On the 14-07-13 the Federal Government announced providing $45 million to various community-based service providers around Australia to be used to support survivors of child sexual abuse taking part in the current Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Jenny Macklin, Community Services Minister, said it was hoped the new funding would make it easier for those who wanted to share their experiences with the commission.

The royal commission is investigating where systems have failed to protect children, and will make recommendations on how to improve laws, policies and practices to prevent and better respond to child sexual abuse in institutions.

While providing support and the opportunity for victims to come forward is paramount such funding should be sought from those organizations that have been identified as being responsible for this abuse, including the various religious organisations. The federal government should make a commitment that they will seek reimbursement of costs associated with this Royal Commission from these organizations deemed responsible.

Furthermore, to date, there has been no mention of compensation to be paid by those organizations deemed responsible to victims of crime. Victims of crime are currently expected to go through the traumatic process of recalling their abuse history with no certainty of any compensation. The Catholic Church operates two business structures, one which holds all its property and funds, and other which holds no assets but manages its day to day business affairs, including the employment of paedophile priests. The federal government needs to guarantee victims of crime that responsible organizations will be held accountable that that these organizations will appropriately compensate victims.

For victims of crime support and advice call 1800 000 055 or (03) 9415 9492 or go to www.victimsofcrime.com.au or email: support@victimsofcrime.com.au

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