The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse reconvened this week. Announced in 2012, the commission was established due to growing concerns over consistently inadequate responses to child abuse cases by institutions.
Although the current Royal Commission is focused on cases within living memory in a wide range of institutions, the hearings reveal that Australian churches have a long and sad history of abuse and cover-up. Religious interpretations, changing legal definitions and evolving societal attitudes have all influenced the way child sexual abuse has been handled within churches and in the wider community.
Here I speak with Tim Jones, a Researcher at LaTrobe University, about child sexual abuse within Australian religious institutions, and how the current debate has been framed by past events.
Music: Free Music Archive/Kai Engel