The Royal Commission exemplified evidence-based innovation in responses to child abuse, and its findings have the potential to yield world class leadership in remedying this significant societal problem.
As you know, however, most Australian children live in families, and the vast majority of children experiencing sexual abuse do so in the contexts of their homes.
Child sexual abuse in family contexts was not addressed by the Royal Commission.
When family violence and sexual abuse occur within families, issues of child protection are commonly dealt with by our family law system.
For decades we have been alerted to the many problems facing our family courts.
This system is in crisis and, sadly, frequently fails to protect children from ongoing abuse.
If the findings of the Royal Commission are applied as far as possible to the family law system, then existing problems can be alleviated relatively quickly and cost-effectively.
This represents a great opportunity to make the most of our country’s $500 million investment in the Royal Commission by ensuring that all Australian children enjoy the right to be protected from abuse, wherever it occurs.
If the Government is sincere in its apology it will establish an urgent Parliamentary Committee to apply all relevant findings of the Royal Commission to Australia’s family law system, including our family courts, state police and child protection departments, as a matter of urgency.
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