13-Jun-2018 4:33 PM

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has today announced a plan to deliver a national apology to the hundreds of survivors, victims and families of institutional child sexual abuse.

104 of the 122 recommendations made by the royal commission have been accepted by the Liberal government.

 “The Prime Minister has today delivered remarkable, responsible leadership that all institutions should take a cue from,” said Shine Lawyers, National Abuse Law Manager, Lisa Flynn.
“I’ve dealt with hundreds of cases of abuse that showcase the range of attacks and the lack of responsibility across institutions at the time of the abuse. Today’s pledge to apologise means that victims are at last, being validated, heard and vindicated from their years of suffering,”
“We applaud the Royal Commission for creating a platform that acted as a megaphone for victims across the country. Where previously they had no voice, this forum created a stage that gave a voice to their pain, and informed the public on the horrific ordeals they have been through to get to where they are today. “

“The Royal Commission has been a catalyst for change and it’s been a long time coming for victims across the country,”

“It is important that the Prime Minister of Australia has committed to making a national apology to survivors and that the government has accepted the recommendations of the Royal Commission.

“Survivors of abuse also want to hear meaningful apologies from the institutions that were not child-safe and allowed the abuse to occur.

“They want to see that institutions genuinely are remorseful for the abuse that occurred on their watch and that meaningful change has occurred to ensure that abuse does not happen again.” said Flynn.
The Final Report recommendations released on the 15th December 2017, included that the Australian Government should establish a National Strategy to prevent Child Abuse which includes the creation of a National Office for Child Safety and a National Framework for Child Safety.
The Royal Commission recommended that the standards should be adopted as part of the new National Statement of Principles for Child Safe Organisations and endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments.
“These standards can guide institutions by setting best practice to drive cultural change and guide performance.
• Standard 1: Child safety is embedded in institutional leadership, governance and culture
• Standard 2: Children participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously
• Standard 3: Families and communities are informed and involved
• Standard 4: Equity is upheld and diverse needs are taken into account
• Standard 5: People working with children are suitable and supported
• Standard 6: Processes to respond to complaints of child sexual abuse are child focused
• Standard 7: Staff are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children safe through continual education and training
• Standard 8: Physical and online environments minimise the opportunity for abuse to occur
• Standard 9: Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is continuously reviewed and improved
• Standard 10: Policies and procedures document how the institution is child safe.
The Royal Commission has also recommended that the Australian and State Governments ensure that legislation provides protection for individuals making reports of child sexual abuse within institutions.

It was recommended that the Australian Government should make nationally consistent legislative and administrative arrangements for prescribed bodies to share information related to the wellbeing and safety of children.

Further to this, the commission also recommended that the Australian and State governments should fund support for survivors of abuse.

On a national level, it was advised that a National service to provide legal advice and referral and a national telephone and website service should be launched.
A National Centre to raise awareness and understanding of child sexual abuse was also a recommendation.
“Recommendations to protect the lives of vulnerable children are always a positive however, in addition to the apology that the Prime Minister plans to deliver, we need government legislation that demands that all institutions adopt these safety standards and  the Commission’s recommendations, promptly,” said Flynn.
The report revealed that existing support services are severely under- funded and don’t have the capacity to meet the complex needs of sexual abuse victims.
“With tens of thousands of victims and 4000 institutions at fault, we cannot afford to take shortcuts where children’s safety is the goal,” said Flynn.

The Royal Commission recommended that The Australian Government and State and Territory Governments should each issue a formal response to the Royal Commission Report within 6 months of its release.
The Australian Federal Government has done this.
“We now call on the States to accept the findings and the recommendations of the Royal Commission. Too much time is passing – it must happen now.”
“Institutions should also step up and accept the recommendations of the Royal Commission as they relate to their organisations,” said Flynn.
  • The PM will deliver his apology on 22nd October during National Children’s Week
  • The remaining 18 recommendations from the royal commission are being considered
  • The government will respond to the royal commission by 30 June 2017.
  • There were 409 recommendations made by the commission, 122 of those directly involved the Federal Government
  • Shine Lawyers has been operating for more than 40 years as a leading law company and specialises in damages-based plaintiff litigation.
  • It has 39 branches across Australia and New Zealand.
  • The leading national company has delivered justice to more than 40,000 people to date.
  • Shine Corporate Ltd has been listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) since May 2013.
Media Enquiries:  
For interviews with Lisa Flynn please contact Miriam.
For interview opportunities and for more information:
Miriam Eryan, National Media & Communications Team Leader, Shine Lawyers 0466 367 497

Topic: General News

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