Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

16 Jul 2013 - 12:00

On 11 January 2013, the Prime Minister, announced the appointment of a six-member Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the release of the Terms of Reference that will guide the inquiry.

The Royal Commission will inquire into how institutions with a responsibility for children have managed and responded to allegations and instances of child sexual abuse and related matters. It will investigate where systems have failed to protect children, and make recommendations on how to improve laws, policies and practices to prevent and better respond to child sexual abuse in institutions.

The Commissioners can look at any private, public or non-government organisation that is, or was in the past, involved with children, including government agencies, schools, sporting clubs, orphanages, foster care, and religious organisations. This includes where they consider an organisation caring for a child is responsible for the abuse or for not responding appropriately, regardless of where or when the abuse took place.

More information is available from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse website, including terms of reference, how to provide information to the Royal Commission and support services available to the victims of child sexual abuse.

The Australian Government sought applications from eligible organisations to apply for funding to deliver services such as counselling, support and case management to individuals and affected family members before, during and after their engagement with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

On 14 July 2013 28 organisations were announced to provide community-based support services to people who participate in the Royal Commission.

These organisations will deliver free services such as counselling, support and case management to individuals and their family members before, during and after their interaction with the Royal Commission. The services will complement existing supports provided by the Royal Commission and the Attorney-General’s Department.

If you have any questions about the Royal Commission community-based support services, please contact the Department of Social Services for assistance at rcsupportservices@dss.gov.au.

Assistance for witnesses

The Attorney-General's Department is administering assistance for witnesses. A witness is anyone called, or given leave to appear, to give evidence at a hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. There are two forms of assistance available:

  • payment of witness expenses
  • a legal financial assistance scheme

Information on the assistance for witnesses including guidelines and application forms are available from the Attorney-General’s Department website.

The Attorney-General’s Department Financial Assistance Section can be contacted on (02) 6141 4770 or by emailing RCfinass@ag.gov.au.

The following links / documents provide further information about the Royal Commission and how it will work and how organisations were able to apply for Royal Commission support services funding:

Fact Sheets

Frequently asked questions

Selection Documentation

Media releases

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