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Research

In order to make recommendations we needed to understand more about child sexual abuse in institutional contexts. The Royal Commission established a program of research to answer some key questions and respond to gaps in the Australian and international evidence base.

We commissioned and conducted research in three broad categories:

  • descriptive research to establish necessary background information
  • primary research to fill critical evidence gaps
  • research that summarised existing findings about child sexual abuse in institutional contexts, as well as practices that successfully prevent or respond to it. 

Our research agenda had eight themes.

Why does child sexual abuse occur in institutions?

Reports

Taking us seriously: Children and young people talk about safety and institutional responses to their safety concerns (PDF)

Conducted by Dr Tim Moore, Professor Morag McArthur, Debbie Noble-Carr and Professor Deborah Harcourt

Our safety counts: Children and young people’s perceptions of safety and institutional responses to their safety concerns (PDF)

Conducted by Dr Tim Moore, Professor Morag McArthur, Dr Jessica Heerde, Steven Roche and Professor Patrick O’Leary

Scoping study for research into the prevalence of child abuse in Australia (PDF)

Conducted by Professor Ben Matthews, Associate Professor Kerryann Walsh, Professor Michael Dunne, Professor Ilan Katz, Professor Fiona Arney, Associate Professor Daryl Higgins, Olivia Octoman, Samantha Parkinson and Shona Bates

Disability and child sexual abuse in institutional contexts (PDF)

Conducted by Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn, Dr Sarah Wayland and Ms Gabrielle Hindmarsh

Safe and sound: Exploring the safety of young people in residential care (PDF)

Conducted by Dr Tim Moore, Professor Morag McArthur, Dr Jodi Death, Steven Roche and Professor Clare Tilbury

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and child sexual abuse in institutional contexts (PDF)

Conducted by Patricia Anderson, Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett, Professor Dawn Bessarab, Professor Leah Bromfield, Dr Sharni Chan, Gabriel Maddock Karen Menzies, Margaret O'Connell, Glenn Pearson, Dr Roz Walker and Dr Michael Wright

Child sexual abuse in Australian institutional contexts 2008–13: Findings from administrative data (PDF)

Conducted by Professor Leah Bromfield, Craig Hirte, Olivia Octoman and Professor Ilan Katz

Child sexual abuse in institutional contexts: The reliability of police data, nature of allegations reported to police, and factors driving reporting rates (PDF)

Conducted by Samantha Parkinson, Dr Kerry Lewig, Catia Malvaso, Professor Fiona Arney, Professor Ilan Katz and Dr BJ Newton

How can child sexual abuse in institutions be prevented?

Reports

Key elements of child safe organisations: Research study (PDF)

Conducted by Associate Professor kylie Valentine, Professor Ilan Katz, Dr Ciara Smyth, Cathy Bent, Sophia Rinaldis, Catherine Wade and Bianca Albers

Creating child safe institutions (PDF)

Conducted by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Grooming and child sexual abuse in institutional contexts (PDF)

Conducted by Professor Patrick O'Leary, Emma Koh and Andrew Dare

Help-seeking needs and gaps for preventing child sexual abuse (PDF)

Conducted by Vicky Saunders and Professor Morag McArthur

Audit of primary school-based sexual abuse prevention policy and curriculum: Volumes 1 to 5 (PDF)

Conducted by Associate Professor Kerryann Walsh, Leisa Brandon and Dr Lisa Kruck

What is best practice for institutional responses where child sexual abuse has occurred?

What is best practice for government and statutory authorities responding to child sexual abuse?

Reports

Sentencing for child sexual abuse in institutional contexts (PDF)

Conducted by Emeritus Professor Arie Freiberg, Hugh Donnelly and Dr Karen Gelb

Jury reasoning in joint and separate trials of institutional child sexual abuse: An empirical study - Trial Scripts (PDF)

Conducted by Professor Jane Goodman-Delahunty, Professor Annie Cossins and Natalie Martschuk

The impact of delayed reporting on the prosecution and outcomes of child sexual abuse cases and appendices to the appeals study (PDF)

Conducted by Professor Judy Cashmore, Dr Alan Taylor, Associate Professor Rita Shackel and Professor Patrick Parkinson

An evaluation of how evidence is elicited from complainants of child sexual abuse and online supplementary materials (PDF)

Conducted by Professor Martine Powell, Dr Nina Westera, Professor Jane Goodman-Delahunty and Anne Sophie Pichler

Empirical guidance on the effects of child sexual abuse on memory and complainants' evidence (PDF)

Conducted by Professor Jane Goodman-Delahunty, Associate Professor Mark A Nolan and Dr Evianne L van Gijn-Grosvenor

What are the treatment and support needs of victims/survivors and their families?

Reports

Family relationships and the disclosure of institutional child sexual abuse (PDF)

Conducted by Dr Antonia Quadara, Mary Stathopoulos and Dr Rachel Carson

Pathways to support services for victim/survivors of child sexual abuse and their families (PDF)

Conducted by Dr Antonia Quadara, Mary Stathopoulos, Dr Rachel Carson, Serpil Bilgic, Rae Kaspiew, Helena Romaniuk, Briony Horsfall and Jessie Dunstan

Impacts of institutional child sexual abuse on victims/survivors: A rapid review of research findings (PDF)

Conducted by Dr Tamara Blakemore, Dr James Herbert, Professor Fiona Arney and Samantha Parkinson

Capturing practice knowledge from the Royal Commission support model (PDF)

Conducted by Claire Grealy, Joanna Farmer, Karen Milward and Morag McArthur

What is the history of particular institutions of interest?

No external Publications

How do we ensure the Commission's work has a positive impact?

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