Australia to issue national apology to child abuse victims

Feb 08, 2018, 10:39 IST | IANS

Australia will issue a national apology to victims of child sexual abuse in public or religious institutions by the end of the year, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Thursday

Representation pic
Representation pic

Australia will issue a national apology to victims of child sexual abuse in public or religious institutions by the end of the year, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Thursday. "As a nation, we must mark this occasion in a form that reflects the wishes of survivors and affords them the dignity to which they were entitled as children, but which was denied to them by the very people who were tasked with their care," Turnbull said. The Prime Minister noted that the victims would be consulted so that they felt comfortable with the process, which would be finalized during the current parliamentary session, reports Efe news.

In December 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented its final report with more than 400 recommendations on the issue, which was labelled by the Commission as a "national tragedy". During the five-year inquiry into the matter, the Commission interviewed more than 8,000 victims who suffered sexual abuse committed by members of over 4,000 public institutions in the country since the 1920s.

More than half of the victims said they were between 10 and 14 years old when they were sexually molested for the first time and that the abuse lasted for an average of two and a half years years, while 36 per cent of them were assaulted by several attackers. The government will allocate some AUS$40 million ($31 million) in compensation to the survivors and subsequently implement the recommendations made by the Commission.

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