A former Christ's College pupil who was sexually assaulted by older students as part of a "hauling" tradition said teachers were aware of the abusive culture but did nothing to stop it.
James Goodwin started at the private Christchurch Anglican secondary school as a boarder in 1970.
Speaking to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care, Goodwin described a "violent" culture, with traditions based around older students punishing younger ones.
There was "fagging", which Goodwin said involved first-year third formers having to carry out tasks for prefects, which included things like cleaning shoes or buying items from the canteen for them.
The severity of it "depended on the person", Goodwin said.
But more sinister was a process known as "hauling", which Goodwin said could be similar to modern "hazing" practices, and generally involved physical violence.
On one occasion when Goodwin was in fifth form, he bumped into a student a year older at the lunch area.
"After lunch he and a couple of his mates came up to me and said, 'We are going to haul you, you have been disrespectful'.
"I didn't believe I had a choice."
They forced him into an upstairs study area, where about five or six boys made him scull gallons of salty water. There were three main perpetrators, he said.
He was crying and vomiting into a bin, which they made him empty as it filled.
"It was horrible. They kept shoving me, saying, 'don't spit it out, swallow it, swallow it'."
The boys then flipped the bin over, and made Goodwin simulate having sex with it.
"I didn't know anything about this. I was just a boy."
They made him wrap his arms around the bin, and one of them pulled down his pants.
Then one of the boys violated him with a broom handle.
"I'll never forget that, it was humiliating," Goodwin said.
After a while someone said for it to stop, and they threw him out of the room, bleeding and covered in vomit.
"What they expressed to me was 'don't tell anyone, we will get you'."
He didn't tell anyone, but a fellow student went to the headmaster.
Goodwin was too frightened to say anything, but the headmaster warned the students if anyone ever touched him they would be expelled.
Goodwin said he tried to tell his parents about it that night, but as soon as he mentioned he had been "hauled" to his father, he didn't want to hear any more.
"He just told me to do more sports, that way I might make more friends and this wouldn't happen."
Goodwin said the abuse has affected him ever since.
He had flashbacks for years, nightmares. For a long time he didn't even realise he had been sexually assaulted.
"This the 1970s, people were only just talking about wife-beating. I knew [rape] happened to women, but I didn't know it happened to men, for many, many years."
Staff were aware of the hauling traditions, Goodwin said.
On one occasion the housemaster came into a room while a student was being forced to do press-ups above compasses. He asked what they were doing, and when he found out it was hauling told them to carry on.
Goodwin was aware of just one other instance that involved sexual abuse, but believed there could be more survivors out there.
He had thought about going to police and seeking justice through the school, but after ACC therapy decided he not want to.
He was not looking to prosecute the boys responsible, whom he still knew of, but would like to meet them for a restorative justice session.
"I am not after them, but I would like them to know how their behaviour affected me."
He'd had one meeting with Christ's College staff, and wanted to work with them to develop processes for dealing with abuse.
"It is hard telling my story, but I feel privileged I have had the opportunity, and I want other people to come forward. I want to hear them.
"If telling my story encourages other people then that is great."
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