Sunday, July 06, 2014

Oh Please God - Extend the Child Abuse Commission.

I have just read the interim report of the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.  This inquiry needs to be extended.  I urge the government to stump up the extra 100 mill for the necessary extension of this landmark inquiry.
The Commissioners at work.
As the name implies, this inquiry is concerned with INSTITUTIONS.  It does not examine the individual abuser as such.  It looks at why abuse has been tolerated by institutions and how those institutions could change. 
Most of these were faith-based institutions, followed by government institutions. Of the faith-based institutions, 68 per cent were Catholic and 12 per cent were Anglican.  I am not saying that faith has a monopoly on these crimes.  Far from it as Rolf Harris demonstrates.  However, the faith based institutions were clearly over represented probably because the people in a faith owe such a strong allegiance to their church or temple.
The results of abuse are truly awful.  Almost nine in 10 participants reported impacts on their health, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and a lack of trust in authority.  Suicide can be rife with some aggravated abusers. 
Participants also commonly reported:
•impacts on relationships, such as difficulties with trust and intimacy, and a lack of confidence with parenting;
•educational and economic impacts;
•feeling alienated from their peers and the community.
In short, abuse can destroy lives.
Most survivors had previously disclosed their abuse. On average, it took them 22 years after the onset of abuse to do so.
Most survivors reported being abused multiple times, and some spoke of multiple offenders in the same institutional setting.
Children were also sometimes moved from one place to another and abused in both places. Or they were abused at home, removed from that home and then abused elsewhere, such as in foster care.

Survivors reported that they told adults in positions of authority what was happening but those adults did nothing.
Many also reported that perpetrators were moved from one region, diocese or state to another in the wake of complaints.

Abuse happens in a variety of institutions but has occurred more frequently in some.  There is an urgent need to promote what makes an institution child safe.

The Commission received allegations of abuse in more than 1,000 institutions.  Religions top the list.

The Commission is concerned with what makes a child safe institution.  Child safe institutions begin with leadership, governance and culture. Submissions told of the importance of institutional governance for promoting child safety.

Save the Children Australia, for example, argued that:

‘... the role of governance and
management leadership in
creating a child safe organisational
culture is vital. There must be
congruence in leadership behaviour
and commitment to achieving
this. Board and Executive staff
are powerful role models and
their actions and behaviour can
send strong messages about
organisational culture, which can
motivate staff. Their advocacy
and support for child safe
organisational culture is critical.’

Some submissions argued that child safe governance involves not just leadership, but also management styles that are child friendly, open and egalitarian.

“Conversely, rigid and overly hierarchical governance disconnects those governing from regular contact with staff, parents and children. It increases the risk of child sexual abuse going undetected.  Bad institutions place more value on its own reputation than the safety of children.”  DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?

Religious organisations often promote obedience and the importance of respect for the hierarchy.  Such notions call forth abuse. 

And will the Church recover?  I suspect it will.  The Church will now diminish or maybe even stop child abuse.  As the current crop of victims die out, the outrage will abate.  The Church will have learned its lesson for the next 50 to 100 years.  I am sure it will bounce back.  In the interim, this landmark study must be funded to continue until it is completed.

What is your view?

What do you think makes for a child safe institution?
Is the church contrite or is it faking contrition?
Will the church recover?
Is this a moment of grace for godlessness or do we look sleazy if we act all triumphant?
Should we continue the investigation or is enough study so far, enough?

Over to you guys….


  1. 100 frikkin mil for an enquiry into the frikkin obvious?

    Absolute Rort. Bunch of complete bludgers sucking the public teat.

    Thats yer problem. If it aint perverts, its thieves
    Perverts thieves perverts thieves - on and on ad nauseum.


    And thanks to little Johnny Howard we cant even use our firearms to defend ourselves.

    As usual, Thanks for nothing fucked up bullshit pseudo-morality

    1. MalcolmS2:01 AM

      Can't believe I'm saying this magicsausagetosser but I actually agree with that - even the bit about Howard's gun policy.

    2. And another thing.

      All you publicity whores catching a free ride on the coattails of sir octopus. Where were you 10-20-30-40 years ago when you could have made a real difference?

      Instead of airing yourselves in the media spotlight why aren't you (weren't you) pressing charges through the normal process of law when it would have counted?


      No money in that maybe?
      Well has it occurred to you that you are demeaning the real victims with your gaudy attention grabbing?

      Rolfie may be low-end trash, but I've gotta say some of the rest of you aren't looking much better.

      Perverts and thieves, perverts and thieves. Working in concert yet again.


    3. I actually agree with that

      Even a retarded clock can be right by accident tossrag

    4. MalcolmS3:57 AM

      "Even a retarded clock can be right by accident"

      Don't give away your secret magicsausagetosser :)

    5. You aren't fooling anyone.
      Soak it up now rag boy

  2. I suppose that my reply to the Disembodied is this.
    Society is changing its attitude to sexual assault of kids and women. What was tolerated in the past will not be now and in the future. The change is so great that the demography of prisons is changing as the criminal justice system catches up with now older men who sinned in the past. Harris is a classic example. Some might find this change confronting as old (even elderly) institutions and heros are caught up in the web. Nonetheless, this is a moral advance of seismic significance. Vulnerable members of the community will now be protected.
    We need the Commission to go on further for these reasons:
    1. Victims need the opportunity to be heard.
    2. Potential perpetrators of the future need this public process to know that the world has changed and the practices of the past cannot continue.
    3. Institutions that harbour these men need to know that the should stop. The Catholic Church is not alone. It would appear that The Age and the ABC did nothing about Peter Roebuck. Unenforced but unlawful practices will only cease when extensive study by the RC on insitutions makes them change.
    4. We need the data to be mined by the RC.

    Thanks again.