What we are Learning about Responding to Child Sexual Abuse

“Prevention, Identification & reporting, Response, Justice for Victims” are the 4 key areas considered by the Royal Commission in this 5th Chapter.

*The below is a chapter summary only of the Interim Report. You can download the chapter in full at the bottom of the page.
What we are learning about responding to child sexual abuse
As Chapter 4 noted, there are four key areas we must consider in our work:
Prevention How to better protect children against sexual abuse.

Identification and reporting 

How to ensure:
children, staff, parents and the community can

identify abuse

children disclose abuse quickly

people and institutions report allegations, incidents or

risks of abuse.

Response How to eliminate or reduce obstacles so institutions respond effectively to reports of abuse.

Justice for victims How to address or alleviate the impact of abuse and ensure justice for victims.

This chapter looks at identification and reporting, response and justice for victims.
Key points
Identification, disclosure and reporting
Child sexual abuse in institutions is widely under-reported, despite legal obligations.

Individuals and institutions often fail to identify children who have been abused.

Many survivors delay disclosure for years and even decades.

Mandatory reporting laws exist across Australia but they are inconsistent and many people are unaware of their responsibilities under those laws.

Institutional responses
There is always a risk that child sexual abuse will occur, and it is essential that institutions respond effectively when it does.

Institutions must respond effectively to reports or information about allegations, incidents or risks of child sexual abuse. Effective responses can help to stop abuse, keep victims safe, ensure accountability and prevent future abuse.

Ineffective responses, meanwhile, can allow abuse to continue, compound the harm of the abuse, impede justice and undermine abuse prevention.

Many institutions treat their duty to respond to reports of abuse seriously and have improved their responses over time. However, the evidence emerging of institutional failures to respond will shock the Australian community, both in their scale and seriousness.

Justice for victims
Justice for victims of abuse is crucial, but emerging evidence shows that victims have often been denied justice by criminal or civil systems or redress schemes.

We are consulting widely to understand how these measures can be improved.

Volume 1, Chapter 5 (PDF 1.8 MB)
http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/about-us/reports/interim-report-html/volume-1-chapter-5/modules/vol-1-what-we-are-learning-about-responding-child.pdf

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Link

Australian Baptist Ministries – response : compensation scheme

Thank you for your recent email.
The Royal Commission is presently gathering responses on the possibility
of a national mandatory compensation scheme for victims of child sexual
abuse. Hopefully there will some clarity around this matter when the Royal
Commission presents its interim report which was due at the end of this
month but has been put back several months. As a general principle
Australian Baptist Ministries would be committed to support such a
proposal. At this stage without any clarity about the details of such a
scheme we would obviously want to be sure it provides justice and equity
for the victims of child sexual abuse.
Keith Jobberns
National Ministries Director
Australian Baptist Ministries

Link

Bravehearts, input and other Reports

bravehearts

Bravehearts’ key purpose is to educate, empower and protect Australian kids from sexual assault.

On meeting with Hetty Johnston (Bravehearts CEO) at the Youth, Technology and Virtual Communities Convention (29 Apr – 1 May, 2013) – the planned RC Report was discussed in more detail. Having received numerous Statements, PMSA correspondence, Notices of other Reports and feedback from current Employees – even the Report of this site covers a large footprint of CSA.

250 - YTVC 2013

“Some truths may have been hidden for years, yet certain memories last forever.”

Allegations of abuse at BBC (PMSA Update)

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Thank you for your communication of 11th March to Brisbane Boys’ College, advising of your intention “to notify all parties of BBC’s families (past and present, ensuring 18+ ages) that lodgement of a Report is being formulated”.

In relation to your request that your message be distributed “amongst current and previous parents (or similar)”, it is not the practice of the college to distribute material on behalf of third parties.

By letter dated 22nd February last, in response to your initial approach to the college, I made you aware of the PMSA process which is followed in relation to notification by former students of alleged abuse at the college and invited you to meet with me to discuss your allegations. To date you have not responded to that invitation..

Yours sincerely,

Mrs J McPherson 

Director, Protection From Harm Division

Chairman, BBC School Council

Practice Guidelines

Following the collection of RC IR CSA’s Practice Guidelines 1, 2 & 3 – Interest has been Registered, with provided details. Some identified Issues will be used for part of the Report, which shall be integrated with numerous Statements.

These Practice Guidelines draft a preferred format, lodgement method and order of details.  Examples of which are:
1. HOW TO PROVIDE INFORMATIONLEAVE TO APPEAR, CONDUCT OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE HEARINGS , CONFIDENTIALITY , PUBLICATION OF AND ACCESS TO EVIDENCE , STANDARD OF PROOF & LIAISON WITH THE ROYAL COMMISSION 
2. PRODUCING MATERIAL TO THE COMMISSION UNDER SUMMONS OR NOTICE TO PRODUCE, PURPOSE, PROTOCOLS , MANAGEMENT OF MATERIAL , QUERIES 
 
3. GUIDE QUESTIONS