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.
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.
Some UN peacekeepers stand accused of sexual offences against children in the Central African Republic. An overhaul of the UN’s peacekeeping operations is needed to tackle the problem. Reuters/Media Coulibaly

Why the UN isn’t winning its battle against sexual abuse by peacekeepers

A UN report has found that in half of 12 country studies done on child sexual exploitation during armed conflict, the arrival of peacekeeping troops resulted in a rapid rise in child prostitution.
The bouquet held by Bolshy Divas member Jackie Softly represents the people with disability whose accounts of violence and abuse the Senate inquiry heard in Perth, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. AAP/Sarah Motherwell

We count what matters, and violence against people with disability matters

Accountability for the violence and abuse that people with disability experience begins with recording the offences. In fact, we have long ignored crimes against vulnerable members of our community.
Why should astronomy be different from any other field when it comes to sexual harassment? Flickr/PROnate

Change is possible when sexual harassment is exposed

The reaction has been swift since a high-profile astronomer's legacy of sexual harassment against his students was exposed.
South Africa has one of the highest rates of femicide in the world. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

South Africa: a dangerous place to be poor, black and a woman

South Africa’s violence against women ranks as one of the worst in the world. As much as 40-50% of women in the country have suffered intimate partner violence.
A diagnostic label such as borderline personality disorder, with its stigma and propensity to invalidate the person’s suffering, clearly has many negative impacts. madamepsychosis/Flickr

Borderline personality disorder is a hurtful label for real suffering – time we changed it

Diagnostic labels usually describe symptoms, attempt to answer the question of what is wrong, and lead to a treatment plan. But "borderline personality disorder" fails on all three counts.
A woman holds up a poster as part of a protest against the the rape of women, children and babies. The protest followed the rape of nine-month-old Baby Tshepang in 2001. Juda Ngwenya/Reuters

Explainer: behind the scourge of child rape in South Africa

A study examining why paedophiles sexually abuse young children highlights their own childhood adversities and socio-cultural factors as some of the reasons.
A mechanism of independent scrutiny – such as a royal commission – remains the best way forward for alleviating defence abuse. AAP/Alan Porritt

Royal commission could shine an independent light on defence abuse

As I was showering five or six senior [others] attacked me – they turned off the lights, tied my hands behind my back and proceeded to do things to me. I was held down whilst one of them put his penis…

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