Background into the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse in Institutions
During the late 1990's ( I particularly recall 1997) the New South Wales Sate Government help a Royal Commission into corruption within the NSW Police force. As the Commission progressed the issue of pedeophilia emerged
and the terms of referance were changed to investigate pedeophilia.
Justice Wood made many recomendations.
Survivors such as myself finally had a voice
Churches, Schools etc wrote Child Protection Policies
there WERE many reforms.
it soon became evident that the journey had only just began.
some policies and responses of certain institutions were found to be inadequate.
services for survivors were grossly inadequate
some child protection policies were a sham - written for insurance companies
in one case a Child Protection Director of an institution was a Defence Lawyer !
clearly many institutions were locked into defending the institution policies
and blocking victims claims
than fulfilling their duty of care.
Other States held enquiries - eg Victoria's Royal Commission in progress 2012-13.
However survivors were still finding the responses of the states to be inadequate.
Survivors and survivor roups began to Call for a Federal Royal Commission.
- eg When The Minister for Education went to a certain school to address a public meting in late 2012
private schools - outlining the abuse he received at the hand of teachers. The Minister responded
with compassion but said it should be raised elsewhere.
- a NSW Police Dectective Inspector publically called for a State Royal Commission citing his frustration
- the behaviour of certain students at St John's ( Catholic) resiential college at Sydney University got out of hand with a student hospitalised after she, a feshman was pressured into drinking a cocktail of liquids. The Archbishop and the Vice Chancellor said they had no control over the Colege. That was because the nineteenth centuary Act of Parliament set up the university of Sydney Residential Colleges as legally seperate entities with a land grant. It was the final straw.
Announcement of the Royal Commission.On Monday 12 November 2012 the Prime Minister announced that she will be recommending to the Governor-General the establishment of a Royal Commission into institutional responses to instances and allegations of child sexual abuse in Australia.
The Terms of Reference and the membership of the Commission are currently being developed. There have been valuable discussions with State and Territory Governments and careful planning of the logistics of what will be one of the largest Royal Commissions ever held in Australia.
In addition, the Australian Government conducted a broad consultation process to ensure the perspectives of key stakeholders inform the decisions that need to be taken in establishing the Royal Commission. Interested individuals and organisations were invited to comment on a Consultation Paper on issues such as the scope of the Terms of Reference, the form of the Royal Commission, the number and type of Royal Commissioner/s and the reporting timetable for the Royal Commission.
More than 800 individuals and organisations provided input into the Terms of Reference, including around 600 comments by email and 200 formal written submissions. Submissions highlighted:
- The importance of designing hearing process appropriately so victims feel supported through the process of preparing and giving evidence and, where necessary, report abuse to police
- The need to ensure recommendations can be implemented, and in a timely manner
- The need to appoint multiple commissioners with broad expertise – legal expertise and child protection expertise were most commonly mentioned
- Timely reporting with recognition that the Commission will need sufficient time to investigate thoroughly - most say take whatever time is needed to get it right.
The announcement of the Australian Royal Commission into Sexual Abuse has
triggered memories in the lives of many Australian Survivors of child sexual abuse,
of which I am one.
The Secretariat has a 1800 number and a Feedback Form.
The Staff are taking comments but not submissions yet.
They do have Social Workers survivors can ask to speak to.
I have rung them and can report a positive experience
from helpful staff.
I wrote this site to provide contact details of services who are set up to asist survivors
such as sexual assult counsellors, ASCA, 1in6 etc.
Wheras the government webiste listed phone numbers I felt links to websites for survivors to read the material might be also helpful.
Today, Friday 11th January 2013 the ABC 7am news mentioned the 6 Commissioners and the Terms of Referance will be announced.
It is anticipated the following website will be activated sometime today.
The webite for the Royal Commission