Bravehearts calls for Royal Commission into Sexual Assault

Bravehearts renews calls for
Royal Commission of Inquiry into child sexual assault

Bravehearts has received the full support of the National Child Protection Alliance in its reignited calls for Prime Minister Julia Gillard to hold a National Royal Commission into the sexual assault of Australian children.

A Royal Commission should examine all clandestine, cultural, illegal and systemic activities, policies, laws and practices which compound the actual and potential sexual assault of Australian children within all environments including churches, institutions, courts of law, government and non-government organisations.

Bravehearts Founder and Executive Director Hetty Johnston, said sweeping powers are needed to comprehensively investigate all allegations of child sexual assault and the wilful cover-up by people and practices that betray the duty of all adults to place the best interests and protection of children first.

“Our children deserve protection; they deserve decisive and immediate action from those with the power to protect them,” she said.

“Our politicians must step up to the plate. The evidence around the level of danger our children face is indisputable. The impetus to do this properly is with a Royal Commission that closely examines the issue, so that we can stop child sexual assault in our society. We are not content to continue to simply mop up the carnage, we need this to happen and it needs to happen now.”

Ms Johnston said an earlier call for a National Royal Commission in 2003 in the wake of the Peter Hollingworth Anglican Church debate almost succeeded. The Labor Party, then in Opposition and led by Simon Crean and Jenny Macklin supported the calls, as did The Greens. Since that time the threats against our children have expanded and the need for an Inquiry crucial.

It follows allegations this week by a senior New South Wales police officer who claimed the Catholic Church not only impeded inquiries into child sex offences but competent police officers were removed from investigations.

“Child sexual assault and the issues surrounding it are endemic, they are national and they demand a national response,” said Ms Johnston.

“The Catholic Church has a great deal to answer for but it would be wrong to suggest that it is the only institution with serious matters to explain and equally, it would be wrong to believe that these issues stop at the NSW border.

“There is no question a Federal Royal Commission is needed immediately. Child sexual assault is the largest crisis facing our children, not just in the Catholic Church, and not just in NSW or Victoria.”

Research shows that 1 in 5 Australian children will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18. They are boys and girls, black and white, rich and poor and they live in every nook and cranny of our nation. This heinous attack is happening in various degrees of complicity in churches, in institutions and in all communities.

The outcomes for children and families in terms of mental health are catastrophic while the economic outcomes can be measured in the billions every year.

In October, Bravehearts launched its breakthrough 3 Piers to Prevention strategy – Educate, Empower, Protect – solid foundations to making Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child by 2020.

It will cost an average of $8 million per year for Bravehearts to deliver on its strategy to initially prevent 28,000 children (pa) from being sexually assaulted by 2020. Australian governments will need to support these initiatives for the targets to be achieved.

These actions will save an estimated $5.2 billion in costs associated with the ramifications of child sexual assault on survivors, their families and the community.


One Reply to “Bravehearts calls for Royal Commission into Sexual Assault”

  1. As a victim of syesmttic abuse through the use of the Family Court System in Australia. I would like to point out some issues with the system which discriminate against those that are poor. My childs father manipulated the court system by first manipulating our child to hurt his sisters sexually and physically. If this was not alarming enough there was more to come. My sons father bragged about how He was able to get away with this and use this as a means to stop me from ever seeing our child again. My sons father claimed the Australian Family Court System allowed him to do this because He found lawyers who told him this was how He could stop all my contact and took large sums of money from him. My sons father told me I did not have the finances to afford properlegal representation to ever be properlylisterned to in Court and be believed.I was told by my sons father this was not only happening to myself but others who wanted contact with their children. The Unethical conduct and lack of Duty of care to the children in the court matters by lawyers was a flushing trade.Children such as my child are going for years without councelling for being manipulated into hurting other family members in horendous manner. Children are being stopped from seeing parents for years. Children are living with dark secerts for years being to afraid of lawyers handling their case and the parent paying the lawyers and manipulating them to speak out to anyone. This unethical conduct is a case of smoke and mirrors. This should be investigated as criminal conduct. What makes one parent so intent on keeping a child away from another parent that they resort to the above conduct. What drives lawyers to be so motivated to suggest to a parent that for money a parent can achieve what they want by manipulating their child into sexually and physically hurting close memembers of their family.Where are stricted laws in place to stop this conduct continuing. How are lawyers been made accountable for their actions. Why are their not stricter laws in place to make lawyers accountable for their actions like in other first world countries.I have not seen my child for years when He was manipulated by his father on the advice of a lawyer. I simply have exhausted all finance advailable to me for the UN human Right to proper legal representation. My child is to afraid to speak. My childs Doctor is not given the proper right to be heard on his serious concerns for his patient, my child.What is happening in the Australian legal SystemWill someone care and take notice and investigate.

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