The Royal Commission is underway
The first sitting of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse took place this morning at the County Court in Melbourne.
The Commission Chairman Justice Peter McLellan said that the commission is now ready to receive the stories of survivors of sexual abuse. Justice McClellan said one of the commission’s tasks was to ‘bear witness’ to the abuse and suffering of victims, which it did by making known what happened, including archives for posterity. “It seems likely that at least 5000 people will want to talk to the commission. The leaders of some groups representing survivors suggest the number could be much higher,” he said.
Members of the Care Leavers of Australia Network (CLAN) were present at today’s first hearing of the Royal Commission. CLAN Executive Officer, Leonie Sheedy stated that “The Royal Commission is long overdue and we eagerly await the chance to present evidence. At long last Australia will know of this horrific history of widespread physical and sexual abuse of the vulnerable children who grew up in Australia’s orphanages, children’s Homes, foster care and other institutions.”
This article from the Age has some information about how the commission plans to proceed with hearing people’s stories.