Victims tell their stories to Australia's royal commission on child sexual abuse
By Mar. 21, 2016, National Catholic Reporter|
SYDNEY -- In some respects, the story of the Australian government inquiry into institutional responses to child sexual abuse is a story that can be told in numbers.
Since its first hearing three years ago, the inquiry -- the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse -- has received 29,223 telephone calls from victims and other interested parties, as well as 16,171 letters and emails. It has conducted 4,874 sessions in private (to provide, where requested, a safe and confidential environment for those testifying) and made 961 referrals to authorities, including police, many of which have resulted in arrests and charges
The commission has also conducted nearly 40 public hearings around Australia looking into particular case studies of abuse -- such as the one in early March that saw the questioning via video link from Rome of the Australian church’s highest-ranking cleric, Cardinal George Pell.
It has produced more than . . .