Media Alerts & Releases
Wednesday 20 December: Royal Commission Recommendations
Body Safety Australia welcomes the Final Report Recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The Royal Commission heard evidence from over 8,000 survivors of childhood sexual abuse over five years and now comprehensively outlines how we can best work to prevent childhood sexual abuse and support those children and young people who have been victimised.
Resoundingly, the Commission advocates for ‘prevention education delivered through daycare, preschool, school, sport and recreational settings and other intuitional settings aims to increase children’s knowledge of sexual abuse and build practical skills to assist in strengthening self protective skills and strategies.’ They go on to say that this education should be delivered to children and young people, parents and professionals. A whole-community approach has been proven to be best practice in prevention education and one that Body Safety Australia adopts in the delivery of our Superstars program.
Body Safety Australia uses best-practice research and ongoing evaluation to guide the development and refinement of our programs. Our evaluations have shown that working alongside early childhood and school educators has been invaluable. This collaborative approach has allowed teachers and leadership teams to build confidence and capacity in prevention education, while supporting parents in adopting child safe practices in the home. This approach also allows for classes to be tailored to meet the cultural and accessibility needs of students and their families.
Survivors of childhood sexual abuse speak frequently of feeling disempowered and not having had an awareness that what was being done to them was wrong or that they could seek assistance from protective adults. The Commission has recommended that ‘children participate in decisions affecting them and [be] taken seriously.’ Having children actively participate in classes is positive, not only for individual children, but also as it continues to inform educators of the concerns held by this generation of children.
We also appreciate the Report’s focus on the role of online safety education for children, parents and professionals. Historically, cybersafety has failed to discuss grooming and non-consensual sexual behaviours either by adults or other young people that put children and young people at risk. We are increasingly seeing childhood sexual abuse being perpetrated online, with Detective Inspector Rouse of Taskforce Argos saying that there has been a ‘proliferation of sexual abuse images self-produced by young children’. It is essential that online education commences for parents and professionals in early childhood settings and for children from primary school. Our online safety program has benefited by being informed by youth consultation and our work in sexual abuse prevention, respectful relationships and sexuality education.
The team at Body Safety Australia would like to offer thanks to the many hundreds of people involved in the Royal Commission both professionally and those brave enough to give evidence. We urge the State and Federal Governments to adopt all the recommendations and look forward to creating a culture where grooming behaviour is called to account and where children’s voices are heard and acted upon.
Media Contact: Deanne Carson | 0410 613 040 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday 8 August: Body Safety Australia featured on SBS Insight 8.30pm
Thursday 3 August: 'We need to teach consent to our kids from as young as three-years-old'
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