What We Are All Learning from the Australian Royal Commission into Child Abuse

What We Are All Learning from the Australian Royal Commission into Child Abuse

Australians are gaining a new perspective on the sensitive issues surrounding our most valuable assets.

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In 2012, Julia Gillard, then Prime Minister of Australia, announced the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and continued the pursuit despite successive prime ministers dismissing its importance.

In 2013, the commission was established in Australia to examine the history of abuse in allegedly-respectful institutions including schools, religious groups and state institutions and others after Peter Fox wrote about victims of historical abuse coming forth.

In December 2017, the Commission's report was finalised and made public.The committee found a variety of troubling facts, including:

Institutional Abuse

Contrary to popular belief, two-thirds of the abuse survivors are actually males. Of almost 8,000 abuse survivors, 21 percent of them have faced abuse in more than one institution.

Most of these abuse cases happened in home-based cares and residential institutions (41.6 percent), followed by 31.8 percent of them occurring in educational institutions and 14.5 percent in churches or other religious activities.

Out of all the victims abused in churches, 61.8 percent of the abuse survivors were in Catholic churches.

Another 14.7 percent of the accused churches were based on an Anglican belief, while another 7.3 percent were in the Salvation Army.

The Royal Commission found that most of the adult perpetrators in institutional settings had their actions driven by opportunistic scenarios rather than due to their own innate perverse sexuality.

Institutional Perpetrators

Children are rarely listened to in institutions. Combine that with the tendency of our society to eroticise the relationship between a socially powerful person and a minor, and you have yourself an international issue.

Based upon the percentage of abuse cases happening in churches, it is not too surprising that most of the adult perpetrators – 2,113 of them, to be exact – held positions of power in the religious ministry.

The abuse survivors also reported 1,378 of their perpetrators were teachers, followed by 902 residential care workers. It is believed that the compulsory celibacy sworn by the religious ministry and clericalism plays a major role in promoting child sexual abuse.

Commission Recommendations

Since the problem lies within the institutions, and individuals higher up the hierarchy within these institutions are usually the perpetrators, the Royal Commission recommended independent oversight bodies to monitor, enforce and delegate the responsibilities for Child Safe Standards in each Australian state and territory.

As for priests and clergies in churches, their training geared towards ethical child protection and relationships will be a crucial early-intervention point, and suggestions to place more women in church leadership positions could better help protect children.

However, the latter recommendation will require a reform on a much larger scale to deal with the aftermath.

The Royal Commission further recommended that children cared for in residential institutions and other out-of-home care systems be given more opportunities to participate and make some decisions to disrupt the power dynamics in these places.

Image via Pixabay CC0 License

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12 Things Any Sorority Girl Worth Her Letters Brings Home For Winter Break

Don't forget to say goodbye to your big!

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As you start packing to go home for winter break, there are obviously many things that you cannot leave without. Everyone brings home the shoes they always wear or their favorite hoodie. Well, there are many other things a sorority girl brings home that the average person does not.

Being a sorority girl myself, here are the couple things that no srat girl will leave college without.

1. Sorority sweatshirt 

It also happens to be my favorite one but you always want to rep your letters!

2. Comfort Colors T-shirts 

Olivia Jacques

I think I packed every game day T-shirt and every T-shirt that has my letters on it.

3. Cute beanie 

4. Going out clothes

Just in case.

5. Her sorority water bottle 

Rep those letters!

SEE ALSO: What Your Go-To Cup Or Bottle Says About You

6. Booties 

Well, duh.

7. A gift from her little 

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8. And probably something her big gave her too

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9. New music to show her friends from home

10. Maybe even a game day button 

Because why not?

11. Pictures from rush to show her family 

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"And this is when all the new girls came home."

12. Literally anything with her letters on them

Always represent!

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Youth Homelessness. Where Will You Sleep this Christmas?

Let's find a way to keep the next generation off the streets this Christmas.
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Homelessness is always a sad thing, but it is even worse when it’s youth homelessness. New South Wales in Australia has seen a significant increase in the number of homeless children in the state.

This is a trend that has continued for over the last 20 years, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to let up anytime soon.

According to NDIS provider, The Samaritan Foundation, as many as 26,000 Australian children are living under homeless conditions each night and about 731,000 children in Australia live under the poverty line.

Many of these children often sleep in cars, friends’ houses, hotels, or on the streets outside. 

Between 2015 and 2016, New South Wales homelessness organisations had helped over 18,400 people who were between the ages of 15 and 24 years old. 

Shelters and homelessness service providers are seeing hundreds of more homeless youth requesting their help each year. As a result, the problem of youth homelessness is clearly getting worse instead of better.

Below are the top 4 causes of homelessness in Australia:

Escaping Abuse

An abusive household is a huge reason why many kids end up on the streets. They simply want to get away from the violence and arguing in their household so that they can find some peace and serenity in their lives.

The children are often the victims of this abuse, and instead of telling someone about it, they just run away because they’re too ashamed.  

Family Troubles

Families that fall under hard economic times may become homeless because they cannot afford a place to live. Parents in this situation usually want to be providers for their children, but they simply don’t have the means to do so.

This forces the children to either become homeless with their parents or to become homeless on their own. 

Abandonment 

Parents who abandon their children or kick them out of the house at a premature age will cause them to become homeless.

There are many reasons for why parents might do this to their children, but if the children are too young, they won’t have the means of taking care of themselves. 

Mental Health Issues

Something that doesn’t get talked about enough is children with mental disorders. A lot of homeless youth are suffering from these mental disorders. According some research (Johnson and Chamberlain, Are the Homeless Mentally Ill?, Salvation Army 2011) a disproportionate number of homeless people in Australia also suffer from some kind of metal anxiety, depression or mental disorder.

This makes it so much harder for them to get off the streets because they don’t have the mental capacity to land a job or get themselves cleaned up. Without someone stepping in to help them, they will stay homeless indefinitely.

Turning the Problem Around

A big reason why homelessness continues to trend is that these children don’t get the help they need fast enough. If they’ve been out on the streets for a few years or longer, it is going to be hard for them to ever reintegrate back into society.

Things, like going to school and getting a job, will seem too surreal for them to consider. 

In New South Wales, the state government is looking to crack down on this problem.

Instead of letting homelessness service providers handle everything, the government and local communities are looking to help troubled youths early on before they even become homeless. 

That way, they won’t fall into a hard life that they mentally can’t pull themselves out of.

Homelessness is always a sad thing, but it is even worse when it’s youth homelessness. New South Wales in Australia has seen a significant increase in the number of homeless children in the state.

This is a trend that has continued for over the last 20 years, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to let up anytime soon.

According to NDIS provider, The Samaritan Foundation, as many as 26,000 Australian children are living under homeless conditions each night and about 731,000 children in Australia live under the poverty line.

Many of these children often sleep in cars, friends’ houses, hotels, or on the streets outside. 

Between 2015 and 2016, New South Wales homelessness organisations had helped over 18,400 people who were between the ages of 15 and 24 years old. 

Shelters and homelessness service providers are seeing hundreds of more homeless youth requesting their help each year. As a result, the problem of youth homelessness is clearly getting worse instead of better.

Below are the top 4 causes of homelessness in Australia:

Escaping Abuse

An abusive household is a huge reason why many kids end up on the streets. They simply want to get away from the violence and arguing in their household so that they can find some peace and serenity in their lives.

The children are often the victims of this abuse, and instead of telling someone about it, they just run away because they’re too ashamed.  

Family Troubles

Families that fall under hard economic times may become homeless because they cannot afford a place to live. Parents in this situation usually want to be providers for their children, but they simply don’t have the means to do so.

This forces the children to either become homeless with their parents or to become homeless on their own. 

Abandonment 

Parents who abandon their children or kick them out of the house at a premature age will cause them to become homeless.

There are many reasons for why parents might do this to their children, but if the children are too young, they won’t have the means of taking care of themselves. 

Mental Health Issues

Something that doesn’t get talked about enough is children with mental disorders. A lot of homeless youth are suffering from these mental disorders. According some research (Johnson and Chamberlain, Are the Homeless Mentally Ill?, Salvation Army 2011) a disproportionate number of homeless people in Australia also suffer from some kind of metal anxiety, depression or mental disorder.

This makes it so much harder for them to get off the streets because they don’t have the mental capacity to land a job or get themselves cleaned up. Without someone stepping in to help them, they will stay homeless indefinitely.

Turning the Problem Around

A big reason why homelessness continues to trend is that these children don’t get the help they need fast enough. If they’ve been out on the streets for a few years or longer, it is going to be hard for them to ever reintegrate back into society.

Things, like going to school and getting a job, will seem too surreal for them to consider. 

In New South Wales, the state government is looking to crack down on this problem.

Instead of letting homelessness service providers handle everything, the government and local communities are looking to help troubled youths early on before they even become homeless. 

That way, they won’t fall into a hard life that they mentally can’t pull themselves out of.

Cover Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/worried-girl-woman-waiting-sitting-413690/

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