The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released a new research report that identifies four dimensions of risk of child sexual abuse in institutional settings.
Every major Australian church has been cautioned to better protect children or risk illegitimacy. In a speech to the National Council of Churches, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse chairman Justice Peter McClellan urged religious leaders to act on his recommendations.
“What we can be certain of is that any institution which does not acknowledge past wrongs and the need for change will lose the confidence of Australians,” he said via a recorded video.
“The community will not accept the legitimacy of any institution which does not give priority to the safety and wellbeing of the children for which it has responsibility.”
Religions and faith systems have social justice as a pivotal centre from which many activities in a faith community arise therefrom and become part of the active compassion taken up by that faith system or religion in society and culture. In examining justice for victims of sexual abuse in institutions, the Royal Commission is required to respond to the directive of the Federal Executive and the Parliament “what institutions and governments should do to address, or alleviate the impact of, past and future sexual abuse and related matters in institutional contexts, including, in particular, in ensuring justice for victims through … processes for referral for investigation and prosecution“.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has come a long way since it first began hearings in April 2013. Since then, it’s made almost 2,000 referrals to authorities, held more than 6,500 private sessions, and handled almost 40,000 phone calls. But with so much ground to cover, where is it up to now and what’s left to go?
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will hold a public hearing commencing Monday 27 March 2017 in Sydney.
The scope and purpose of the public hearing is to inquire into the nature of child sexual abuse and related matters in institutional contexts in Australia and how community understanding of abuse has changed over time. Other necessary factors will also be examined by this public hearing.
The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing to inquire into the current policies and procedures of Catholic Church authorities in Australia in relation to child-protection and child-safety standards, including responding to allegations of child sexual abuse. The public hearing will commence on 6 February 2017 at the Royal Commission’s hearing rooms in Sydney.
A Melbourne rabbi has resigned from one of the most senior Jewish bodies in Australia in the wake of the child abuse royal commission. Rabbi Shimshon Yurkowicz was a trustee of Yeshivah Centre, which was strongly criticised by the commission for its failure to stop paedophiles preying on children.
The Royal Commission’s report into Case Study 22 – the response of Yeshiva Bondi and Yeshivah Melbourne to allegations of child sexual abuse made against people associated with those institutions – was released on 29 November 2016.
The Royal Commission (and many persons abused in different religions) report that how the criminal justice system deals with allegations against an individual of sexual offending against more than one child, has been identified by Commissioners – and those who have been abused – as one of the most significant issues in their criminal justice work and seeing justice done to repeat child abuse offenders.
On Friday 28 October 2016, the Royal Commission will host a research symposium on children and young people’s views of safety in institutions at University Hall, University of Technology Sydney, from 9:00am.