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NGOs to be Included in Victorian Sexual Abuse Inquiry

17 April 2012 at 3:26 pm
Staff Reporter
The Victorian Coalition Government has announced a Parliamentary inquiry into the handling of alleged sexual and criminal abuse of children by religious and other organisations.

Staff Reporter | 17 April 2012 at 3:26 pm


NGOs to be Included in Victorian Sexual Abuse Inquiry
17 April 2012 at 3:26 pm

The Victorian Coalition Government has announced a Parliamentary inquiry into the handling of alleged sexual and criminal abuse of children by religious and other organisations.

The inquiry will investigate the practices, policies and protocols of religious and non-government organisations for the handling of allegations of criminal abuse of children by staff within their organisations.

The Premier Ted Baillieu and Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark made the announcement this afternoon.

The inquiry comes after police revealed as many as 40 suicides across Victoria could be linked to abuse by members of the Catholic Church.

The inquiry will also have the power to assess any measures put in place to respond to alleged abuse and to make any necessary recommendations for changes to the law or to relevant policies and practices.

The Government says it has decided to establish the inquiry after giving careful consideration to the report and recommendations of the Cummins Inquiry and to the material put before it by many individuals and groups.

It says it is clear that there have been a substantial number of established complaints of sexual abuse of children by those who have taken advantage of positions of authority.

The inquiry will be conducted by the bipartisan Family and Community Development Committee of Parliament. It will have powers to compel witnesses to attend and give evidence and to summons documents necessary for its deliberations.

Many victims' groups had wanted a royal commission into the matter rather than a cross-party parliamentary committee to hold an inquiry.

The inquiry is expected to run for 12 months. 



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  • John Brown says:

    A weak, inexperienced parliamentry inquiry can and eill not bring justice to those abused by the crimes of the religious

    Boycott a weak Parliamentary Inquiry.

    For those who have lost loved ones, for those who have been abused there can be no justice found in a parliamentary inquiry.

    The deaths of more than 40 victims of clergy sexual abuse demands a Royal Commission.

    Register your protest against yet another failure on the part of government when it comes to survivors of childhood sexual abuse and the rights and the protection of our children.

    Register your disapproval and your skepticism with Ann Barker MP, State member for Oakleigh or contact the Premiers’ department to register your disapproval and intention of boycotting a secretive inquiry.

    contact details

    Ann Barker MP
    19 Station Street
    Oakleigh VIC 3166

    Tel: (03) 9568 4625
    Fax: (03) 9563 2512

  • John Brown says:

    The same old notion put out in the US and Europe still has sway and power here in Australia – we are not the only ones, everybody is doing it; this puts Australia about 3 years behind the rest of the world with regard to justice and compensation for the victims.

    To literaly add insult to injury the Victorian premier made no reference to the plight of victims other than to use their circumstamce to sell them another fraud. What mindset must there be for a premier in the face of the local and global evidence of the corruption in the catholic response to sexual abuse survivors. What interim forms of support is the premier providing for those harmed and at risk to ensure their safety. Surely suspending the existing Catholic Towards healing process should be the first safety step taken yet it entirely eludes the premier just as Catholic thinking causes it to entirely elude the Catholic church hierarchy and its followers.

  • John Brown says:

    Now that the Victorian governments decision to hold a very limited and inexperienced parliamentary inquiry that has no option or potential to bring the victims one step closer to justice and restitution has been put in place and with the realization coming to many as well as those affected that the opportunity to obtain justice and restitution for the abuses that were carried out against survivors when they were children have been washed away for the next 10 or 15 years it is to be expected that the suicides will continue with an increase expected.

    The realization that they have once again been defrauded by their government will be one of the greatest suicide triggers these survivors will have ever faced.

    After having their plight cited, quoted and repetitiously used to bolster the many positions in the survivor industry there are several things of note that are missing from the responses to the announcement of this inquiry.

    Firstly, the processes that have led to more than 40 suicides is permitted to continue in the same manner as it has done in the past. The questionable operations of survivor groups, the so-called Independent Commission into Sexual Abuse set up and operated by the Catholic church, its support systems under the Melbourne process, the Towards Healing program are all permitted to continue to operate as though they played no part in the 40 plus suicides.

    Second is the fact that the plight of the survivors and victims and their lack of justice and restitution has been a major topic in this regard yet no move anywhere has been made to set up a public fund to provide these victims with any form of appropriate assistance or support. Surely it is time for all the pundits who have had mileage from the plight of these victims to put up in the Australian way by establishing a public fund to show that there is a real meaning towards the survivors rather than the myriad of personal and religious motivations which predominate.

    People whose lives were shattered as children, who have been shunned by their families and their religion for a lifetime.

    From the survivors perspective their lifetime that has been filled with denial of their human right to justice and equality and they know their plight has once again exploited in the game both church and government play with the lives of children and those sexually abused.

    When will the people of Australia say to both church and government that enough is enough; the answer to that perhaps lays in the question would Australians support a publicly managed fund to compensate survivors of sexual abuse by clergy now that access to that fundamental right has been pushed out for another 10 or 15 years by the Ballieu governments minimal approach to the problem of abuse carried out in the name of religion.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am so saddened & disappointed & discouraged with such a weak response by our Vic. govt to this issue of sexual abuse. How can we have confidence that this inexperienced body has the competence and will to uncover the enormity of this issue in our church? Such a weak weak response. We had hoped for more. A response that will encourage life and a more faithful following of the gospel. I sincerely pray that God’s greater power and grace will prevail. I believe that you will find the majority of our church members (Catholic) are just so disappointed with this weak response.

  • Anonymous says:

    The inquirey has to maintain a tight hold due to those well placed within the legal system working for the church for years cleaning up their mess.
    Mr Bailieu has opened a can of worms and he has my sympathy having to wade through the quagmire of intrigue, lies and deception.
    It takes experience and wit to understand this lot.

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