Debates over whether priests should break the confessional seal if they hear reports of abuse in confession are largely symbolic.
Reporting child sexual abuse to police, and any subsequent investigation or trial, is a time of profound instability for victims and their families.
Anthony Foster famously took on Cardinal George Pell on a number of occasions.
Anthony Foster's attention to detail and his clarity about the evil perpetrated in the systematic institutional abuse of children was often the object of media analysis.
Will abusers still be able to move to a new service and continue abusing under the NDIS?
We know predators will continue to target the vulnerable, including children and people with disability. The NDIS will mitigate some of the issues in this space, but we need a royal commission too.
Clergy must abide by strict new rules governing their relationships.
The Anglican Church's new rules destroy the biblical principle of lay people as co-workers with the clergy.
Females offend against younger victims and are less discriminant about victim gender.
A key point of difference between male and female sexual abusers of children is in the power relationship with their victims.
More than 4,400 claims of child sex abuse have been made against Catholic institutions in Australia.
Last week's hearing into the Catholic Church's response to child sex abuse made for grim listening, and showed there is still much reform work to be done.
Will Mike Baird be the premier to stop the intergenerational cycle of abuse and neglect of children in care?
The NSW government's latest promised solution to well-documented abuse in the out-of-home care system is, in fact, a re-run of promises made by the Carr government more than a decade ago.
Former carer Natalie Ottini shared her experiences of working in residential group homes on the ABC’s Four Corners program.
We have decades of evidence showing the widespread abuse and neglect suffered by children in the out-of-home care system. The agencies responsible for allowing the abuse have little to fear.
Journalists with the skills to dig into social media can discover connections between key players in complex, often global stories.
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From a social media post that cracked open a decades-old abuse scandal in the UK and Australia, through to tracking asylum seekers, social media can be vital in breaking investigative news stories.
A doll lies in the ghost town of Pripyat, abandoned since the nearby Chernobyl power plant suffered a catastrophic meltdown in 1986.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse has documented heart-rending testimonies and elicited shattering revelations. But how does a society witness itself failing at its most fundamental duty?
Peter Dutton dismissed many of the ‘Nauru files’, including those documenting sexual assault, as ‘false allegations in an attempt to get to Australia’.
Peter Dutton’s comments reinforced historically ingrained ideas about sexual assault victims as being 'unreliable' or 'untrustworthy'.
With attendance at mass continuing to flag, the Catholic bishops’ influence has waned with it.
The Catholic bishops have exhorted Australians to cast a "vote for the voiceless", but it is doubtful that their plea will be paid much heed – by politicians or the public.
The last census revealed that just over 60% of Australians identified as Christian, but only one in seven of those attended church regularly.
Church affiliation and attendance is on the wane in Australia – a trend that is unlikely to be reversed be the recent slew of sex abuse scandals.
George Pell gave four days of evidence to the royal commission via video link from Rome.
One of the most important lessons we have learnt from George Pell’s royal commission appearance is the Catholic Church was – and still is – in a state of denial over child sexual abuse.
George Pell’s evidence, which implied that children’s complaints of abuse were widely disbelieved ‘back then’, overlooks the long history of successful prosecutions.
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.
Paul Millar/AAP Image
Soaring community outrage over the issue of child sexual abuse was this week fanned by a Tim Minchin song calling for Cardinal George Pell to return home to Australia to give evidence to the royal commission.
Tim Minchin’s song-craft is direct yet sophisticated, and artfully constructed.
AAP Image/Dean Lewins
Tim Minchin’s latest musical offering, Come Home Cardinal Pell, is provoking strong reactions because of its blunt and direct message to Cardinal George Pell. But in terms of song-craft, it's a winner.
Nominated for six Oscars including Best Picture, Spotlight has won over critics with its compelling story and strong cast featuring Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo.
Entertainment One Films Australia
If you haven't seen Oscar winner Spotlight yet, go. It tells the true story of how decades of abuse in one city was finally uncovered - followed by revelations worldwide, including in my home town.
Some who survived abuse as children have waited a lifetime to be heard, and the royal commission has given people like John Ellis that opportunity.
The silencing of children has as long a history as child abuse itself. It is why we need royal commissions, books, and now a play: to allow children to tell us the truth of what was done to them.
Outlining a redress framework for survivors was a priority for the royal commission.
The royal commission has made a convincing case for a national scheme for redress: it is more prudent in terms of economies of scale, and more fair and equitable to survivors.