Sunday, 29 July 2012

Working with Children Checks

Checks on people working with children are to be toughened after the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal overturned rejections of a Check for applicants with serious histories of offending against children.  Obviously once you have served your time for an offence you are free to operate within the community. However, the Working With Children Checks are meant to protect children from predators or potential predators. 

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Social Media and Naming Offenders

A seventeen year old woman in Louisville, Kentucky is facing possible charges  for contempt of court after she tweeted the names of two adolescents who allegedly sexually assaulted her, videotaped the incident and posted it on line.  Frustrated with a plea bargain that reduced the charges against the two alleged offenders the young woman named the two young men in a tweet. Recently another victim of an alleged sexual assault in Melbourne went on line naming her alleged offender.  The world has changed with the advent of social media.  People can anonymously send information to a wide audience. Breaking the silence has for several decades been seen as empowering for victims of sexual assault.  The internet has given this slogan an entirely new meaning.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Religions Organsations and the Australian Defence Force

Religious institutions and the Australian Defence Force are vast hierarchical organisations that tend to react defensively whenever under attack from outsiders.  The Victorian Government has announced a Parliamentary inquiry into sexual abuse of children by religious and other organisations.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Senior Catholic Clergy and Sexual Assault

Yet again the Catholic Church is in the news about sexual assault with allegations (The Age 4.7.12) that senior clergy failed to pass on evidence to the authorities relating to accusations of sexual assault by a priest in New South Wales.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Disability and Sexual Assault

Sandy Guy wrote (Comment and Debate 2.7.12 The Age)  about her distress at the allegations of sexual assault by a staff member at Yooralla involving her largely non-verbal son.  We know that sexual assault is under reported and sexual assault of people with cognitive impairment and communication difficulties occurs at a higher level than the rest of society and is even less reported. Organisations who provide accommodation for people with an intellectual disability need procedures in place to deal with allegations of sexual assault that involved CASAs and the parents' of their residents.  It is not good enough that Sandy Guy finds out information about her son's alleged assaults from sources other than the organisation responsible for his care.