Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse

Important Announcement

The historic Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse began in the Victorian County Court in Melbourne on 3rd April 2013.(see News Archive)

The commission will look at religious organisations, state care providers, not-for-profit bodies, as well as child service agencies and police forces and what can be done so that the victims have justice.  The commission's chairman, Justice Peter McClellan, released information on how future private and public hearings will be conducted.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse  is expected to continue for the next three years. Submissions can be made to the Royal Commission, the Guidelines provided by the Commission are available (here) as a PDF.

The Royal Commission has a particular responsibility to investigate institutional responses to child sexual abuse and the Guidelines spell out how you might provide evidence to them. If you have been sexually abused in an institutional setting, this Commission is an opportunity to tell your truth, to put on record what was done, and name those who were responsible.

Making the choice to provide evidence to the commission, whether it is in writing or in person, in public or private, with your name attached or anonymously, is a big step and one in which you may want to spend some time considering or discussing with someone.  Support is available at: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/Support/Pages/default.aspx  and your well-being as you go through this process must be the priority.

Before you start, be clear about why you are doing this, now. Not everyone who has experienced sexual abuse in institutional settings will be making a submission or choosing to give evidence in person. It is your choice to do this. Please consider the following :

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What are your hopes?
  • What support do you have in your life?

Talking about childhood sexual assault experiences can be very difficult. It is important that you are able to access counselling and support as you work through this process. For some people, breaking the silence, especially if this is the first time, may trigger intense emotions like anxiety, fear or depression. Some people may experience other impacts like nightmares or thoughts of self harm or suicide. Friends and family may not always feel equipped to support you, so counselling can be helpful. The process of making your submission to the Royal Commission may be quite lengthy, so seeking non-judgmental support from a person you can trust can enhance your sense of safety and well being.  Your own safety and well being is important.  Consider seeking support from a sexual assault counsellor.  (Townsville Sexual Assault Support Service)

Read more about the Royal Commission at http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au

Crisis numbers

24hr telephone support services available include:

DV Connect

1800 811 811

Homeless Persons
Information Centre

1800 474 753

Lifeline

131 114

Sexual Assault Helpline

1800 010 120 (until 11.30pm)

National Sexual Assault,
Domestic Family Violence
Counselling Service

1800 010 120 (1800 RESPECT)