Abuse victim advocate to get state funeral

Kaitlyn Offer
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Abuse victim advocate to get state funeral

High-profile child sex abuse victims advocate Anthony Foster will be honoured with a state funeral.

Mr Foster's wife Chrissie was on Sunday offered the service to commemorate a man who "quietly and profoundly changed Australian history" and she accepted, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said in a statement.

Mr Foster, 64, died on Friday, reportedly after a major stroke.

He became a relentless advocate after his daughters, Emma and Katie, were raped by notorious abuser and pedophile Father Kevin O'Donnell at their Melbourne primary school between 1988 and 1993.

Their daughter Emma took a fatal overdose of medication in 2008, and Katie was hit by a car after binge drinking in 1999, leaving her brain-damaged and in need of 24-hour care.

"Anthony campaigned tirelessly for justice from the Catholic Church. He fought evil acts that were shamefully denied and covered up," Mr Andrews said.

"He and Chrissie lost so much, but never their dignity, grace and strength. Anthony won't be forgotten, and the fight for justice goes on."

The Fosters publicly shared their torment, including to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Upon hearing of Mr Foster's death on Saturday, royal commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan praised the Fosters' dedication to achieving justice for child sex abuse survivors.

The family received $750,000 in a settlement with the Melbourne Archdiocese in 2006 after spending 10 years pursuing compensation for the abuse of their daughters.

But their name became prominent in early 2016 after Mr Foster accused Cardinal George Pell of stalling to improve the Melbourne Response scheme, which is supposed to help victims.