Public Consultation Report October 2021
This report comprises outcomes from written submissions, facilitated workshops and individual consultations held with victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and their advocates, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with a disability and their advocates, child protection experts, clinical practitioners, non-government organisations, peak bodies, academics and organisations.
Key themes from written submissions included the need:
- for a trauma-informed service system that is culturally safe, accessible and responsive to address the impacts of child sexual abuse
- for cultural change to reduce stigma around disclosing experiences of child sexual abuse, which could be addressed through further awareness raising
- to respond to children with harmful sexual behaviours
- to build the evidence base concerning child sexual abuse.
Key themes from consultation workshops with victims and survivors, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and people with disability included that:
- there must be ongoing, meaningful, and transparent consultation with the community
- consultations must be trauma-informed for victims and survivors
- culture and Country should be central to National Strategy-related actions, to empower and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- the National Office must reach and engage a diverse range of victims and survivors, including older Australians, children with experience of homelessness and out-of-home care, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, LGBTQIA+ people and people in closed settings such as prisons
- consultations processes must be accessible and inclusive for people with disability.
Stakeholders expressed a strong desire for an ongoing conversation during all stages of the National Strategy’s 10 year lifespan. The National Office acknowledges a whole-of-community response is required to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse, and is committed to ongoing consultation and partnerships with all community members and non-government stakeholders.