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Australia - Event

National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (22 October 2018)

22 October 2018
22 October 2018

On 22 October 2018, the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, apologised to victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse on behalf of the Australian Government, and all Australians. The Prime Minister apologised for the appalling endured by survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, and acknowledged the longlasting effects of this abuse.

The Apology was part of the Australian Government's response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.


The Apology stated that:

Today, we apologise for the pain, suffering and trauma inflicted upon victims and survivors as children, and for its profound and ongoing impact.

As children, you deserved care and protection. Instead, the very people and institutions entrusted with your care failed you. You suffered appalling physical and mental abuse, and endured horrific sexual crimes.

As fellow Australians, we apologise for this gross betrayal of trust and for the fact that organisations with power over children - schools; religious organisations; governments; orphanages; sports and social clubs; and charities - were left unchecked.

Today, we say we are sorry. Sorry that you were not protected, sorry that you were not listened to. We are sorry for refusing to trust the words of children, for not believing you.

As we say sorry, we also say we believe you. We say what happened was not your fault...

We also extend this apology to your children, your parents, siblings, families, friends and supporters; all those who have helped carry the burden of your experiences and helped advocate for accountability.

Prepared by: Cate O'Neill