Implement the National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse
After leading its development, our office is now overseeing the implementation of Australia’s National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse 2021-2030 (National Strategy). The National Strategy is an initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments, and considers child sexual abuse in all settings, including within families, online and within organisations.
The National Strategy at a glance
The National Strategy is the first of its kind in Australia, and provides a nationally coordinated, strategic framework for preventing and responding to child sexual abuse. It seeks to reduce the risk, extent and impact of child sexual abuse and related harms in Australia. The National Strategy was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission), and responds to approximately 100 other Royal Commission recommendations to address child sexual abuse in all settings.
The National Strategy is for everyone:
- children and young people
- victims and survivors of child sexual abuse of all ages
- families, kin and carers
- organisations and governments.
The National Strategy was developed by the Australian Government, in partnership with state and territory governments. It was also developed in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, including:
- victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and their advocates
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
- people with disability
- culturally and linguistically diverse communities
- people who identify as LGBTQIA+
- children and young people and their advocates
- regional and remote communities.
The National Strategy focuses on 5 themes. These are:
- Awareness raising, education and building child safe cultures
- Supporting and empowering victims and survivors
- Enhancing national approaches to children with harmful sexual behaviours
- Offender prevention and intervention
- Improving the evidence base
Each measure under the First National Action Plan and First Commonwealth Action Plan (see further below) has been assigned to one of these themes.
The National Strategy’s First Action Plans
Australian, state and territory governments will deliver the National Strategy through action plans. The first 2 action plans – a First National Action Plan and a First Commonwealth Action Plan – will run from 2021 to 2024.
The First National Action Plan includes large-scale, national programs the Australian, state and territory governments will deliver together. The First National Action Plan is embedded in the National Strategy.
The First Commonwealth Action Plan works alongside the First National Action Plan, and has been published in a separate document. It includes measures the Australian Government will largely deliver on its own, and focuses on Australian Government priorities and responsibilities, such as preventing and responding to online child sexual abuse.
The Australian Government has invested $307.5 million to support National Strategy implementation, including for measures under the First National Action Plan and First Commonwealth Action Plan. Future action plans will likely follow the first action plans. The action plans will be flexible to meet new priorities, issues, trends and evidence about what works.
Since 2018, the National Office conducted consultations with hundreds of government and non-government stakeholders to develop the National Strategy. Consultations included:
- 14 non-government workshops
- forums and discussions with peak bodies, groups and individuals
- a written submission process, inviting over 600 non‑government stakeholders to participate
- extensive deliberations with Australia, state and territory governments.
Consultation outcomes have directly informed the development of the National Strategy.
The National Office is committed to partnering with the community on the design, implementation and evaluation of National Strategy measures, and the development of targeted resources and materials to meet diverse needs. More information on how you can get involved in National Strategy consultations can be found under Consultations.
National Strategy Resources
There are a number resources available to support community understanding of and engagement with the National Strategy.
The Summary of the National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse 2021-2030 and its Action Plans is an overview of the National Strategy, the First National Action Plan and the First Commonwealth Action Plan. The Summary provides readers with the documents’ key contents and core messages.
The National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse: A Guide for Children and Young People is designed to support children and young people’s understanding of and engagement with the National Strategy. It assists children and young people to understand child safety and child sexual abuse, and to recognise the signs of child sexual abuse. It also provides practical ways for them to keep themselves and their friends safe. The Guide was developed with the Australian Human Rights Commission, in consultation with children and young people.
The National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse: A Factsheet for Media provides an overview of key terms to support appropriate and consistent use of terminology in media. It also includes a list of support services and reporting lines that can accompany child sexual abuse-related media stories, and a short background on the National Strategy.
As we implement the National Strategy, further information and resources will become available. We will continue to consult with victims and survivors, children and young people and people with disability and as well as representatives from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and culturally and linguistically diverse communities to determine the best and most appropriate ways to ensure the National Strategy is accessible for everyone.
We welcome your feedback and suggestions on what additional resources and information would be most useful. If you have suggestions, contact us.
If you need support, visit Support services.
If you would like to request a hard copy of any of the National Strategy documents (that is, the National Strategy, the First Commonwealth Action Plan, the Summary of the National Strategy, and/or the Guide for Children and Young People), contact us stating:
- which documents you would like
- the number of copies of each document you would like
- your mailing address.