Key points from my submission to the Royal Commission on Child Sexual Abuse:
- A national redress scheme to which all governments, major churches and relevant non-government organisations contribute equitably is among the most important outcomes that this Royal Commission could give rise to.
- Written evidence should not be expected in every case; many cases were not reported at the time, and records have been “lost” or destroyed.
- You do not have to have been raped or sexually assaulted to have been profoundly affected by sexual activity in children’s institutions.
- There is a strong connection between sexual abuse and violence which is often underestimated. While the phenomenon of grooming is increasingly well understood, its counterpart of violence and naked abuse of power is not.
- The same fear, humiliation and intimidation that enabled abuse to take place also served as a mechanism by which information about abuse was suppressed.
- The sexualised environment of children’s Homes contributed to the high incidence of abuse.
- It would be a profound disappointment to many who were abused in institutions if a “sexual abuse” only redress scheme were introduced given that existing redress schemes in Australia and overseas have already paid compensation – as they should – for other serious forms of abuse and neglect.