"They did not believe me” Responding to child sexual abuse by Church personnel in Australia

Death, Jodi (2013) "They did not believe me” Responding to child sexual abuse by Church personnel in Australia. In Cashmore, Judith (Ed.) Responding to Historical Child Sexual Abuse : A Multi-disciplinary Forum, 31 May 2013, Sydney, Australia. (Unpublished)


Child sexual abuse (CSA) by Church personnel has been subject to study internationally. Such studies have often held a specific focus on the Roman Catholic Church in nations such as Ireland, Belgium and the United States of America (USA). This paper discusses the findings of a study conducted by the author which considers the perspectives of 81 survivors of child sexual abuse by Church personnel in Australia. Participants in this study completed an online survey and then nominated to undertake an in depth interview. The majority of respondents to the survey (66 - 69%) reported experiencing CSA in a Roman Catholic Church, school or children’s home. This paper explores the voices of survivors and recognises the complex and dynamic ways in which they continue to construct and manage their experiences of CSA by Church personnel. In particular, this study considers survivors’ perspectives of the ways in which Churches have responded to their informal disclosures and official complaints of CSA by Church personnel. Similarly to other locations across the world, participants in this study reported feeling re-victimised by Church processes. Participants reported high levels of dissatisfaction with Church policy and procedure in managing child protection issues, as well as high levels of dissatisfaction with the outcome of their complaints.

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ID Code: 65655
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Clergy Abuse, Child Sexual Abuse, Institutional Violence
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Crime & Justice Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Please consult the author
Deposited On: 06 Jan 2014 01:52
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2014 01:52

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