Child Abuse Prevention Services (CAPS) has welcomed the Commonwealth Government’s announcement yesterday, accepting 104 of the recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
“What we heard yesterday from the Prime Minister and Attorney-General is a commitment to keep Australian children safe from all forms of abuse, particularly when in the care of institutions,” said CAPS Chairman Andrew Grech.
Mr Grech also pointed to the establishment of the National Office for Child Safety as a significant and important measure by government to ensure it does everything in its power to keep children safe.
The Prime Minister also announced that the formal national apology to survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, as uncovered during the Royal Commission, will take place on 22 October 2018 coinciding with National Children’s week.
“CAPS fully supports the national apology to survivors. It is another clear and public action of solidarity for abuse survivors. My hope is that through the formal apology, abuse survivors will be able to feel empowered to continue their healing journey,” said Mr Grech.
Mr Grech also congratulated the West Australian government in joining the national redress scheme, another key recommendation of the Royal Commission. The redress scheme commences next month and with the inclusion of Western Australia will cover more than 90% of Australians eligible for the scheme.
One of the recommendations currently under consideration by state governments is mandating religious leaders disclose child sexual abuse when they are made aware it has occurred, even if the religious leader finds out about the abuse through private or spiritual conversations, such as confession.
CAPS confirms its support for mandatory reporting of all child sexual abuse which includes compelling religious leaders to report cases of abuse and points to recently passed legislation by the ACT Government as an example for other state governments to follow.
There are currently 18 more Royal Commission recommendations still being considered by the Commonwealth Government.
“It is commendable that the government has so far not rejected any of the Royal Commission’s recommendations and I am hopeful that with due consideration, the outstanding 18 recommendations currently being considered will also be accepted,” said CAPS General Manager Jeff Taylor.
CAPS remains committed to working with all levels of government regarding the implementation of the Royal Commission’s recommendations to help ensure Australian children are kept safe now and into the future.