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November 13, 2012

Australia Launches Royal Commission To Investigate Child Sexual Abuse In Religious Institutions

Julia GillardThe inquiry will not be confined to the Catholic Church, but extend to all religious organisations and to children in state care, and into other institutions including schools.

Julia Gillard
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard

Julia Gillard announces royal commission will probe child sex abuse
The Prime Minister will recommend that the Governor General establish a royal commission into child sexual abuse by religious institutions.
The Australian

JULIA Gillard has agreed to a royal commission into institutional responses to allegations of child sex abuse in Australia.

The Prime Minister said the terms of reference for the royal commission would be worked on in coming weeks, before the persons to lead the inquiry were appointed.

“I want to get this right,” Ms Gillard said in Canberra.

“So, over the next few weeks, we will be consulting with the organisations that represent the survivors of child abuse, with religious organisations, with state and territory governments, to ensure the terms of reference are right.”

The inquiry will not be confined to the Catholic Church, but extend to all religious organisations and to children in state care, and into other institutions including schools.…

“Australians know, from the revelations that they've read in recent weeks that too many children have suffered child abuse but have also seen other adults let them down.

“They've not only had their trust betrayed by the abuser but other adults who could have acted to assist them have failed to do so.”

Australians wanted action taken, she said, and did not want to see institutions fail again to deal with allegations of abuse.

“I hope that this royal commission can guide us to that place,” Ms Gillard said.…

Lead Jewish child sexual abuse victim, Manny Waks, who was allegedly molested at Chabad's Yeshiva College, was interviewed on Australian radio yesterday about the prime minister's announcement. Please click the gray bar to listen:



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Statement by Nicky Davis, SNAP Sydney Leader, nicky@nickydavis.com.au, (+61 422 538 440)

For immediate release Monday, November 13

We applaud Prime Minister Julia Gillard for this move, but caution that this is only a first step. Aggressive investigation of all clergy sex crimes and cover ups by institutional leaders, church officials and law enforcement - regardless of when they happened or where the wrongdoers are now - must happen simultaneously. Particular focus should be on religious orders which often hide and transfer predator priests even more often and more effectively than bishops do.

Regardless of how this governmental inquiry proceeds, it's imperative that victims, witnesses and whistleblowers continue to find the courage and strength to step forward, get help, call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and begin healing.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, bblaine@snapnetwork.org), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688, 314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, jcasteix@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, peterisely@yahoo.com,

This is what's so awesome about FM. I was reading about this in two of the major city newspapers in the U.S. Except the Jewish community wasn't mentioned in either one. I'm tired, so maybe I missed something, but if it wasn't here I wouldn't know.

In Australia, a Royal Commission is as high as you can go.

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