An Australian researcher says while the child sexual abuse royal commission pushed strongly for better child protection measures, it did not acknowledge safeguards already in place had lowered rates of offending. Source: ACBC Media Blog.
Virginia Miller, a research fellow at the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University, has just published a book on abuse inquiries in Australia, Ireland and the United States. Child Sexual Abuse Inquiries and the Catholic Church: Reassessing the Evidence was published by Firenze University Press last month.
Dr Miller’s assessment of the evidence presented to the inquiries led her to two conclusions.
Firstly, abuse within the Church peaked in the 1960s and 1970s, and is largely an historical problem. Secondly, the safeguarding measures introduced in the Church during the 1990s have been effective in curbing child sexual abuse.
Dr Miller recently appeared on the Bishops Conference’s Media Blog podcast to discuss the findings from her analysis of multiple Irish inquiries, the John Jay inquiry in the US and the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
She said the inquiries were critically important in that they allowed victims and survivors, including some who had never spoken about their abuse, to tell their stories. The inquiries also prompted action from some governments and organisations that hadn’t seriously addressed abuse.
Dr Miller began her research from the premise that the Catholic Church had failed to address its shameful past. What she found, though, was evidence to the contrary and a series of statistical and analytical curiosities.
New book examines Australian, international abuse inquiries (ACBC Media Blog)