Institutional abuse

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

See more resources on Institutional abuse in the AIFS library catalogue

Adult safeguarding laws: reviewing the proposal for a NSW Ageing and Disability Commissioner

Roth L
Sydney, N.S.W. : NSW Parliamentary Research Service, 2019.
In December 2018, the New South Wales Premier announced that they would establish a powerful and independent Ageing and Disability Commissioner to investigate and address the abuse of older people and adults with disability. This briefing paper considers the context of such a role and similar schemes in Australia and overseas. It looks at the prevalence of abuse of older people and adults with disability, outlines existing agencies and adult safeguarding laws that play a role in protecting these groups from abuse, and considers recommendations to establish agencies to protect vulnerable or at-risk adults from abuse and neglect.

Independent review of residential colleges at the University of New England: final report

Australian Human Rights Commission, University of New England
Armidale, N.S.W. : University of New England, 2019.
This report investigates the prevalence and nature of sexual assault and sexual harassment at the seven residential colleges of the University of New England in New South Wales, including the culture at these colleges, the factors that contribute to the risk of assault and harassment, college policies and procedures, and barriers to reporting. The review drew on interviews, focus groups, written submissions and a survey. Approximately one-third of respondents reported having experienced sexual harassment, and 4% reported experiencing actual or attempted sexual assault or rape, with these assaults and harassments occurring throughout the academic year and not just at specific events. The coercion to participate in 'hazing' rituals and a college 'drinking culture' were highlighted as particular issues, as well as poor attitudes and knowledge regarding sexual assault, sexual harassment, victim-blaming, and gender roles. The report discusses the findings and presents 28 recommendations for reform. This report follows on from the 2017 'Change the course' national inquiry into sexual assault and harassment at Australian universities, which recommended that individual residential colleges and universities should commission independent reviews of their specific settings.

Child sexual abuse in the context of religious institutions: Truth Project thematic report

Hurcombe R
London : Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, 2019.
One component of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is the Truth Project, which aims to hear and learn from the experiences of victims and survivors of institutional abuse in England and Wales. This report is the first of several which will share the insights of participants of the Truth Project, with this first report relating to sexual abuse that occurred in 'religious contexts', based on either the location or perpetrator of the abuse. The report analyses victims and survivors' experiences and views on: the nature of child sexual abuse in religious contexts; whether anything could have been done to prevent the abuse and how much institutions knew about the abuse; disclosure as a child or as an adult; the barriers and facilitators for disclosure; the impacts of the abuse; recovery and support; and improving child protection in future. Most of the cases relate to the Anglican and Catholic Churches in the 1970s and earlier. The findings suggest that sexual abuse in religious contexts differs from that in other institutions and circumstances, and reflect findings from the recent inquiry in Australia.

Effectiveness of the Aged Care Quality Assessment and accreditation framework for protecting residents from abuse and poor practices, and ensuring proper clinical and medical care standards are maintained and practised: final report

Siewert R
Canberra, ACT : Commonwealth of Australia, 2019.
This report presenting the findings and recommendations of an inquiry into the effectiveness of the Government's Aged Care Quality Assessment and accreditation framework for protecting residents from abuse and poor practices. The inquiry was called following incidents of poor quality care and abuse at the Oakden Older Persons Mental Health Facility in South Australia, with evidence coming to light of systemic issues affecting aged care services throughout Australia. The inquiry also investigated the adequacy and effectiveness of complaints handling processes at a state and federal level, consumer awareness of complaints mechanisms, reporting and feedback mechanisms, responses to reports of adverse incidents, medication handling and drug administration practices, injury monitoring and reporting, mandatory reporting of serious injury and mortality incidents, and the division of responsibility and accountability between residents, staff, aged care providers, and the state and the federal governments. This inquiry has taken two years to complete, and related reforms and new inquiries that have commenced in this period are also noted.

Getting the National Redress Scheme right: an overdue step towards justice

Hinch D
Canberra : Commonwealth of Australia, 2019.
On the 1 July 2018, the government launched a National Redress Scheme for the survivors of institutional child sexual abuse in Australia, one of the key recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. This report presents the findings and recommendations of a committee established to provide oversight of the implementation of this redress scheme. The findings relate to the scheme's early stages of operation and provide an opportunity to make legislative and policy changes to help improve its processes and implementation. The committee found that the redress scheme is at serious risk of not delivering on its objective of providing justice to survivors, with only a small number of applications received, few redress payments made, and some institutions refusing to join the scheme.

The epidemiology of sexual assault of older female nursing home residents, in Victoria Australia, between 2000-2015.

Smith D, Cunningham N, Willoughby M, Young C, Odell M, Ibrahim J and Bugeja L
Legal Medicine v. 36 Feb 2019: 89-95
This article adds to what is known about the prevalence and nature of sexual assault of older women in nursing home settings. The cases of alleged sexual assaults referred to a clinical forensic examiner in Victoria between 2000 and 2015 were analysed. In this period, 28 forensic medical examinations were identified, though of course the actual number may be greater, due to under-reporting or non-identification. The cases showed that many of the alleged victims had physical and cognitive impairments and that injuries were infrequent. The findings highlight many gaps in what is known and the need for more data.

A future without violence: quality, safeguarding and oversight to prevent and address violence against people with disability in institutional settings

Australian Human Rights Commission, Australia. Attorney-General's Dept.
Sydney, NSW : Australian Human Rights Commission, 2018.
This report examines mechanisms for quality, safeguarding and oversight in the disability sector, focusing on their role and effectiveness in preventing and addressing violence against people in institutional settings. It investigates how the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework impact and interact with the protections offered by states and territories and how government can strengthen these mechanisms in the future. The study involved a literature review, mapping of existing mechanisms, and national consultations. The report discusses the findings and makes recommendations for strengthening the system.

Children, sexuality and child sexual abuse.

Kenny D
Abingdon, UK : Routledge, 2018.
This book on child sexual abuse examines it from within the broader social and historical context, to provide a more nuanced insight into its causes and impacts. The book is aimed at professionals including police, child welfare workers, the judiciary, teachers, and the medical profession. Chapters include: Childhood, sex and society; Sexual development and behaviour in children; Adverse experiences in childhood; Prevalence of child sexual abuse; Abuse and neglect of children in Indigenous communities in Australia, New Zealand and Canada; Institutional child sexual abuse; Disclosure of child sexual abuse; Assessment of child sexual abuse; The effects of child sexual abuse; Memory; When memory deceives: false and recovered memories; and Young people who sexually offend.

Key messages from the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse

Paterson N
Southbank, Vic. : Child Family Community Australia, 2018.
This short article provides a summary of the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse delivered in October 2018.

Child sexual abuse within the Catholic and Anglican Churches: a rapid evidence assessment

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (Great Britain)
London : Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, 2018
To assist their work in the United Kingdom, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has commissioned this literature review to summarise what is known about child sexual abuse in Catholic and Anglican Churches. It presents a rapid evidence assessment of research from England and Wales as well as other jurisdictions abroad, focusing on the prevalence of child sexual abuse within these settings and trends over time, the institutional factors that enable child sexual abuse to occur within these settings, how both Churches have responded to child sexual abuse, and how institutional failures can be remedied for the future. Common themes between the two churches are highlighted and the gaps in the evidence are discussed. Though there is only limited evidence on the prevalence of child sexual abuse in these church settings, the research highlights how the culture and regulatory frameworks of religious institutions play a significant role in the incidence of child sexual abuse and how it is responded to. This report was first issued in 2017.

Commonwealth Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2017 - Provisions [and] Commonwealth Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2017 - Provisions

Brockman S
Canberra, ACT : Community Affairs Legislation Committee Secretariat, 2018.
Two bills are currently before the Senate which together seek to establish a Commonwealth Redress Scheme for Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse. The scheme would apply to Commonwealth and certain non-government institutions and provide survivors of institutional child sexual abuse with a monetary payment, access to counselling and psychological services, and a direct personal response from the responsible institution. As the Commonwealth does not have the constitutional power to legislate for a national scheme, these bills are intended as a 'first step' towards the implementation of a truly national Redress Scheme, and are drafted in anticipation of the participation of state governments and state-based non-government institutions. This report reviews the provisions of these two bills, and provides background information on the development of the redress scheme, administrative issues, and stakeholder concerns raised during the consultation period of the review. Though the review recommends that these bills be passed, recommendations for improvement are also included.

Annual progress report 2018: implementation of recommendations from the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Australia, Australia. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Final report.
Canberra, A.C.T. : Australian Government, 2018.
In 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented its findings and recommendations. As part of its response, the Australian Government has established an Implementation Taskforce to monitor and coordinate action on the recommendations of the Royal Commission. It intends to track progress made by all Australian governments annually until 2022 and then conduct a 10 year review in 2027, as recommended by the Royal Commission. This report is the first annual progress report, detailing the work of the Commonwealth and State governments towards these recommendations in the first 12 months since they were presented. It is arranged around the themes of: Making institutions child safe; Causes, support and treatment; Responses to abuse, including redress and civil litigation; Criminal justice and the protection of children; and Accountability and annual reporting. The full recommendations are included as an appendix.

Tasmanian response - Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Tasmania, Tasmania. Dept. of Justice, Australia. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Final report.
Hobart, Tas. : Tasmanian Government, 2018.
In 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented its findings and recommendations, aimed at both state and federal layers of government as well as agencies and organisations. This document presents the official response of the Tasmanian Government. It details their response to each of the relevant recommendations and also includes responses to recommendations made in the Working with Children Checks report, the Redress and Civil Litigation report, and the Criminal Justice report. The foreword, by the Tasmanian Attorney-General, notes that many of the Royal Commission's recommendations are consistent with reforms already underway.

Ending the victim-blaming : the Australian Jewish community and its response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Mendes P
Gesher : Official Journal of the Council of Christians and Jews (Victoria) 2018: 69-73
This article argues that some Jewish organisations in Australia have failed to deal appropriately with institutional child sexual abuse. It highlights the problems caused by a reluctance to report abuse, vulnerabilities due to cultural practices, a priority on protecting the accused and the community's reputation, and shaming and shunning alleged victims and their families, rather than providing support. The findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse into the Yeshivah Centre and the Yeshivah Colleges in Melbourne, Victoria, and Bondi, New South Wales, are raised as examples.

Identifying institutional elder abuse in Australia through coronial and other death review processes.

Mitchell B
Macquarie Law Journal v. 18 2018: 35-56
This special journal issue is a response to the Australian Law Reform Commission's recent inquiry into elder abuse. This article considers how coronial and other death review systems could help identify elder abuse in institutional settings. It discusses how institutions and death are defined, the limitations of current review systems and other challenges, and possible reforms to improve the capture of this data and help prevent abuse.

The prevalence of elder abuse among adult guardianship clients.

Bedson L, Chesterman J and Woods M
Macquarie Law Journal v. 18 2018: 15-34
This special journal issue is a response to the Australian Law Reform Commission's recent inquiry into elder abuse. This article presents information on the prevalence of elder abuse among guardianship clients in Victoria, drawing on data from two studies from 2013-14 and 2016-17. Many of the available studies exclude people with cognitive impairment, so these findings will help inform prevalence studies. With a high and growing number of Australians suffering from dementia, and strong evidence to suggest a positive correlation between cognitive impairment and elder abuse, it is imperative that future research includes this cohort. Issues in the possible over-use of guardianship and its risk for abuse are also discussed.

Options for the implementation in the Northern Territory of the civil litigation reforms recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Northern Territory. Dept. of the Attorney-General and Justice, Australia. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Final report.
Darwin, NT : Dept. of the Attorney-General and Justice, Northern Territory Government, 2018.
In 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented a range of recommendations, including regarding the duties and liabilities of institutions and identifying a proper defendant. This paper invites comments and submissions from interested groups and the general public to these and other recommendations, to help the Department of the Attorney-General and Justice develop reforms.

Northern Territory Government initial response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse

Northern Territory, Australia. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Final report.
Darwin, N.T. : Northern Territory Government, 2018
In 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented its findings and recommendations, aimed at both state and federal layers of government as well as agencies and organisations. In the form of a chart, this document sets out the Northern Territory Government's initial response to each of the recommendations and outlines some of their initiatives already underway.

Similarities in modi operandi of institutional and non-institutional child sexual offending : systematic case comparisons.

Martschuk N, Goodman-Delahunty J, Powell M and Westera N
Child Abuse and Neglect v. 84 Oct 2018: 229-240
This article adds to what is known about how child sexual abuse in institutional settings differs from abuse in non-institutional settings. It analyses 59 recent court cases in Australia to compare the grooming strategies used to secure the victim's compliance and the type of power - whether intimate, aggressive, or coercive - applied. The findings highlight similarities in these types of abuse, that can be used to inform prevention efforts.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia's response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Catholic Religious Australia, Australia. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Final report.
Canberra, A.C.T. : Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, 2018.
In 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented its findings and recommendations for government, agencies, and organisations. This document presents the official response of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia, two of the leading Catholic organisations in the country. It addresses each of the recommendations that affect the Catholic Church and describes what actions will be taken. The bishops and religious leaders are grateful to the Royal Commission for their work and have accepted or accepted in principle nearly all of the Royal Commission's recommendations. The one recommendation that cannot be accepted relates to not exempting the seal of the confessional in mandatory reporting, which would be contrary to the Catholic faith and inimical to religious liberty.

Report I of the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury

Pennsylvania. Statewide Investigating Grand Jury, Pennsylvania. Office of Attorney General
Harrisburg, PA : Office of Attorney General, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 2018.
This report presents the findings of a two-year grand jury investigation into widespread sexual abuse of children within six dioceses of the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania. It reveals a systemic cover up by senior church officials in Pennsylvania and at The Vatican, resulting in that almost every instance of abuse found is too old to be prosecuted. However, as the introduction says, "we are not satisfied by the few charges we can bring, which represent only a tiny percentage of all the child abusers we saw. We are sick over all the crimes that will go unpunished and uncompensated. This report is our only recourse. We are going to name their names, and describe what they did ? both the sex offenders and those who concealed them. We are going to shine a light on their conduct, because that is what the victims deserve. And we are going to make our recommendations for how the laws should change so that maybe no one will have to conduct another inquiry like this one. We hereby exercise our historical and statutory right as grand jurors to inform the public of our findings."

Queensland Government response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Queensland, Australia. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Final report.
Brisbane, Qld. : Queensland Government, 2018.
In 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented its findings and recommendations, aimed at both state and federal layers of government as well as agencies and organisations. This document presents the official response of the Queensland Government. It provides an overview of how the state government will work to keep children safe and implement the Royal Commission's reforms, and details their response to each of the recommendations in the areas of working with children checks, redress and civil litigation, and criminal justice.

Victorian Government response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Victoria, Australia. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Final report.
Melbourne, Vic. : Dept. of Justice and Regulation, 2018
In 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented its findings and recommendations, aimed at both state and federal layers of government as well as agencies and organisations. This website presents the official response of the Victorian Government. The Victorian Government welcomes the release of the Royal Commission's final report and thanks them for their commitment and dedication to these important issues. An overview document describes the Victorian Government's recent and future efforts to address child abuse, and is accompanied by a more detailed table of the responses to all 409 recommendations of the Royal Commission.

Investigation into child sex offender Robert Whitehead's involvement with Puffing Billy and other railway bodies

Victoria. Ombudsman
Melbourne, Vic. : Victorian Government Printer, 2018.
The Victorian Ombudsman has conducted an investigation into how Robert Whitehead, a convicted child sexual offender, was able to be re-employed by historical railway organisations in Victoria, including the popular family tourist railway Puffing Billy. How each of these organisations handled complaints or allegations about Mr Whitehead was also examined. This report presents the findings of this own motion investigation and its recommendations for organisations involved in this case and for implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Mr Whitehead had been convicted of 24 child sexual offences in 2015 against six boys, who he had met through his involvement with historical rail groups; he had previously been convicted of multiple child sexual offences in 1959.

Australian Government response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Australia, Australia. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Final report.
Canberra, A.C.T. : Australian Government, 2018
In 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented its findings and recommendations. In this official response, the Australian Government thanks the commissioners for their leadership and compassion over the 5 years of the inquiry and details the Government's response to each of the 409 recommendations. 84 of the recommendations deal with redress, which will be addressed through the creation of the National Redress Scheme for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse. Of the remaining 325 recommendations, 122 have been directed wholly or partially to the Australian Government. The chapters of the response are published separately: final report response; working with children checks report; criminal justice report; and redress and civil litigation report.

Understanding situational crime prevention for child sexual abuse: what services need to know

Morley S and Higgins D
Australia : Australian Catholic University, 2018
Situational Crime Prevention is one theoretical approach that can be used to develop whole-of-organisation responses for safeguarding children. Rather than focusing on the offender, this approach focuses on the crime event and its precursors. Written for concerned organisations, this resource outlines how Situational Crime Prevention can be used in organisations that work with children and highlights some of the strategies that can be implemented.

Interim report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Jay A
London : Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, 2018.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse was established in 2015 in Great Britain in response to concerns that some organisations have failed and have continued to fail to protect children from sexual abuse. It will investigate the extent to which State and non-State institutions have failed in their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation, whether failings have since been addressed, and identify what more needs to be done. This interim report sets out the key emerging themes from the Inquiry's work to date and presents recommendations for specific changes which will better protect children from sexual abuse. Work to date has been undertaken into child migration programmes to such countries as Australia, the English Benedictine Congregation, the Anglican Diocese of Chichester, and the Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale residential institutions.

Child Migration Programmes investigation report

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (Great Britain)
London : Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, 2018.
"Over a period of many years before and after the Second World War, successive United Kingdom governments allowed children to be removed from their families, care homes and foster care in England and Wales to be sent to institutions or families abroad, without their parents. These child migrants were sent mainly to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Government departments, public authorities and charities participated in these child migration programmes and were responsible, to varying degrees, for what subsequently happened to the children. Post-war, around 4,000 children were migrated, mostly to Australia. This report sets out the results of the Inquiry's investigation into the experiences of child migrants, and the extent to which institutions took sufficient care to protect these children from sexual abuse. The investigation also examined the extent to which the institutions involved knew, or should have known, about the sexual abuse of child migrants and how they have responded to any such knowledge. Finally, it considered the adequacy of support and reparations for sexual abuse, if any, which have been provided by the institutions concerned. Although the focus of the Inquiry is on sexual abuse, the accounts of other forms of abuse provide an essential context for understanding the experiences of child migrants ... Many witnesses described 'care' regimes which included physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect, as well as sexual abuse, in the various settings to which they were sent ... For some children, one of the most devastating aspects of their experience was being lied to about their family background, and even about whether their parents were alive or dead."--Executive summary.

The red zone report: an investigation into sexual violence and hazing in Australian university residential colleges

Funnell N and Hush A
Australia : EROC Australia, 2018.
The Residential Colleges of the University of Sydney have borne growing scrutiny and negative media reporting over decades of hazing, sexual assault, ritualistic humiliation, alcohol abuse, sexism, and violence by resident students. The latest article highlighting campus conditions in 2016, however, occurred in a new era of awareness and concern and eventually led to the University agreeing to participate in a review by former Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, published in 2017. EROC Australia welcomed some aspects of the review, but expressed concerns over the methodology and approach and whether the review was about managing reputational issues rather than genuinely seeking to address a culture that enabled sexual violence. In response, they have commissioned this report to address the perceived gaps and provide a more balanced and independent approach. The report: reviews what is known about the prevalence of sexual assault at these colleges; restores the missing context by outlining the series of events which triggered the Broderick review; situates recent events within the historical context of scandals at University of Sydney colleges dating back to the 1950s; situates these experiences within the broader national experience of residential college life; incorporates the voices of sexual assault survivors through case studies; and develops and presents recommendations for the University, the Residential Colleges, local secondary schools, and government.

Analysis of claims of child sexual abuse made with respect to Catholic Church institutions in Australia

Australia. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
Sydney, NSW : Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, 2017.
This report presents the data from a survey of Catholic Church authorities in Australia on the extent of claims of child sexual abuse made against Catholic Church personnel. A total of 201 Catholic Church authorities completed the survey, providing data on any and all claims received between 1 January 1980 and 28 February 2015 - 46% of respondents reported having received one or more claims of child sexual abuse during this period. The data covers number of claims, date range of incidents, duration of abuse, location, gender and age of claimants and perpetrators, claims for redress, redress payments made, number of alleged perpetrators, proportion of non-ordained religious and priests who were alleged perpetrators, claims per alleged perpetrator, treatment of alleged perpetrators, administrative leave and restricted ministry of priests and non-ordained religious who were alleged perpetrators, and types and number of Institutions where alleged child sexual abuse occurred. Some of the findings: 78% of claimants were male and 22% were female (where gender was reported), the most common institution types identified in a claim were schools (46%) and orphanages or residential facilities (29%), and the majority of claims (86%) commenced in the period from 1950 to 1989. Note, this revised edition features an appendix updating the chapter 'Proportion of non-ordained religious and priests who were alleged perpetrators, taking into account duration of ministry'.
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