Blame the Kids in ‘Care’

The absurd claim that the “vast majority” of sexual abuse in out-of-home ‘care’ is perpetrated by other children is being recycled as an accepted truth by people who should know better – and by some who do know better.

The media picked up the “vast majority” reference made by Senior Counsel of the Royal Commission who had been baldy and badly advised by the Commission’s researchers.  No retraction has yet been forthcoming from the Royal Commission but at least it has “temporarily removed” the  offending research report “to address an error”.

By contrast, the media show little interest in backtracking over “yesterday’s news”

Here’s my Letter to the Editor of The Age (July 2). You see it here first, since the Letters Editor couldn’t find space for my 120 words in  defence of the kids whose voices are never heard.

Dear Editor

Paul Austin reports (The Age July 1) that the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard that “in the majority of cases of abuse it is perpetrated not by adults, but by adolescents who are also in care”. This absurd proposition was indeed put to the Royal Commission, but there is absolutely no evidence to back it up. The facts clearly run the other way. You have to wonder at the motivation of those putting forward this slanderous allegation against children in ‘care’  – who of course have no right of reply. It diverts attention away from the adults, both those who are the perpetrators of abuse and those who are responsible for supervising what goes on in out-of-home ‘care’. 

Frank Golding, Vice-President Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN)

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