The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is today launching a national public awareness campaign calling for survivors of child sexual abuse to come forward to share their story.
Royal Commission Chief Executive Officer Janette Dines said that while more than 1,400 people have already shared their story with a Royal Commissioner, there may be many more people who are yet to make contact with the Royal Commission.
“A recent telephone survey found that while there is widespread community awareness of the Royal Commission, many people are still unsure about what the Royal Commission can look into,” Ms Dines said.
“This campaign is designed to encourage all Australians to find out more about the work of the Royal Commission and how survivors can share their story of child sexual abuse.
“From today people should expect to start seeing and hearing more about the Royal Commission in newspapers, websites and radio stations around the country as the campaign is rolled out in every state and territory,” Ms Dines said.
Ms Dines said the Royal Commission will be distributing information about its work across an extensive network of government bodies, community groups and service providers around the country.
“By distributing information about the Royal Commission via local councils, medical centres, government and community services, we will be able to connect with more people and ensure that everyone who experienced child sexual abuse while in the care of an Australian institution has the opportunity to share their story with Royal Commission if they choose to do so,” said Ms Dines.
Survey highlights include:
Around 65% of those surveyed were aware of the Royal Commission however of these:
people aged 50+ were most likely to be aware of the Royal Commission
24% did not know the role of the Royal Commission
40% did not know which organisations the Royal Commission could examine and 37% thought the Royal Commission could only examine religious organisations
50% did not know how to share their story with the Royal Commission
residents from NSW/ACT were most likely to be aware of the Royal Commission (74%); followed by SA/NT 68%, TAS 67%, VIC and WA 62% and QLD 57%