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Media Inquiries

Contact Stephanie Gotlib
Chief Executive Officer
03 9417 1025
[email protected]

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Past Information

Report released – A familiar face: violence in the lives of children and adolescents – UNICEF (November 2017) 
This report summarises recent data in discussing four specific forms of violence: violent discipline and exposure to domestic abuse during early childhood; violence at school; violent deaths among adolescents; and sexual violence in childhood and adolescence. It is revealed that violence is experienced by children across all stages of childhood, in diverse settings, and often at the hands of individuals with whom they regularly interact. National actions and strategies for preventing and responding to violence against children are discussed. The full report can be downloaded from UNICEF, at https://www.unicef.org/publications/index_101397.html

Article released – When it comes to redress for child sexual abuse, all victims should be equal – the Conversation (1 November 2017)
This article addresses the controversial exclusion of certain victims in the government’s proposed redress scheme for victims of institutional child sexual abuse. It is proposed that people who have been convicted of sex offences, and those sentenced to prison terms of five years or more for certain crimes, are excluded from redress. The full article can be read on The Conversation, at https://goo.gl/iYZ56V

Resources and downloads available – Preventing and Responding to Abuse: Guidance for Victorian disability service providers – DSC
The Disability Services Commissioner held this forum on the 12 September 2017, which addressed preventing and responding to abuse in disability services. They have now released videos of the presentations, and various resources from the forum, on their website, at https://goo.gl/NPShPP

Resource released – Understanding safeguarding practices for children with disability when engaging with organisations – CFCA (October 2017)
Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) have developed this new resource, which provides an overview of the abuse and neglect of children with disability, and discusses various methods for achieving child-safe organisations for children with disability. The resource is available from CFCA at https://goo.gl/uHz4eh

Article released – Improving data collection to better support children in out-of-home care at risk of offending – CFCA (18 October 2017)
Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) have released the final article of a series that explored the over-representation of children and young people in out-of-home care, or with a history of maltreatment, in the youth justice system. The article discusses the need to improve data collection, so as to better inform how to support children and young people who are at risk of offending. The article is available from CFCA at https://goo.gl/xxbnjM

Supplementary Report of Case Study no. 34 released: The response of Brisbane Grammar and St Paul’s School to allegations of child sexual abuse – Royal Commission
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released this supplementary report after receiving significant new information regarding Kevin Lynch, who allegedly sexually abused students while working at both Brisbane Grammar and St Paul’s School. It was revealed that Kevin Lynch had previously been convicted of two counts of indecent assault, before his employment at these schools. The findings presented in this report support the Royal Commission’s recommendations for a nationally consistent Working With Children Check scheme contained in their Working With Children Checks report. The supplementary report is available from the Royal Commission at https://goo.gl/C1sVb4

Report released – Report of Case Study 45 – Problematic and harmful sexual behaviours of children in schools – Royal Commission (18 October 2017)
The Royal Commission has released a report summarising the findings for Case Study No. 45, which relates to a public hearing held in October and November 2016. The public hearing inquired into the responses of a number of schools in New South Wales and Queensland to allegations of problematic or harmful sexual behaviours by students at those schools. The report can be downloaded from the Royal Commission website at https://goo.gl/iHmhBu

Documentary released – The Invisibles – Berry Street
Berry Street has released a documentary to mark their 140th year of operations. The documentary follows the story of five young people who have grown up in out-of-home care as they prepare for the Berry Street Debutante Ball. The documentary can be watched on Berry Street’s website, at https://www.berrystreet.org.au/invisibles

Report Released – Disability Services Commissioner Annual Report 2016-17 – DSC (October 2017)
The Disability Services Commissioner Annual Report summarises information regarding the enquiries and complaints made to the DSC and to disability services directly. The report includes the number, type, and outcomes of these enquiries and complaints. The report is available to download in various formats here.

Resource Released – Child deaths from abuse and neglect – CFCA (October 2017)
Child Family Community Australia has released an updated resource sheet that summarises statistics on child deaths resulting from child abuse and neglect in Australia, and discusses these statistics in light of an international context. Information is included on the deaths of young people with a history of child protection involvement in each Australian state/territory. To access the resource, click here.

Call for participants – Gender and Family Violence: New Frameworks in Prevention – Monash University
Monash University will be conducting a study on violence against women with disability. They are looking to carry out discussions with women with disability who have experienced violence, who are living in New South Wales or Victoria. Topics that will be discussed will include women’s experiences of violence, and the situations or people that are helpful or detrimental to women’s perceptions of safety. More information is available from Monash University, at https://goo.gl/mi39RN

Justice McClellan addresses the Australia and New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy (ANZAP) – Royal Commission (30 September 2017)
The Chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse, Justice Peter McClellan AM, spoke at the Australia and New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy 30th Anniversary Conference in Sydney on 30 September 2017. Justice McClellan’s speech can be read here.

Report released – Investigation into the management and protection of disability group home residents by the Department of Health and Human Services and Autism Plus – Victorian Ombudsman (25 September 2017)
This report summarises the findings of an investigation into sexual assault allegations against a resident of a group home run by disability services provider Autism Plus. Despite a number of concerns being expressed, the resident remained in the group home for months until the alleged rape took place. The events raised concerns regarding the failure of Autism Plus and the Department of Health and Human Services to move the group home resident earlier. The report summarises these concerns, as well as questions about the suitability of Autism Plus to provide care for DHHS clients and about the action and inaction of DHHS officials. For more information, and to download the report, click here.

Report released – Unfitness to Plead and Indefinite Detention of Persons with Cognitive Disabilities – Melbourne Social Equity Institute (September 2017)
This report, released by the University of Melbourne’s Social Equity Institute, is the final report summarising findings of the Unfitness to Plead Project. This project investigated the issue of people with cognitive disability being found unfit to plead, resulting in indefinite detention. The report summarises the barriers faced by people with cognitive disability across the criminal justice system and recommendations for addressing these issues. For more information, and to download the report, click here.

Journal article released – Criminalising Institutional Failures to Prevent, Identify or React to Child Sexual Abuse (1 September 2017)
This article proposes that organisations can and should be criminalised for organisational wrongdoing, such as systemic failures to adequately respond to instances of child sexual abuse. It is suggested that mandatory reporting offences, though important, are not adequate in responding to the organisational failings identified by the Royal Commission. Rather, such failings require criminal sanctions are imposed. To download the article, click here.

Resource released – Principles for child-safe organisations (NSW) – the Office of the Children’s Guardian (September 2017)
The NSW Government’s Office of the Children’s Guardian has released this resource to help organisations create safer environments for children. The flexible strategies outlined in the principles can be implemented in addressing a range of environmental risks which may arise across varied organisations. The resource highlights the importance of organisational culture in keeping children safe. For more information, and to download the resource, click here.

Discussion paper released – Strengthening child sexual abuse laws (NSW) – NSW Government (September 2017)
The NSW Government has prepared a discussion paper that discusses issues relating to child sexual abuse laws in NSW. The paper suggests possible options to improve the current framework, and discusses whether new offences may be necessary to fill any gaps in the existing framework. The paper is informed in part by the recommendations of the Criminal Justice Report, released by the Royal Commission in August 2017. For more information, and to download the discussion paper, click here.

Report Released – Whistleblower Protections – Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (13 September 2017)
The Committee has released a report which makes a number of recommendations to help improve legislation surrounding whistleblower protections. A major recommendation is that a Whistleblower Protection Authority is established that can support whistleblowers, assess and prioritise the treatment of whistleblowing allegations, and ensure the implementation of a whistleblower regime in both private and public sectors. For more information, and to download the report, click here.

Final reports released from the Queensland Foster Care and Blue Cards systems review – QFCC (7 September 2017)
The Queensland Family and Child Commission have released two reports following their whole system review of the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000. The review focused on two key components: (i) the use of Blue Cards (working with children checks) and, (ii) the assessment and approval processes for foster carers. The two final reports summarise the findings of these two focuses and include a number of recommendations to strengthen and improve the Blue Card system and Foster Care system respectively. The Review of the blue card system report is available here, and the Review of the foster care system report is available here.

Resource released – Challenging misconceptions about sexual offending: creating an evidence-based resource for police and legal practitioners, AIFS & Victoria Police (06 September 2017)
Victoria Police, in partnership with the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), have released an evidence-based resource which presents an accurate picture of sexual offending. The resource challenges a number of commonly held misconceptions about sexual offending, and aims to help police, legal practitioners, and the general community, develop a better understanding of the realities of sexual offending. The resource, and more information, is available here.

Report Released – Seeking help for domestic violence: exploring rural women’s coping experiences – final report – ANROWS (September 2017)
Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) has released a report which presents the final results of a qualitative study investigating the ability of women living in regional, rural, and remote areas in Australia, to seek help regarding domestic and family violence. The report contributes to research suggesting isolation may impact women’s ability to cope with, and decisions to seek help regarding, domestic and family violence. For more information, and to download the report, click here.

Publication released – Prevention of child abuse and neglect – NAPCAN and AIFS (September 2017)
As part of National Child Protection Week, NAPCAN and the Australian Institute of Family Studies have released a paper exploring and promoting the concept of prevention. The paper summarises the ongoing discussion and research relating to prevention with the aim of engaging the community and improving their understanding of the term, and to ensure prevention is prioritised in policy and investment. The full paper is available here.

Podcast series – Unspeakable: Understanding Sexual Crime – Victoria Police (September 2017)
As part of National Child Protection Week, Victoria Police has launched the first of a new six-part podcast series aimed to inform the community about sexual crime and challenge common misconceptions about sexual offending. Each free episode will be released weekly on iTunes and SoundCloud and will focus on a different theme, such as reporting of sexual offences, victim reactions, and future strategies. It is hoped the podcast will encourage more victims to report their assault. More information is available here.

Report Released – Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: An Interpretive Review of the Literature and Public Inquiry Reports – Centre for Global Research, RMIT (August, 2017)
The Centre for Global Research at RMIT University has released a comprehensive report, which took five years to complete, addressing the ongoing issue of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The report focuses on the precipitating risk factors for child sexual abuse and analyses the systemic reasons why the issue has persisted in the Catholic Church worldwide. For more information, and to download the report, click here. RMIT has also released a podcast discussing the report, which can be listened to for free on iTunes or SoundCloud.

New Inspection Powers for DSC – Victoria
The Disability Services Commissioner (DSC) has introduced new powers, which allow DSC Authorised Officers to inspect disability services in response to reports of abuse and neglect. A number of senior DSC staff have been appointed to the role of DSC Authorised Officer and are able to use their inspection powers immediately. Authorised Officers are able to inspect disability services, make enquiries about relevant persons with disability, obtain access to relevant documents, and interview a relevant person with disability, their relatives, support persons, staff, and volunteers. More information is available here.

Publication released – Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect – CFCA (September 2017)
Child Family Community Australia has released a resource sheet which summarises mandatory reporting of suspected abuse and neglect to child protection services in Australia. The document considers the key legislative reporting duties in each jurisdiction, focusing on major differences between state and territories regarding who is required to report, and what a report must include. The resource sheet is available here.

Report Released – Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children – AIFS (September 2017)
The seventh volume of the Annual Statistical Report series, produced by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, has now been released. The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) investigates child development and family functioning in the context of Australia’s contemporary social, economic and cultural environment. The report series aims to provide information to researchers, policy-makers, service providers, and the community at large relating to the LSAC findings. The full report is available here.

Message to Australia – Royal Commission
The Royal Commission’s ‘Message to Australia’ initiative is an opportunity for those people who shared their stories with the Commission to send a message to the Australian community about their experiences and hopes for the safety of children in the future. The messages will be published in a book when the Royal Commission ends, which will be publicly available at the National Library of Australia. More information is available here.

Discussion paper released – Modernisation of the Anti-Discrimination Act (NT) – Department of the Attorney General and Justice NT (September 2017)
The Northern Territory Department of the Attorney General and Justice has prepared this discussion paper which addresses a number of issues with the current Anti-Discrimination Act. The Act came into effect on 1 August 1993 and has undergone little amendment since its commencement. Due to the evolving nature of discrimination, laws need to be amended to keep in line with contemporary standards. The Department of the Attorney-General and Justice is seeking both formal and informal comments regarding possible amendments to the Anti-Discrimination Act, which must be received by the 3 December 2017 . To read the discussion paper, click here.

Call for submissions – Family Violence and Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Victoria) – VLRC (October 2017) 
The Victorian Law Reform Commission has prepared two consultation papers relating to the Family Violence and Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996, along with a public call for submissions. The Commission is aiming to improve the experience of victims of family violence in accessing assistance. Currently, this can be difficult due to a lack of awareness and barriers to eligibility. To read the consultation papers, and for information on how to make a submission, click here. The closing date for submission is 31 October 2017.

Report Released – Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: An Interpretive Review of the Literature and Public Inquiry Reports – Centre for Global Research, RMIT (August, 2017)
The Centre for Global Research at RMIT University has released a comprehensive report, which took five years to complete, addressing the ongoing issue of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The report focuses on the precipitating risk factors for child sexual abuse and analyses the systemic reasons why the issue has persisted in the Catholic Church worldwide. For more information, and to download the report, click here. RMIT has also released a podcast discussing the report, which can be listened to for free on iTunes or SoundCloud.

Report Released – Case study 40: The Response of the Australian Defence Force to Allegations of child sexual abuse – Royal Commission (22 August 2017)
The Royal Commission released a report regarding a public hearing which inquired into the experiences of men and women who, as children, were sexually abused in certain divisions of the Australian Defence Force.More information and the full report is available here.

Report Released – Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: An Interpretive Review of the Literature and Public Inquiry Reports – Centre for Global Research, RMIT (August, 2017)
The Centre for Global Research at RMIT University has released a comprehensive report, which took five years to complete, addressing the ongoing issue of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The report focuses on the precipitating risk factors for child sexual abuse and analyses the systemic reasons why the issue has persisted in the Catholic Church worldwide. For more information, and to download the report, click here. RMIT has also released a podcast discussing the report, which can be listened to for free on iTunes or SoundCloud.

Media Release: Investigating the complex links between maltreatment and youth offending – CFCA (30 August 2017)
Child Family Community Australia has released an article addressing the overrepresentation of young people with a history of maltreatment in the youth justice system. In exploring the association between childhood maltreatment and offending behaviour, the article considers research investigating the complex nature of this association, and how a variety of risk factors, in combination with maltreatment, may lead to offending behaviour. To read the full article, click here.

Report Released – Case study 40: The Response of the Australian Defence Force to Allegations of child sexual abuse – Royal Commission (22 August 2017)
The Royal Commission released a report regarding a public hearing which inquired into the experiences of men and women who, as children, were sexually abused in certain divisions of the Australian Defence Force.More information and the full report is available here.

Report Released – Case study 40: The Response of the Australian Defence Force to Allegations of child sexual abuse – Royal Commission (22 August 2017)
The Royal Commission released a report regarding a public hearing which inquired into the experiences of men and women who, as children, were sexually abused in certain divisions of the Australian Defence Force.More information and the full report is available here.

Media Release: Submissions for public hearing into children with problematic or harmful sexual behaviours in schools published – Royal Commission (21 August 2017)
Written submissions for Case Study 45: public hearing into children with problematic or harmful sexual behaviours in schools have been published by the Royal Commission. The hearing was held in response to incidents of sexual behaviours of children in various NSW and QLD schools. For more information, and to read the submissions, click here.

Report Released – Criminal Justice – Royal Commission (14 August 2017)
The Royal Commission released a report which includes a range of legislative and policy change recommendations in relation to the Criminal Justice system. It includes recommendations relating to police and prosecution responses, sentences and appeals, and also recommends new offences such as ‘failure to report’ and ‘failure to protect’. For more information, and to access the report, click here.

Research reports released exploring the nature and extent of child sexual abuse in contemporary institutional settings – Royal Commission (16 August 2017)
The Royal Commission have released two new research reports, Child sexual abuse in Australian institutional contexts 2008-13: Findings from administrative data and a follow-up study Child sexual abuse in institutional contexts: the reliability of police data, nature and allegations reported to police, and factors driving reporting rates. These reports discuss findings that a significant proportion of child sexual abuse in institutional settings is committed by other children or young people. For more information, and to read the full reports, click here.

Arranging the return of items provided during a private session – Royal Commission
Those who attended private sessions with the Royal Commission provided a number of items (such as written documents, school yearbooks, photos, artworks, and photos). If you, or someone you know, gave the Commission any items, please contact the Commission before the 29 September 2017 on 1800 099 340 or [email protected] . After this date, it will be assumed items are no longer required.

Media Release: Community Services Ministers’ Meeting Communiqu é – Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs (25 August 2017) 
Community Services Ministers held a meeting on the 25 August 2017 in Darwin, where it was agreed that all levels of Government need to act to improve the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Ministers identified two core areas of focus: providing stability for children in child protection and ensuring the right services are available to prevent children entering child protection. More information is available here.

The Justice Project 
The Australian Law Council is conducting a national review into barriers to justice in Australia, with a specific focus on people who experience disadvantage. This project will aim to develop new justice strategies and law reform informed by available evidence. A consultation paper will be released in the near future to provide a guide for public submissions. The Project’s final report will be released by the end of 2017. Further information is available here.

Report released - Help-seeking needs and gaps for preventing child sexual abuse 
This report explores available programs and services to prevent child sexual abuse. It found that there are limited services available and those that do exist are not well coordinated. The report is available here

Report Released - Grooming and child sexual abuse in institutional contexts
This research paper provides an overview of key conceptual issues in understanding grooming and discusses what is known about grooming, particularly as it relates to institutional child sexual abuse. Grooming is defined as the use of manipulative and controlling techniques with a vulnerable subject with the overall aim of facilitating exploitation. The paper is available here.

Research released on the support needs of specific population groups
A new report released by the Royal Commission identifies the support needs of specific population groups including survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, survivors of child sexual abuse with disability, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survivors of child sexual abuse. The report examined the available literature relating to people with disability. The report found that children with disability experience higher rates of sexual abuse than children without disability. Further, there is very little evidence about effective treatment and support for people with disability who were sexually abused as children. Further information is available here. Further information on the Royal Commission publication is available here.

Royal Commission into Youth Justice Detention in the Northern Territory
The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory has commenced public hearings in Darwin. The Commission is examining: failings in the child protection and youth detention systems of the Northern Territory; oversight and safeguards for young people in detention; whether young people in detention have experienced breaches of human rights; and what improvements can be made to the Territory child protection and youth justice systems. For further information, visit the Royal Commission website  here.

Changes to Residential Care in New South Wales
The NSW Government recently announced reforms, which aim to improve support services for young people living in residential care settings. Changes being considered include: providing targeted therapeutic treatment for young people living in residential care settings; and new training requirements and minimum standards for workers in the sector. 

Further information is available from the NSW Minister for Family and Community Services, Brad Hazzard here

Royal Commission releases research report into elements of child safe institutions
The report ‘Key Elements of a child-safe organisation’ will assist institutions to prevent, identify and improve responses to physical, sexual, emotional/psychological abuse and the neglect of children. The Royal Commission has also released a brief publication outlining the Royal Commission’s views on the elements that make an organisation child safe.

Further information on the report is available here

Royal Commission report into Salvation Army's Southern Territory released
The report follows a public hearing held in Adelaide, which examined the experiences of former child residents, as well as the response of The Salvation Army (Southern Territory) (TSAS) to allegations of child sexual abuse of former residents of boy’s homes in Eden Park (SA), Box Hill and Bayswater (Victoria) and Nedlands (WA). The report found that many former residents suffered abuse which often went unreported. The report makes recommendations on the review of settled compensation claims by TSAS. 

The report is available here.

Royal Commission report into Knox Grammar School and the Uniting Church released 
The report follows a public hearing held in 2015 which inquired into the experiences of sexual abuse of former students at Knox Grammar School in Wahroonga NSW, and also examined the response of Knox and the Uniting Church in Australia between 1970 and 2012 to concerns raised about inappropriate conduct by a number of teachers towards students at Knox. Five teachers were convicted of child sex offences in 2009. The Royal Commission found that the headmaster of Knox, Dr Paterson, fostered an attitude and culture that were dismissive of allegations of child sexual abuse, that he deliberately withheld information from the Knox Council, the body responsible for the management of the school, covered up allegations in relation to two teachers and failed to notify the parents of boys who had made allegations.
The report is available here.

Royal Commission report into Satyananda Yoga Ashram released
The report follows a public hearing in December 2014 and oral submissions in April 2015, into the response of the Satyananda Yoga Ashram at Mangrove Mountain NSW to allegations of child sexual abuse by the former spiritual leader, Swami Akhandananda Saraswati, in the 1970’s and 1980’s. In 1989, Akhandananda was arrested on charges of child sexual abuse and was sentenced in 1989 to two years and four months imprisonment. Commissioners are satisfied that when the Bihar School of Yoga in India, the spiritual headquarters of the Satyananda Yoga movement, first heard about the Royal Commission’s investigation of the sexual abuse of children by Akhandananda, their primary concern was to minimise the risk of damaging the reputation of Satyananda yoga. Commissioners also considered that during the public hearing, the Mangrove Mountain ashram adopted an approach that was at times insensitive, defensive and legalistic. 

The report is available here.

Royal Commission report into Victorian state run youth training and reception centres released
The report follows a public hearing held in Melbourne in August 2015 which examined the response of Turana, Winlaton and Baltara, Victoria Police and the Department of Health and Human Services to allegations of child sexual abuse. The Commissioners found that in these institutions there was an absence of relevant checks on staff, lack of staff training, poor culture preventing reporting to senior management, inadequate supervision of children to keep them safe, and punishment and control by staff that was cruel, dehumanising and degrading. The Commissioners found that the Department of Health and Human Services (and its relevant predecessors) failed in its duty of care to protect vulnerable children who were placed in its institutions during the 1960s to early 1990s from sexual abuse.
The report is available here.

Submissions to the Royal Commission published regarding complaints of institutional child sexual abuse
The Royal Commission has published submissions received in response to a consultation paper on Best Practices in Responding to Complaints of Child Sexual Abuse in Institutions. The Commission sought feedback on a range on issues including best practice principles and complaint handling policies. CYDA’s submission to the consultation focused on the specific needs of children with disability, including barriers to disclosure of child sexual abuse.
The submissions, including CYDA’s, are available here.

Royal Commission research released about children’s perceptions of safety 
Our safety counts: Children and Young People’s Perceptions of Safety and Institutional Responses to their Safety Concerns found that over 40 percent of children surveyed would feel uncomfortable talking to an adult at school if they were in a situation where they felt unsafe. Young people mostly reported that they would tell a friend or parent in these circumstances.
The report is available here.

Royal Commission research released about the impact of delayed reporting of child sexual abuse
The Impact of Delayed Reporting on the Prosecution and Outcomes of Child Sexual Abuse Cases examines how the New South Wales and South Australian justice systems respond to cases of child sexual abuse reported to police in childhood compared with cases where reporting is delayed until adulthood.
The report is available here.  

Royal Commission research released about evidence from complainants of child sexual abuse
An Evaluation of How Evidence is Elicited from Complainants of Child Sexual Abuse examined the use and effectiveness of different measures for obtaining evidence regarding child sexual abuse within the criminal justice system.
The report is available here.

Royal Commission research released about the effect of sexual abuse disclosure on families
Family Relationships and the Disclosure of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse examines the long-term effects of disclosures of institutional child sexual abuse on people who experienced abuse and their families. The report argues that a range of support services are needed not just directly following abuse but throughout life.
The report is available here.  

Royal Commission Consultation Paper on criminal justice
The Royal Commission has released a consultation paper on Criminal Justice Issues in Child Sexual Abuse Cases. The Commission is seeking feedback regarding a range of issues raised in the paper, including: police responses; child sexual abuse offences; prosecution responses; evidence required of people who have experienced child sexual abuse; sentencing; and more. Submissions are invited by 17 October 2016.
The consultation paper is available here.

Research released about children’s views about safety
The Institute of Child Protection Studies at the Australian Catholic University has released a resource entitled Children’s Views about Safety in Institutions. The report found that children feel safer in institutions that: value children and young people; proactively protect children and young people from harm; employ safe and trustworthy adults; and are open to oversight and monitoring by external agencies. 
The report is available here.  

Research identifies the need for a national study into prevalence of child maltreatment 
Australia is one of the few developed countries that does not collect reliable, nationally representative prevalence data on child sexual abuse. In response to this knowledge gap, the Royal Commission appointed a group of researchers across Australia to investigate the research design, methodology, cost and governance structures of studies into the prevalence of child maltreatment in Australia, including the prevalence of institutional sexual abuse.  
Scoping study for research into the prevalence of child abuse in Australia was conducted by the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) at the University of NSW, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the Australian Centre for Child Protection (ACCP) at University of South Australia, and the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS).
The report is available here

Royal Commission releases research on perpetrators of child sexual abuse
A research report conducted for the Royal Commission has examined available evidence regarding the characteristics, motivations and offending behaviour of child sexual abuse perpetrators in both institutional and non-institutional contexts.
Evidence and frameworks for understanding perpetrators of institutional child sexual abuse, is by Dr Michael Proeve, Professor Paul Delfabbro, and Ms Catia Malvaso from the University of Adelaide.
The report is available here.  

Royal Commission report on risk and protective factors for child sexual abuse in institutions
Risk Profiles for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse: A literature review noted that many children spend a significant amount of time in institutional settings, and while some children were more vulnerable than others, all children are inherently vulnerable to child sexual abuse in institutional settings when a motivated perpetrator is present. The review was undertaken by international researchers Professor Keith Kaufman and Marcus Erooga. 

The report is available here.

Media release from Valuing Children Initiative 
The media release from the Valuing Children Initiative How many Royal Commissions will it take to keep children safe? calls on Federal members of parliament to reinvigorate the role they play in ensuring the safety, health and wellbeing of children. 
Read the media release here

Public hearing into Catholic Church authorities in Maitland-Newcastle
The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing to inquire into the response of Catholic Church authorities in the Maitland-Newcastle region in Newcastle. The hearing will now commence on Wednesday 31 August. The hearing will examine allegations of child sexual abuse by clergy and religious; the response of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle to allegations of sexual abuse; and the response of the Marist Brothers to allegations of sexual abuse.
Further information is available here.

Public hearing into the responses of Catholic Church authorities to allegations of child sexual abuse against John Joseph Farrell
The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing to inquire into the responses of the Catholic Diocese of Armidale and the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta to allegations of child sexual abuse made against John Joseph Farrell; and the response of the Special Issues Group for the Province of Sydney. The hearing will be held in Sydney on 12 September. 

Further information is available here.

Public hearing into the experiences of survivors of child sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy and lay people involved in or associated with the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle 
The Royal Commission is inquiring into the response of the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle and associated institutions to allegations of child sexual abuse made against clergy and lay people associated with the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle; and the links between any institutional culture at St John’s College, Morpeth and the perpetration of child sexual abuse. The hearing commenced on 2 August and is currently underway. 

Further information is available here

Justice McClellan addresses Judicial College of Victoria
The Hon. Justice Peter McClellan AM, Chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, made an address to the Judicial College of Victoria on 19 August. The address ‘Meeting and managing community expectations’ was  given as part of the Judicial College of Victoria’s Historical Sexual Offences program.

 A copy of Justice McClellan’s speech is available here.

Royal Commission release of private session audio stories 
The Royal Commission has released nine “audio stories” which are voiced by actors and based on survivors’ experiences as revealed in private sessions. The stories were originally published in text and form as part of the Interim Report in June 2014. The stories have been de-identified by changing all names, removing any other identifying features and are narrated by actors. Content warnings have been placed on the Your Stories page above the audio stories, with a link to Support Services.
Listen to the audio stories here.

Report on family relationships and the disclosure of institutional child sexual abuse
The Royal Commission has released a report prepared by the Australian Institute of Family Studies that has found the social, institutional and cultural context in which a family operates deeply influences disclosure of child sexual abuse. The report, ‘Family relationships and the disclosure of institutional child sexual abuse’, examines the long-term effects of disclosures of institutional child sexual abuse on families and includes comparisons between child and adult disclosures. 

Read the full report here.

Royal Commission releases criminal justice research reports 
The Royal Commission has released two research reports it commissioned on criminal justice issues that make significant findings about how child sexual abuse cases are handled in the criminal justice system.
Read ‘An evaluation of how evidence is elicited from complainants of child sexual abuse’ here.
Read ‘The impact of delayed reporting on the prosecution and outcomes of child sexual abuse cases’ here

Submissions published on factors affecting the institutional response to child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church
The Royal Commission has published 44 submissions received in response to Issues Paper 11, which invited submissions about any factors which may have contributed to the occurrence of child sexual abuse in Catholic institutions or may have affected the institutional response of the Catholic Church to child sexual abuse.

The Royal Commission will hold a final hearing regarding the institutional response of the Catholic Church to child sexual abuse in February 2017.

Further information is available here

Statement on immigration detention centres
The Royal Commission released the following statement on Tuesday 17 August.

The Royal Commission does not ordinarily comment upon operational matters. However, because of the level of public discussion in relation to immigration detention centres the Commission indicates the following. 

The Royal Commission has an ongoing investigation in relation to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s response to allegations of child sexual abuse in detention centres. Whether or not a public hearing is warranted has not been determined.

The Royal Commission is conscious that a Child Protection Panel was established by the Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in May 2015. The Panel’s terms of reference indicate that ‘a final report will be provided to the Secretary by mid-2016 covering both better practice and a comprehensive sample of reviews.’ The Royal Commission anticipates that the report will deal with the Department’s response to, among other matters, allegations of child abuse in detention centres. The Royal Commission will have regard to that report in the course of its investigation into immigration detention issues.

Research into jury behaviour
The Royal Commission have released a report Jury Reasoning in Joint and Separate Trials of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse: An Empirical Study which investigates whether conducting joint trials and admitting tendency evidence infringe on a defendant's right to a fair trial. The research will help inform law reform when there are allegations of sexual abuse by two or more complainants against one individual.  

The report is available here.

Public hearing into Disability Service Providers
The Royal Commission held a public hearing into Disability Service Providers on 11 July 2016 in Sydney. The hearing examined cases of sexual abuse of children with disability which occurred at Mater Dei School in Camden, NSW, the Gold Coast Family Support Group (now FSG Australia) and services delivered by the Disability Trust at Shoalhaven, NSW.  

More information about the public hearing is available here.  

Submissions published on institutional responses to child sexual abuse in out of home care 
The Royal Commission has published submissions received from service providers, peak bodies, advocacy groups, statutory bodies, government agencies and academics in response to its consultation paper on out-of-home care, released in March 2016.  

Submissions can be read here

Submissions to issues paper now available to view 
In October 2015, the Royal Commission released an issues paper on Advocacy and Support and Therapeutic Treatment Services which focussed on services and supports available for people who experienced child sexual abuse. Submissions by individuals and organisations, including CYDA’s, have now been published and are available here.

Consultation paper on responding to complaints of child sexual abuse released
The Royal Commission has released a consultation paper on Best Practices in Responding to Complaints of Child Sexual Abuse in Institutions. The Commission is now seeking submissions with feedback being sought on a range on issues including best practice principles and complaint handling policies. Submission are invited by 26 April 2016. Further information about the paper, including how to make a submission, is available  here.

Research Reports released
The Royal Commission has released three research reports into the criminal justice system which will help inform the public hearing into Criminal Justice Issues. The reports titled The response of specialist police investigative units to child sexual abuse, Restorative justice following child sexual abuse or comparable harms, and Specialist Prosecution Units and Courts: A review of the literature are available  here.

Royal Commission releases report on understanding failure to identify and report child sexual abuse
The Royal Commission has released a report entitled Hear no evil, see no evil: Understanding failure to identify and report child sexual abuse in institutional contexts. The study identifies a number of challenges to creating and maintaining a safe organisation where staff members are quick to recognise grooming or abuse behavior and trigger a process that investigates concerns and can take appropriate action so that children are protected from harm. Key findings are:

  • Detecting child sexual abuse is a task that many people may do rarely – if ever – at work. Grooming behaviour in particular is often ambiguous, making it difficult for colleagues, who may not be experienced in detecting grooming, to make sense of the behaviour and recognise it as child sexual abuse.

  • Organisations that implement systems and processes that provide ways for staff to talk through their judgements and decision making process, and encourage a culture of critical reflection, can help minimise errors of reasoning and cognitive bias.

The report is available here.

Royal Commission releases report on redress and civil litigation
The Royal Commission has released its final report on redress and civil litigation. In the report, the Commission recommends that ‘in order to provide redress under the most effective structure for ensuring justice for survivors, the Australian Government should establish a single national redress scheme.’ The report contains 99 recommendations aimed at providing justice to victims of child sexual abuse in institutions. The full report is available here.

Victorian Commissioner for Children and Young People releases report into sexual abuse in residential care
The Commission for Children and Young People (Victoria) have released the final report from their Inquiry into the adequacy of the provision of residential care services to Victorian children and young people who have been subject to sexual abuse or sexual exploitation whilst residing in residential care. The report found that the current system creates opportunities for the sexual abuse of children and young people of residential care services in Victoria and calls for an urgent redevelopment of residential care services in Victoria and the development of specialised care options for children. 

The report is available here.

Royal Commission releases new research on children’s views of safety
The Royal Commission has published a research report entitled Taking Us Seriously: Children and young people talk about safety and institutional responses to their safety concerns. The children and young people who participated in the research said that in order for them to feel safe and be safe institutions need to have a focus on helping children and young people, value their participation, provide a safe physical environment, proactively protect them from unsafe people and experiences and employ safe and trusted adults. 

The research is available here.

Australian National University resource centre
The Australian National University's Australian Child & Adolescent Trauma, Loss & Grief Network have developed on online resource centre, which compiles a range of resources including research and issues summaries. 

The website is available here.

Resource on child protection in Australia
The Institute of Family Studies has released a fact sheet on child protection in Australia. This fact sheet is a snapshot of Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data related to child protection in Australia between 2013-2014. 

The fact sheet is available here.

Royal Commission releases research report into sentencing for child sexual abuse in institutional contexts
The Royal Commission has released a report that examines sentencing law and practice in Australia as it relates to institutional child sexual abuse. 

The report is available here.

AIFS releases report about preventing child sexual abuseThe Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) have published a report entitled 'Conceptualising the prevention of child sexual abuse.' The report: identifies the conceptual, policy and practice challenges that the prevention of child sexual abuse presents; develops a conceptual mapping of dynamics associated with child sexual abuse; and outlines key directions that could be taken to strengthen prevention strategies. The report is available here.

Royal Commission releases findings into institutional responses to child sexual abuse at St Ann’s Special School

The Royal Commission has released its report regarding the public hearing that focused on St Ann's Special School in Adelaide. The report found that a lack of requirements surrounding police checks on employees enabled a man previously convicted for sexual offences to work as a bus driver at a special school in Adelaide. This man later went on to sexually abuse children with disability who attended the school. 

The report is available here.

Royal Commission releases report about the implementation of recommendations arising from previous inquiries
The Royal Commission has released a report prepared by the Parenting Research Centre at the University of Melbourne.The report evaluates the extent to which 288 recommendations from 67 inquiries that relate to child sexual abuse in institutions had been implemented, and the possible factors that determined, contributed to, or were barriers to successful implementation.
The report can be found here.

Royal Commission releases scoping review on pre-employment screening practices
The Royal Commission has published a scoping review, which maps evaluations of pre-employment screening practices for child-related work that aim to prevent child sexual abuse.
The review is available here.

Royal Commission releases report on out of home care
The Royal Commission has released a report examining issues related to the effectiveness of practices in out of home care in preventing child sexual abuse within institutions.
The report is available here.

Justice McClellan's address to the International Criminal Law Congress October 2014 

Justice McClellan's address

Royal Commission Interim Report July 2014 

Volume 1 outlines why the Royal Commission was established, what has been done, what has been learned and what will be done next. 

Royal Commission Interim Report July 2014 - Volume 1 Royal Commission Interim Report July 2014 - Volume 1 (19139 KB)

Volume 2 includes the personal stories of 150 people who shared their experience of abuse by coming to a private session or providing a written account. They have been chosen as a representative group and all names and other identifying features have been changed. This volume also includes a selection of de-identified poetry given to the Royal Commission by survivors.

Royal Commission Interim Report July 2014 - Volume 2 Royal Commission Interim Report July 2014 - Volume 2 (2397 KB)

Research about violence and abuse experienced by women and girls with disability
Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety has released a paper which explores the experience of abuse and violence for women and girls with disability and the effectiveness of tertiary responses. 

The paper is available here.