Royal Commission into child sex abuse hands down its final report
The McGowan Government has commended the work done by those responsible for delivering the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (the Royal Commission).
The Royal Commission was established in 2013, and during that time it has held 57 public hearings across all capital cities, sitting more than 400 days and involving 1,200 witnesses. Out of those public hearings, horrifying stories of child sexual abuse have emerged, exposing the truth that in some cases has been denied for decades.
The Final Report makes hundreds of recommendations that will help prevent and respond to child sexual abuse in institutions. The McGowan Government is committed to thoroughly examining all of the recommendations.
The McGowan Government has already taken steps to address institutional child sex abuse in WA and is currently:
- Introducing legislation removing the limitation periods for civil actions by survivors which goes further than any other Australian jurisdiction, providing a legal basis for suing institutions in the name of their current office holders for historical child sexual abuse;
- Working with the Commonwealth in relation to the development of a Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sex abuse;
- Working with other jurisdictions and the Commonwealth to develop a National Statement of Child Safe Principles;
- Working to implement the recommendations of the review of the State’s Children and Community Services Act 2004 to improve child protection processes; and
- Investigating the need for independent oversight of the out of home care system.
A copy of Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk’s Statement of Intent can be viewed on the Department of the Premier and Cabinet website here.
“I applaud the bravery shown by the survivors who have shared their stories, in the hope that by speaking up, others would be encouraged to do the same. Their stories have outlined historic and contemporary cases of child sexual abuse within institutions and a concealment of evidence that has provided a refuge and protection for offenders,” said Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk.
“The courage of survivors to come forward must be met by the institution’s strength to acknowledge past failures, address previous injustices and implement significant changes to protect children so that history will not be repeated.
“Keeping children safe, healthy, and supported is of crucial importance, and one of the greatest responsibilities of families, communities, institutions and Government. The community has a right to expect that our children are safe, especially within the institutions we entrust to protect, educate, care for and nurture them.
“It is for this reason that the McGowan Government is committed to thoroughly examining the recommendations made in the Royal Commission’s Final Report with a view to responding to historical abuse that has occurred, prevent further abuse from happening in the future and ensure a swift response to abuse should it occur again.”