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Impacts

This volume details the impacts of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts. It discusses how impacts can extend beyond survivors, to family members, friends, and whole communities. The volume also outlines the impacts of institutional responses to child sexual abuse.

Summary

As a victim, I can tell you the memories, sense of guilt, shame and anger live with you every day. It destroys your faith in people, your will to achieve, to love, and one’s ability to cope with normal everyday living.[1]

This volume describes what we learned during our inquiry about the impacts of child sexual abuse and the impacts of institutional responses to that abuse on victims and their families, as well as on other people in the institution, community and wider society.

In private sessions and public hearings, we heard many stories of profound and wide-ranging impacts on the lives of victims, in both their childhood and throughout their adult lives. We also heard stories that demonstrated survivors’ strength, resilience and courage in the face of this adversity. These stories are at the heart of this volume, which bears witness to the pain and courage of many, the full extent of which has been buried or minimised for many decades. Research on the impacts of child sexual abuse, and the more limited research on the impacts of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts, supports what we learned directly from survivors,their families and others about child sexual abuse.

[1] Name changed, private session, 'William Peter'.

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