him to try and take his own life three times.
“Deep down, despite 30 years of therapy, I still think it’s my fault,” he said. “I know, deep down, that I still blame myself.”
Kidd’s wife Janet said it was tough to watch the episode, but that she’s proud of him for putting his story out there.
“My husband was a survivor of complex early childhood trauma for over 55 years,” she said.
“He never stopped trying to find help and healing. He was acutely aware of the terrible effect his struggles had on us, his family.
“In the 1990s, he found support through ASCA—now the Blue Knot Foundation—and I was told that my children and I were secondary survivors of his abuse.
“Years later, after putting an enormous effort into being the very best doctor, husband, father, and grandfather that he possibly could be, my husband became even more deeply depressed as he saw the struggles of our adult children to find healing for themselves, from the consequences of growing up seeing him struggle.
“Survivors and Mates Support Network (SAMSN) has kindly begun a fund in his memory to support family members of male survivors of sexual assault. Please help by making a donation. We needed it, others need it, too.”