Taskforce to respond to Royal Commission’s final report
Since the Royal Commission began in 2013, over 8000 personal stories of child sexual abuse in institutions have been told in private sessions.
The Royal Commission also held 57 formal public hearings over 400 days around Australia, during which it heard evidence about sexual abuse within institutions from 1200 witnesses.
The Royal Commission released its final report on 15 December 2017.
The NSW Government welcomes the final report and will consider its recommendations carefully.
The final report is a testament to the courage of the survivors who shared their heartbreaking accounts, and the dedication of the many people who worked on the commission.
Their legacy has been a national reckoning with the injustices of the past and a deep commitment to healing and to protecting the most vulnerable in our community from the horrors of abuse.
What does the final report contain?
The report covers:
- the nature, cause and impact of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts
- what was learnt during the private sessions
- child-safe institutions
- findings about institutions
- interventions and treatments for children with harmful sexual behaviours
- the need for advocacy, support and therapeutic treatment services
- redress and civil litigation
- the criminal justice system.
The final report contains 409 recommendations to support governments, institutions and the general public to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse in institutional contexts.
What is the NSW Government doing?
The NSW Government has established a taskforce to respond to the final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The taskforce, which comprises representatives from across NSW Government, will carefully consider the report’s 409 recommendations.
Since the Royal Commission began in 2013, the NSW Government has also made sweeping reforms to out-of-home-care and significant changes to improve access to justice for survivors. Support for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse includes:
- a compassionate approach to litigation, acknowledging the life-long harm that can result from child sexual abuse
- the removal of the limitation period in civil claims, so survivors of child abuse can claim for damages regardless of the date of the alleged abuse
- a tribute at the Parramatta Girls Home to the women who experienced child sexual and physical abuse at this institution
- providing unlimited and free counselling for survivors of child sexual abuse, as well as improved access to care records
- a strengthened Working With Children Check system.
The NSW Government continues to work closely with the Australian Government and other states and territories to determine the best way forward to ensure the best outcomes for vulnerable children and young people.
A single national scheme is the best way to ensure consistent, accessible justice for survivors of child sexual abuse, regardless of where the abuse occurred.
The Office of the Children’s Guardian continues to accredit out-of-home care providers and works with institutions to help them become child safe.
Where can you get help?
The NSW Government encourages survivors of child sexual or physical assault to access the unlimited free and confidential counselling that is available through the Victims Support Scheme.
Other support services operate that 24/7 include: