The National Centre launches the Draft Five-year Strategy
The National Centre is seeking feedback about its Draft Five-year Strategy and plans to urgently tackle the problem of child sexual abuse.
Marking the fourth anniversary of the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, the National Centre has identified seven key challenges that need to be overcome in order to more effectively protect children and better support adult victims and survivors.
“The Draft Five Year Strategy sets out what we need to do, when, and how to stop child sexual abuse before it starts and drive generational change for everyone subjected to the trauma it causes.” – Dr Cathy Kezelman AM, Deputy Chair of the Board of the National Centre
Launched on 21 October 2022 by the Minister for Social Services, the Hon Amanda Rishworth MP, the Draft Five Year Strategy of the National Centre highlights the following key challenges to be addressed to transform our responses to child sexual abuse:
- Child sexual abuse and its effects across the life course are not well understood or identified in the community.
- Victims and survivors of child sexual abuse are often not believed and responded to with compassion.
- Children, young people and adults with experiences of child sexual abuse are often not identified or are not well supported when they raise concerns or disclose.
- Children and young people who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour or experienced it require adults to better understand and meet their needs.
- Victims and survivors of child sexual abuse are often unable to access the support and resources that meet their changing needs at different times in their lives.
- Knowledge about complex and intergenerational trauma and dissociation does not generally inform responses to individuals with lived and living experiences of child sexual abuse.
- Child sexual abuse will not be stopped unless there is a comprehensive framework for addressing the power dynamics and factors which enable it.
“Child sexual abuse is a crime. It causes enormous trauma to children and adults, many of whom are not believed. Without protection and early support, the impact of child sexual abuse can cause a range of emotional, psychological and life challenges for adults across their lives.” – Dr Joe Tucci, Chair of the National Centre
The Draft Five-year Strategy sets the starting point for what the National Centre intends to do and accomplish. We know that we cannot achieve our plans without collaborating closely with the many national, state and local initiatives and plans in the making or already underway. For that reason, the National Centre is seeking additional feedback from victims and survivors, service providers, policy makers and researchers, and the broader community to refine the focus and impact of the Strategy.
“I am grateful for the strong engagement from across the country to support the development of the Centre’s draft five-year strategy. The Healing Foundation has been walking alongside First Nations victims and survivors and their support services since the Royal Commission, and to be able to continue to do this through the work of the National Centre is very important for honouring the many First Nations peoples affected by the abuse. Bearing witness through that process was a huge deal, and to respond with action and impact is critical to the process of healing and preventing further harm.” – Fiona Cornforth, Board Director of the National Centre
There are multiple ways that you can provide feedback on the Draft Five-year Strategy. You can download the strategy here and provide your feedback either via email or through an anonymous survey that has been set up. The feedback process ends on the 13th of January 2023.
The National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse (the National Centre) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation established to increase understanding of child sexual abuse, promote effective ways for protecting children, guide best practice responses and pathways to healing for survivors, and reduce the harm it causes. To find out more about our work or to contact us directly, please click here.
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