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News Article

Will child abuse inquiry ask the right questions?
Wednesday, November 14, 2012

“We welcome PM Julia Gillard’s announcement of a Royal Commission on child sexual abuse in institutions,” FamilyVoice national research officer Ros Phillips said today.  “But will it ask all the right questions?

“Some community leaders say new protocols will detect paedophiles in or applying for positions in churches, schools and other groups so they no longer have the opportunity to do the great damage done in past years,” Mrs Phillips said.

“But the reality is that child sex abuse is increasing – and it is often perpetrated by children on other children.  A recent federal government report shows that older brothers are up to five times more likely to sexually abuse young children than fathers or uncles: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/government-report-says-child-sexual-activity-is-normal/story-fnet08ui-1226502729868 

“One of the factors in this child-on-child sex abuse is the growing influence of pornography in our sexualised society.  Children see – children do,” Ros Phillips said.

“Yet only days before  the federal government announced the new Royal Commission, it backed down on its promise to require cleanfeed ISP filtering.  It is not good enough to tell parents to install filters on home computers when there is no requirement for libraries to install them, and there are no filters on mobile phones which children increasingly access.

“Both government and opposition need to ask, ‘Are our own policies contributing to the child sex abuse epidemic?’” Ros Phillips said.


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