Child 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.
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

Review: Spotlight’s revealing story of child abuse in my home town – and maybe yours

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.
What are the long-term effects of spanking? Francisco Luco

Is it OK to spank a misbehaving child once in a while?

Senator Ted Cruz recently stated that he spanks his five-year-old daughter for lying. Spanking kids can cause tremendous damage to kids' mental health – even if it is an occasional light rap.
Children in the U.S. foster care system can languish for years. Pixaby

The hidden harms of the US foster-care system

When a child dies from neglect or maltreatment from parents, outraged observers demand at-risk kids be placed in foster care. But the US foster care system can pose risks for children, too.
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. AAP/Jeremy Piper

A small act to give abused children a voice

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.
Former Prisoner star Maggie Kirkpatrick was found guilty of a charge of child sex abuse dating back to the 1980s. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Why does it take victims of child sex abuse so long to speak up?

Many factors are at play in enabling or constraining a child to speak directly about abuse and bringing that complaint to the attention of the authorities.
An issue to emerge from the royal commission hearings is the inadequacy of existing law for dealing with institutions whose negligence made child sexual abuse possible. AAP/Royal Commission

When institutions let child sexual abuse happen, that should be a crime

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has published a research paper that suggests organisations be held criminally responsible when their negligence results in harm to children.

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