Royal Commission to hold public hearing into Towards Healing –
Starting 9 December
The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Sydney commencing Monday 9 December 2013. The public hearing will look into the Towards Healing process adopted by the Catholic Church in responding to allegations of child sexual abuse.
Royal Commission CEO Janette Dines explained that this hearing will be the first of a number of public hearings that will examine the application of Towards Healing in responding to victims and allegations of child sexual abuse against personnel of the Catholic Church.
“This first public hearing into Towards Healing will focus on the experiences of four people who participated in the process,” she said.
“These people are Queensland residents whose claim of child sexual abuse was dealt with through the Towards Healing process. The accused at the time of the abuse were priests and brothers of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, Diocese of Lismore and the Marist Brothers.
“As the Commission continues, we will hold more public hearings into peoples’ experience with Towards Healing and its application in different parts of Australia,” Ms Dines said.
Royal Commission visits Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities in the Northern Territory
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was recently in Darwin where staff met with members of the Stolen Generation at an Aboriginal Healing Centre.
Royal Commission CEO Janette Dines said this was an opportunity for victims of institutional child sex abuse in the Territory to speak with trained investigators in an informal setting where they could feel safe.
“The Royal Commission has recently employed three Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Engagement Officers, two of whom were present at these meetings to provide support and reassure people that their stories would be believed.
“Over two days, around ten survivors directly told their stories, and many more came to support. This also resulted in other family and friends speaking to us by phone to tell their own stories in the following days,” she said.
Ms Dines said it was pleasing that so many people came forward to talk to the Royal Commission.
“Although it was a highly emotional two days, people found it a worthwhile experience.
“It is clear that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are starting to develop trust in the Royal Commission and we see this as critically important in our work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” Ms Dines said.
The Royal Commission also held a community forum with the NT Council of Social Service, where Justice Peter McClellan outlined the work of the Royal Commission and how organisations can support their clients who may wish to come forward.
The Royal Commission is committed to breaking down the many barriers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face in coming forward and will continue to build trust with communities to facilitate the sharing of stories. Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Sydney commencing Monday 9 December 2013. The public hearing will look into the Towards Healing process adopted by the Catholic Church in responding to allegations of child sexual abuse.
YouTube: Introduction to the Royal Commission’s Public Hearings
Public hearings provide us with the opportunity to publicly expose events of national importance and educate the community on institutional child sexual abuse. For anyone thinking about attending we recommend you watch our latest video on what to expect at a public hearing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBhbrRySpBQ
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