We're creating a feature length documentary on an extraordinary woman's mission to take a stand against child abuse and confront the Catholic Church.
Meet a woman on the front line
Nikki Wells made her name as an incredibly successful businesswoman: the infamous owner of the exclusive dating organisation Millionaire Matchmaker.
Glam and feisty, it’s easy to see how she built a business empire.
She was about to make a television pilot of what went on to be an American hit, when she had a ‘stroke’ while having lunch with the production company. She ended up in hospital.
That’s when she discovered it wasn’t a stroke, although the paralysis was real. Finally, she joined up the dots...
She had been abused by her local priest for years as a child and never dealt with it. The paralysis was stress related.
This was in 2006 when Nikki was 37. She is now 43 and her life has changed completely.
Nikki has become a one-woman whirlwind and she won’t stop until she reforms the Catholic Church. She’s had an apology. She’s had money. But what she wants is a new future for abuse survivors across the world. Nikki’s already received $100,000 compensation, but the interesting stuff starts this year.
The priest who abused her is about to be charged: he’s still living in the community at West Ryde. She’s going to be there when he’s arrested and film it. It’ll be the first time she’s confronted him. Then she’s going to follow the case through court. In the meantime, she’s used her pay out to start an organisation called Project KidSafe Foundation for all victims of child abuse and to help protect kids today. She’s put every penny of her worldly goods into this and lives and breathes it.
She’s currently taking civil action against eight separate entities of the Catholic Church – in Australia and abroad. She’s planning to prove that the Catholic Church in Ireland and their superiors in the Vatican were culpable in her abuse. She’s gathering evidence that they knew the priest who molested her was a pedophile from the outset of his career in Ireland, and tried to manage the ‘problem’ by sending him to Australia.
If she succeeds, she’ll open the floodgates for claims from around the world. She’s armed and dangerous. Some of her cohort of internationally renowned advisors are ex-Catholic Priest and Canon Law expert, Tom Doyle – who first ‘broke’ the issue of child abuse in the Church – and American trial attorney Jeff Anderson – the legal scourge of the Catholic Church in the US. Together they call themselves the “unholy trinity”.
Nikki sleeps with her laptop and starts working the minute she wakes: evangelical is an understatement. In short, all her extraordinary drive has turned on the Catholic Church and she’s determined to make them mend their ways. She’s not worried they are the most powerful organisation in the world, and she’s one person. She’s just waltzed in and demanded they give her $2.5 million to build a trauma recovery education centre, and they haven’t said no. It will be the first dedicated centre for survivors of sexual abuse in the world – the first, she hopes, of many. She’s already found the perfect site in Arcadia, on the outskirts of Sydney. It’s an idyllic 200- acre block – owned, of course, by the Catholic Church – and she’s going to ask them for twenty acres of it.
Her goal is to see it secured and the first spade turned by the end of this year (2012).
But there are still some huge emotional milestones to overcome along the way. Nikki says she’s not angry any more, just determined to hold the Church to account and take responsibility, however she can. She’s feisty and fierce; honest and emotionally candid. If you can imagine a positive story about child abuse: this is it. Nikki’s Journey is the inside story of one woman’s crusade – gritty, tough, moving and often very funny – as it unfolds. It’s going to be one hell of a ride.
This is your chance to help us tell Nikki's story.
The production so far
We have been filming with Nikki for over a year - Nikki has an infectious personality loaded with a quick wit and self-deprecating sense of humour. Nikki really is going to Raze Hell.
Child abuse is such a sad and dark subject yet Nikki is a beacon of light who shares her can-do enthusiasm and humor with all she meets. She is also immensely glamorous – and not afraid of fronting up to anyone. We have followed her as she tells pedophiles to watch out because she is coming after them. But we have also seen the other side of Nikki’s brave persona, the vulnerable nine-year-old who was abused by her priest. That other side adds to our sense of Nikki’s extraordinary courage and chutzpah. She is a very multi-dimensional and layered character.
A couple of years back I was watching the documentary Deliver Us From Evil. It is a chilling and harrowing tale of the defrocked priest Oliver O'Grady’s 30 year long history of sexual abuse on children in his parishes. The Catholic Church dealt with him by moving him from parish to parish. We see Nikki's story as the next chapter in this larger tale as she works with international lawyers to hold pedophiles and those that protect them accountable.
Nikki is on the front line doing everything she can to make sure children are no longer abused and help victims reclaim the lives that were stolen from them.
We really hope you enjoy getting to know Nikki as much as we have.
Nikki's charity project KidSafe has some amazing ambassadors. They are involved in the campaign and a number of personalised perks that are up for grabs.
Want to make a contribution? We have got some great ways to thank you.
In return for your contribution you'll have turned up the volume on an important story that has the potential to change lives around the world.
And you will get a perk. They are all listed on this site.
Other ways you can help
If you don't have $ to spare there are still many ways you can help us reach our goal. Please tell anyone and everyone who might be interested in this project by forwarding this page in an email, sharing on Facebook and posting to Twitter.
Our Indiegogo Campaign
We think we will eventually need about $120,000 to finish this emotional story with Nikki. Right now we are raising $30,000 to get the post production underway. We will use this funding to.
- Film some critical scenes with Nikki and her family
- Start editing the film
You will be able to follow our progress on our production blog that we are establishing so you can see your contribution in action. Thanks for taking the time to learn about Nikki's Journey.
This campaign is fiscally sponsored by Project KidSafe we are able to provide you a tax receipt for your contribution.