Articles on Child sexual abuse

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George Pell’s evidence, which implied that children’s complaints of abuse were widely disbelieved ‘back then’, overlooks the long history of successful prosecutions. AAP/Jeremy Piper

To believe or not to believe: child witnesses and the sex abuse royal commission

George Pell told the royal commission into child sex abuse the Catholic Church was predisposed not to believe children's complaints. But, when abuse was reported, police and the courts believed them.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are under the spotlight at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Jehovah’s Witness hierarchy means child sex abuse goes unreported

Jehovah’s Witnesses do not report child abuse to authorities. Instead, they convene an in-house judicial committee, which is fraught with difficulty because they rely on a "two-witness rule".
The many people who are mourning the loss of Phil Walsh should also reflect on what we as a society can do to help families avoid such tragedies. AAP/Ben Macmahon

When a parent is killed: family tragedy is often a mark of our broader failings

The killing of Phil Walsh is a tragedy for his family and the football community. It should also lead us to question whether we do enough to support families before the issues they face spiral out of control.
Broadcaster Derryn Hinch is a prominent campaigner for US-style sex offender registries, but it is important to be aware of their limitations. AAP/Dan Peled

Sex offender registers don’t mean we can assume children are safe

Western Australia was the first state in the nation to allow public access to a sex offender register online. The public needs to understand how it works to avoid a false sense of security.
Children who undertook school-based sexual abuse prevention programs were more likely to know where to turn if they were harmed. from www.shutterstock.com.au

Programs to prevent child sexual abuse increase knowledge and skills but do they reduce risks?

A Cochrane review found school-based child sexual abuse prevention programs were moderately effective in arming children with knowledge and skills that may decrease the likelihood that they will be harmed.
Religious institutions have consistently struggled to respond to child sexual abuse cases appropriately. L'Osservatore Romano/EPA

Speaking with: Tim Jones on child sexual abuse within religious institutions

Speaking with: Tim Jones on child sexual abuse within religious institutions. The Conversation21.6 MB (download)
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse reconvened this week. Announced in 2012, the commission was established due to growing concerns over consistently inadequate responses…

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