By Amy Lawton, Laura Butler and Parisa Kalali, Social Research and Information Officers, WESTIR Ltd

 

 

Child sexual abuse is a complex social problem. In Australia, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (the Royal Commission) drew significant attention to abuse in institutional settings and provided an unprecedented look into this phenomenon in Australia. Both prior to and since the Royal Commission, services in the community sector have been critical in supporting victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. The sector’s significance has been particularly heightened since the Royal Commission’s conclusion, as victim-survivors navigate newly available supports such as the National Redress Scheme and experience a cultural environment of greater social awareness of child sexual abuse and its impacts.

Throughout 2021, the research team at WESTIR Ltd have conducted a significant body of research exploring the role of community and not-for-profit legal services covering Greater Western Sydney in addressing institutional child sexual abuse. The aim of the research was to understand the current state of the service system for victim-survivors of child sexual abuse, through the perceptions and experiences of workers in relevant community based services. In doing so, the research study also aims to highlight the challenges, gaps, and potentials within the service system. Informed by participants reflections, this report poses recommendations for improving service quality and scope.

The research is presented in three documents: a research summary, which briefly outlines the aims, methods, findings, and recommendations of the research study; the main report, which features a thorough description of the research methodology, comprehensive analysis of findings, and detailed discussion in relation to research literature; and a background report, detailing the policy context, legislative context, and relevant literature.

Please click here to access the publications:

  1. Research Summary
  2. Main Report
  3. Background Report