Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was established on 11 January 2013 by the former Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO, in response to allegations of sexual abuse of children in institutional contexts that had been emerging in Australia for many years.
The then Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, announced the decision to establish the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on 12 November 2012.
The Terms of Reference directed the Royal Commission to inquire into, and report on, 'institutional responses to allegations and incidents of child sexual abuse and related matters'. Without limiting the scope of the inquiry, the Terms of Reference expressly required inquiry into:
- what institutions and governments should do to better protect children against child sexual abuse and related matters in institutional contexts in the future
- what institutions and governments should do to achieve best practice in encouraging the reporting of, and responding to reports or information about, allegations, incidents or risks of child sexual abuse and related matters in institutional contexts
- what should be done to eliminate or reduce impediments that currently exist for responding appropriately to child sexual abuse and related matters in institutional contexts, including addressing failures in, and impediments to, reporting, investigating and responding to allegations and incidents of abuse
- what institutions and governments should do to address, or alleviate the impact of, past and future child sexual abuse and related matters in institutional contexts, including, in particular, ensuring justice for victims through the provision of redress by institutions, processes for referral for investigation and prosecution and support services.
More information can be found on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse website.
Message to Australia
‘Message to Australia’ gave those who bravely told their story to the Royal Commission an opportunity to share a message with the Australian community about their experience and hopes for creating a safer future for children. These messages were published in a commemorative book that was handed over to the National Library of Australia during the final sitting of the Royal Commission on 14 December 2017. The book is on display at the National Library of Australia and in all state and territory libraries.
Sourcing further information about the Royal Commission
Further information and documentation including individual case studies, the findings, witness lists, transcripts, exhibits, associated submissions, ‘Messages to Australia’, narratives, speeches, images and videos are available at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse website.
Click here to order materials. Note: Domestic orders only.
The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was delivered to the Governor-General of Australia, and tabled in Parliament, on 15 December 2017.
The Final Report included a total of 189 new recommendations, many of which aimed at making institutions safer for children. Together with the Working with Children Checks (tabled in Parliament on 17 August 2015), Redress and Civil Litigation (tabled in Parliament on 14 September 2015) and Criminal Justice (14 August 2017) reports, the Royal Commission made a total of 409 recommendations.