Child sex abuse royal commission: Catholic Church's Melbourne Response discouraged some victims from going to police, inquiry finds
The process used by the Catholic Church in Melbourne to handle abuse claims discouraged victims from going to the police in some instances, the royal commission into child abuse has found.
In 1996 then archbishop George Pell introduced the Melbourne Response, as the church's process to deal with people sexually abused by priests and others within the Archdiocese.
It allowed anyone making allegations of abuse to have what the church called an "independent commissioner" to investigate their claims and make findings.
Compensation from the scheme was originally capped at $50,000 before being lifted to $75,000, with the cap a subject of contention among victims and their advocates.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found . . .
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.