A memorial held in Sydney recognising the passing of Tony Duffy (far right of framed picture).
A memorial held in Sydney recognising the passing of Tony Duffy (far right of framed picture).

'I'm ready to go': Dying abuse victim's touching last words

THE widow of a Toowoomba man who suffered abuse as a child believes her husband is now at peace after a late offer under a Federal Government scheme to compensate him before he died came through.

Karen Duffy's husband Tony passed away in the Toowoomba Hospital on Saturday night after a prolonged battle with liver cancer.

Just 24 hours prior, he got the call he had been waiting months for.

"Tony wanted closure of his abuse before he died and to know that justice prevailed," Mrs Duffy said.

Tony Duffy may die before he is paid under the government's redress plan. Photo: Contributed.
Tony Duffy may die before he is paid under the government's redress plan. Photo: Contributed.

"Tony knew he wouldn't live to see the actual money but he wanted to ensure my financial security."

Mr Duffy, 54, had given evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse about his experiences growing up in two New South Wales care homes.

The national redress scheme was set up in the wake of the Royal Commission and allows people who experienced abuse to apply for support or monetary payments.

"Receiving the redress offer on Friday was his wish granted," Mrs Duffy said.

"Tony said 'I am ready to go now' and passed away on Saturday night."

Care Leavers Australia Network, a group that advocates for victims of child sexual abuse, lit a candle in Tony's memory at an event in Sydney yesterday.

Mr Duffy had told those same advocates "thank you and keep up the fight, love you" before he died on the weekend.

"He heard the offer and was coherent. I spoke to him on Friday afternoon," CLAN chief executive officer Leonie Sheedy said.

"He got his justice but he won't ever see that money or get to enjoy it. His family got it which is good but the struggle to get it should never be repeated."