The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will be holding private sessions in Tasmania from 10 September.
Private sessions offer people who have experienced childhood sexual abuse in an institution the chance to tell their story to a Royal Commissioner.
Royal Commission CEO Janette Dines said that more than 326 people have already told their story in private sessions across the country. The Royal Commission expects to offer at least 850 private sessions by the end of the year.
“The private sessions are contributing significantly to the Commissioners’ understanding of the nature and extent of the sexual abuse of children within institutions in Australia,” Ms Dines said.
“Many of the personal stories which the Commissioners receive report a level of abuse and mistreatment of children which will shock many people,” said Ms Dines.
Ms Dines said the private sessions were strictly confidential and no-one from an institution would ever be present.
Ms Dines acknowledged it is difficult for people to talk about what happened to them. “We do all that we can to provide a safe and supportive environment, including providing counsellors who can provide immediate support. As well, we encourage people to bring a friend or family member along for support.”
Private sessions have been held so far in Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and sessions are currently scheduled in Darwin and Queensland.
Media enquiries: (02) 8282 3966 or media [at] childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au