ROYAL COMMISSION INTO INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSES TO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
As Members may recall, Vicsport developed a submission and provided evidence to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry Regarding the Handling of Child Abuse in 2013. Vicsport’s submission was largely focussed on the policies and practices within sport to reduce the risk of abuse taking place.
Also in 2013 the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was established. On 15 September 2015, the Royal Commission called for information regarding abuse in sporting clubs or associations. See link
Vicsport invites all sporting organisations to communicate the opportunity for people with any information related to abuse to report it to the Royal Commission throughout their affiliates and participants.
The topic of child abuse is disturbing and conversations on the subject in any context are difficult, however the sporting industry must demonstrate continued leadership on the issue. Over recent times sporting organisations have improved policies and practice in regard to child safeguarding and as the industry continues to learn, more improvements are sure to be identified. Unfortunately there have been cases of child abuse within the sporting environment and Vicsport invites the Victorian sports industry to encourage and support victims of such abuse, or anyone with information, to report it.
As Sports Administrators we have a responsibility to provide an environment where victims are encouraged to report and are supported, understand how such incidents happen and develop safeguards and strategies to reduce the possibility of it occurring again. Increased knowledge on past cases of abuse in sport will assist administrators to improve strategies to make sporting clubs and associations as safe, inclusive and welcoming as possible.
Many Victorian State Sporting Associations will take direction from their National Sporting Organisations in regard to member protection, and as this is a Royal Commission a consistent national approach is appropriate. Vicsport encourages discussions between State and National Organisations on this vitally important topic, and also encourages proactive support of the Royal Commission in achieving its aim of developing recommendations to improve laws, policies and practices.
If Vicsport Members have queries in this regard please contact me directly at the Vicsport office.
Chief Executive Officer
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