Turnbull to Deliver National Apology to Institutional Sexual Abuse Victims

Malcolm Turnbull will deliver a national apology to survivors, victims and families of institutional child sexual abuse in October.

The Federal Government made the announcement in Canberra on Wednesday that Mr Turnbull will say sorry on 22 October, revealing its formal reply to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse final report.

409 recommendations were made by the commission in the December report, with 104 of 122 federal government involved recommendations accepted.

Measures will include establishing a national office for child safety beginning on 1 July, while a commonwealth child safety framework was being developed and child safety checks would also be nationalised.

18 remaining recommendations will be considered but the government said none of them had been rejected

The apology will coincide with national children’s week.

“It’s been harrowing work,” Mr Turnbull said.

“The compassion and the respect shown by the royal commissioners and their staff for this process has set us on a pathway to real change.”

“Now that we’ve uncovered the shocking truth, we must do everything in our power to honour the bravery of the thousands of people who came forward.”

It is hoped that a National Redress Scheme will be operating by July 1.

The maximum payment will be $150,000 under the scheme, which is lower than the Royal Commission’s recommendation of $200,000.

However, the average payment will be $11,000 higher than recommended at $76,000.

Mr Turnbull confirmed Western Australia will also be joining the national redress scheme, after becoming the last of the states and territories to sign on.

Social Services Minister Dan Tehan said 93 per cent of survivors had been covered.

“The legislation is through the House of Representatives,” Mr Tehan said.

“It will go through the Senate in the coming fortnight and our hope is Senate passage willing, we will have the national redress scheme up and running.”

Mr Turnbull said the scheme goes some way to acknowledging the suffering of victims.

“Redress is not compensation, however, it does acknowledge the hurt and harm survivors suffered, and it will ensure institutions take responsibility for the abuse that occurred on their watch by the people that worked for them,” he said.

“The royal commission has made very clear that we all have a role to play to keep our children safe.”

“Governments, schools, sporting clubs, churches, charitable institutions and of course, all of us.”

“We all have a vested interest in the safety of other people’s children, not just our own.”

“We owe it to them to ensure that they are protected.

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