In January 2013, the Governor-General of Australia, (Her Excellency Quentin Bryce), appointed a six-member Royal Commission to investigate Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The Royal Commission is a way for the government to hear about how child sexual abuse has occurred or does occur in institutions. The information the Commission gathers will be used to help improve care for children and to work to keep children safe in the future.
For this Royal Commission, institutions will include any private, public or non-government organisations that are now, or were in the past, involved in caring for children. This includes places like schools, sporting clubs, religious organisations, foster care, or youth organisations.
If you think you might like to talk with the Commission you can do so over the phone, in person, or in writing. The Commission and its workers understand the sensitivity of this topic and if people wish to keep their details anonymous this can be arranged. Talking with the Commission is a big step and sharing your story in a way that is safe for you is an important part of the process.
If you do find yourself considering speaking to the Commission it is important to remember that contact with the Commission is a choice – not everyone who was abused in an institution will choose to talk with the Commission. It is important to think about why you wish to take this step and what support you would have if you did proceed. You should think about how you will be cared for during all parts of the process. Zig Zag is happy to talk with and provide support to any young woman considering taking this step.
Other support could be through your local sexual assault support service, (the Statewide Sexual Assault Helpline can give you information on this – 1800 010 120), or look at the support services listed on the Commission’s website.
If you are interested in knowing more about the Commission, their website is: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au