Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
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 is inquiring into how allegations and incidents of child sexual abuse and related matters that occurred in an institutional context have been managed and responded to. It will investigate how institutions and governments can better protect children, how they can achieve best practice in reporting and responding to incidents and how to address the impact of child sexual abuse.
More information is available from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse website.
On 4 November 2016, the Australian Government announced that it is establishing the Commonwealth Redress Scheme (the Scheme) for survivors of institutional childhood sexual abuse. The Government has also established an Independent Advisory Council bringing together a broad group of specialists, including survivor groups, legal and psychological experts, to provide advice on the design and implementation of the Scheme.
The Australian Government has committed over $70 million until 30 June 2018 to fund community-based support services for people who participate in the Royal Commission. There are currently 37 Royal Commission Community-based Support Services across Australia. A list of services is available on the Royal Commission Support Services page.
These organisations deliver 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 complement existing supports provided by the Royal Commission and the Attorney-General’s Department.
The funding also includes specialist services for people living with disability, Indigenous Australians and people who have suffered abuse from religious organisations or clergy.
If you have any questions about the Royal Commission Community-based Support Services, please contact DSS for assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Assistance for witnesses
The Royal Commission’s website provides information for people appearing before the Royal Commission. It includes guides for witnesses and information on legal and witness costs.
Additional information on accessing legal financial assistance can be found on the Attorney-General's Department website or by calling 1800 117 995.
Independent legal advice service
The Australian Government has funded the establishment of an independent legal service called 'knowmore' to provide free legal advice, information and support with preparing statements and submissions.
More information about their services is available on the knowmore website or by calling 1800 605 762.
Additional resources and information
The following links provide further information about the Royal Commission:
- Frequently asked questions about the Royal Commission [PDF 41 KB]
- An Easy Read Guide to Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
- Explaining the Letters Patent and Terms of Reference [Word 30 KB]
- Fact Sheet – Powers of a Royal Commission [PDF 19 KB]
- Media release 16 December 2016: Redress for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse: members of Independent Advisory Council announced
- Media release 4 November 2016: Commonwealth Redress Scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse
- Media release 2 September 2014: Child Abuse Royal Commission granted two year extension
- Media release 30 June 2014: Interim report released by Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
- Media release 14 July 2013: More support services for survivors of child sexual abuse
- Media release 13 April 2013: More support for survivors of child sexual abuse
- Media release 13 February 2013: Royal Commission into Royal institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse
- Media release 11 January 2013: Government formally establishes Royal Commission
- Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse website
- Australian Institute of Family Studies Child Sexual Abuse website