Abuse victims take protest to the grave

FOUR people carrying a coffin is an incongruous sight in a leafy suburban street, but that coffin - bought for $500 yesterday morning - will be inscribed with the name of every state ward who has suffered abuse and died without compensation.

It was the main prop for the score of victims holding a vigil outside the Christian Brothers' Treacy Centre in Parkville who complain that the state, churches and charities are ''as bad as each other'' in abandoning responsibility for lives shattered by abuse as state wards.

The protesters hold placards with such sentiments as ''abused by the state, betrayed by the government'', ''orphans of the state'' and ''it's not too late to care''.

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