The Royal Commission in Australia takes Steps to Prevent Future Child Abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is responsible for investigating and reporting child abuse allegations that come from youth organisations, as well as religious and educational institutions.

The Australian government launched the Royal Commission in 2013 in response to increasing reports of sexual abuse against children in these various organisations.

The commission focused primarily on the child abusers themselves and found that their superiors did not report the crimes to authorities. Instead, the child abusers continue to be relocated and were never stopped from abusing more children.

On Dec. 15, 2017, the Royal Commission submitted its final report which revealed these and other findings. It also made recommendations to curb the problem moving forward, including:

Establish National Registers

The Royal Commission recommended the creation of national registers that list the names of anyone who has committed acts of abuse against children or is at risk of doing so.

Each organisation that deals with children need to establish a register, including religious organisations and educational institutions.

The national register would then be shared with other affiliated institutions so that they can identify a potential child abuser who tries to join them.

Establish Legal Service for Victims

Child abuse victims need to have legal representation, so their voices can be heard in a court of law. Furthermore, they could likely be entitled to monetary compensation for the suffering and abuse they endured.

The commission recommended the federal government provide and fund a service which gives victims legal advice and refers them to an attorney when necessary.

Keep Children Out of Adult Prisons

Children should not be put in adult prisons just because they are close to adult age. 

The reason is that adult prisons are filled with sexual predators and child abusers who may see a child inmate as an opportunity to abuse again.

Introduce Psychological Testing

Psychological testing should be given to all adults who join religious organisations or any organisation that involves working with children.

This testing will determine if these adults are well-adjusted enough to work around children. Part of this testing should involve a psycho-sexual test, as well.

Child Safety Standards

The Royal Commission has identified a series of standards for child safety that it recommends being implemented.

Furthermore, the commission wants all levels of government to enforce these standards, including territory governments, state governments and the federal government.

Body Cameras at Youth Detention Centres

Any adult working at a youth detention centre should either be wearing a body camera or be monitored on CCTV whenever they interact with a child.

This will ensure that any inappropriate behaviour conducted by the adult will be recorded, deterring any such behaviour.

School Liability

If any staff member of a school is found guilty of committing sexual assault against a child there, then the school should be able to be sued. It wouldn’t even matter how negligent the school was about the abuse, or at preventing it.

Voluntary Celibacy

Catholic priests are known to take a vow of celibacy. This is believed to be the reason that they feel tempted to commit acts of sexual abuse toward children.

So, the commission has recommended the Australian Catholic Church ask the Vatican for permission in allowing its priests to choose whether they want to be celibate.

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