Faith summit a step towards a shared commitment to end abuse

summit 8

The Commission for Children and Young People today hosted a summit bringing together senior leaders from almost 30 religions and faith traditions from across Victoria to discuss ongoing efforts to prevent institutional child abuse. 

‘This was a welcome opportunity to progress action on the findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse and the Betrayal of Trust Inquiry to better protect children and young people from child abuse in religious settings’ said Liana Buchanan, Victoria’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, today. 

‘I was heartened by the participation of 50 faith and community leaders and the strong sense of shared commitment to improve children’s safety,’ she said. 

‘We were fortunate to hear from a panel of survivors of institutional abuse. As we build a safer future, we must acknowledge and learn from the experience of those who have suffered in the past. Survivors’ messages today were clear – we need to listen to and believe children, and should accelerate the pace of change,’ Commissioner Buchanan said. 

‘We all have a moral as well as a clear legal obligation to keep children safe from institutional harm and abuse, and today was all about joining with religious organisations to acknowledge and commit to those obligations, and the further action needed to meet them,’ she concluded. 

During the summit, the Faith Communities Council of Victoria issued a joint public statement calling on all religious institutions to implement the Child Safe Standards, Reportable Conduct Scheme, and Mandatory Reporting as legislated by State Government, and to respond appropriately to any allegations of child abuse or other child-related misconduct. The statement can be found here: http://www.faithvictoria.org.au/images/stories/fccv-statement-on-child-safety.pdf