Symbolic image of child abuse © Patrick Pleul
The latest hearing of the State Abuse Commission on the handling of child sexual abuse cases by church and secular institutions has started in Sydney. "It is remarkable that so many institutions have failed".
The commission's chairman, Justice Peter McClellan, said at the start of Monday's hearing. The characteristics of the failure were often similar, he said, but there were also individual specifics.
Final report expected in December
In his view, the commission has done its job of informing the state and the public about why so many institutions have failed to prevent child abuse. Both the government and institutions should now focus on compensating victims of abuse and developing protective mechanisms so that no child is sexually abused in the future. The basis for this is to be a final report, which the commission will publish on 15. December is set to publish.
According to McClellan, since the commission began its work in September 2013, it has conducted 57 case studies over 400 public meeting days and heard 1.200 witnesses heard. In 6.500 non-public sessions, affected persons have testified before the commission. In addition, the commission had commissioned 44 scientific studies on various aspects of dealing with abuse.
Filter out risk factors
The final focus of the commission's five-day final hearing will be on the specific risk factors for sexual abuse, the extent of assaults, and the prevention measures in place today. To that end, the commission plans to hear from doctors, psychologists, child protection specialists, forensic scientists and criminal justice experts from Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the United States.
Established the commission in 2013 by the Australian government. In addition to the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, other Christian denominations as well as other religions have had to testify before the commission on their handling of sexual abuse.
The commission also looked at abuse in sports federations, state hospitals, the Australian army and the entertainment industry.