TJHC police reporting submission goes to Royal Commission
The Catholic Church's Truth Justice and Healing Council has called for the introduction of a new, consistent nation-wide criminal law requiring the reporting to the police of suspected child sexual abuse.
In its submission to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse issues paper number 8, Police and Prosecution Responses, the Council recommends the new law should require anyone who has a reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed against a child to disclose what they know to the police.
The failure of headmasters, bishops, administrators and others to report allegations of child sexual abuse to the police has been a recurring theme in many of the 30-plus public hearings the Royal Commission has held so far.
It has shocked many people and seems to be an unbelievable way, even at the time, in which otherwise committed and conscientious people responded when told about abuse taking place under their watch.
New laws are needed to ensure all allegations are reported to the police and are fully investigated.
Last Sunday, Father's Day, saw the start of National Child Protection Week 2015, which is now in its 25th year.
For many years it has been one of the most significant events on Australia's child protection calendar with the 2015 campaign highlighting the importance of primary prevention to reduce child abuse and neglect in Australia.
"This year's theme, 'Be Someone Who Listens to Children', sends an important message that the safety and wellbeing of Australian children should be at the very forefront of our approaches to protecting children and that listening to children is central," francis Sullivan said.
Spotlight film review – Catholic church child abuse film decently tells an awful story
Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams star as Boston Globe reporters investigating accusations against priests in Tom McCarthy's worthy, well-intentioned journalism drama about the uncovering of clerical sex abuse in Boston.