Victims of child sex abuse still face significant legal barriers suing churches – here’s why

Following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, we are witnessing a wave of legal reforms across Australia aimed at helping survivors seek justice.

Most visibly, there is the National Redress Scheme, which provides victims access to counselling, a response from the institution where they were abused and payment of up to $150,000.

Published in The Conversation

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Majority of sexual violence incidents reported to police are children or young people

The majority of 23,000 sexual violence incidents reported to police during the past five years were experienced by children or young people, according to a new Ministry of Justice report.

It reveals that for every 100 sexual violence incidents reported to the police, only 31 made it to court, 11 resulted in a conviction and six in imprisonment.

The report, Attrition and progression: Reported sexual violence victimisations in the criminal justice system, which was released on Friday, analysed 23,739 incidents that were reported between July 2014 and June 2018. The figures will now be updated annually.

Published in Stuff

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Royal Commission hearings: Children’s Commissioner says state care has failed

The Children’s Commissioner has told the Abuse in Care Royal Commission that his office has failed to properly monitor the state care system.

Since 1989, the Office of the Children’s Commissioner has had the role of independent monitor of the practices and policies of Child, Youth and Family, which became Oranga Tamariki.

Published in Radio New Zealand

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Survivor raped multiple times in care despite concerns raised

A woman has told the Royal Commission investigating abuse in care she was moved between at least a dozen care homes and raped multiple times – all before she turned 16.

The inquiry investigating abuse in state and faith-based care heard yesterday from Dallas Pickering, who detailed publicly for the first time the violent abuse she experienced as a child.

Published in Radio New Zealand

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Samoa Methodist minister faces 10 charges over sexual allegations

Samoa police have finalised criminal charges against a 51-year-old reverend of the Methodist Church, Tugia Tuliau, who is facing 10 counts.

Charges include one of rape and seven of sexual misconduct with a family member, as well as an indecent act to a dependent member of his family, who is a girl under 16 years of age.

The accused has appeared in the Supreme Court for the second time, with the case being adjourned without a plea being entered until next Monday to allow the defence lawyer to talk with his client.

The accused has been stripped of his pastoral roles.

The alleged offences happened when Mr Tuliau was serving at the Satalo Methodist Church.

Published in Radio New Zealand
4 November 2019

Child sexual abuse inquiry criticises lack of cooperation from Vatican

The Vatican’s repeated refusal to cooperate with official investigations into paedophile priests and its delay in stripping convicted offenders of their clerical status has been condemned by the UK’s child sexual abuse inquiry.

In a highly critical attack on the papacy’s stonewalling response to decades of complaints, the lead counsel to the inquiry, Brian Altman QC, said it was “very disappointing” that significant evidence and statements had been withheld.

Published in The Guardian

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11 percent of reported sexual violence cases end in conviction – report

Less than a third of sexual violence cases reported to the police make it court, according to a new report released by the Ministry of Justice.

Out of the almost 24,000 cases of sexual violence reports made to police between July 2014 and June last year, just 11 percent resulted in a conviction.

The government and advocacy groups say progress is being made, but a lot more work needs to be done.

Published in Radio New Zealand

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What to expect from the long-awaited Abuse in Care Royal Commission

Analysis: A long time coming. Finally, after months of haggling over terms of reference, years of steadily growing political discussion and decades of pressure from those who experienced this vast subject first-hand, the Abuse in Care Royal Commission is ready to roll.

An avalanche of new material is in store for those whose job it will be to sift the evidence that will for the first time be publicly given at a preliminary contextual hearing in Auckland starting this Tuesday.

Published in Radio New Zealand

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Abuse Inquiry: Claims of historical child rape at state-owned care institutions heard

Survivors of historical cases of child rape, violence and neglect at state-owned care institutions are being officially heard for the first time.

Witnesses on Tuesday began giving evidence at the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care, the biggest inquiry ever to have looked into what happened to children, young people and vulnerable adults in care between 1950 and 1999.

Keith Wiffin told the commission he was first abused aged 10 by a house master while he was at Epuni Boys Home. He’d been sent there after his father’s death left Wiffin’s mother unable to care for her four children.

Published in Stuff

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Witnesses give evidence at Royal Commission inquiry into abuse in state care

Witnesses have this morning begun giving evidence at the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State Care.

One of the first to appear will be high-profile former prisoner Arthur Taylor, who will describe the abuse he suffered in a boy’s home.

Twenty-eight people will share their experiences of being in the system between 1950 and 1999 over the coming weeks.

A final report from the inquiry is not expected until 2023.

Watch video (from TVNZ)

Published in TVNZ
30 October 2019