The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will hold private sessions in Newcastle from 24 – 27 February 2015.
Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed explained that private sessions are critical to the Commission’s work, as they allow Commissioners to hear first-hand about the nature and prevalence of child sexual abuse.
“Through private sessions, we are learning about the impact of child sexual abuse not only on individuals, but their families and communities.
Mr Reed said private sessions also “shed light on the tactics perpetrators use and how institutions have responded, or failed to respond, to children who have been abused”.
Private sessions are held in a confidential, safe and supported environment. Commission staff provide counselling and can arrange interpreters or other communication assistance if required.
“The experiences and insights people share in private sessions directly inform the Commission’s work in developing recommendations that will provide a just response for people who have been sexually abused and ensure institutions better protect children in the future,” Mr Reed said.
“In February, 32 survivors of child sexual abuse in Newcastle will have the opportunity to tell the Royal Commission of their experiences in a private session with a Commissioner.
The Royal Commission has already held more than 2,975 private sessions in cities and towns across Australia. In the first half of 2015, the Royal Commission will hold private sessions in at least eight regional centres across Australia, and for the first time will hold regional public hearings in Rockhampton (April) and Ballarat (May).
If you were sexually abused as a child while in the care of an Australian institution, you can share your story with the Royal Commission by phoning 1800 099 340 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information visit the private sessions webpage.