There are some things that are so wrong that it’s just easier to ignore; dare we risk feeling that deep nausea stemming from our moral conscience. A bit dramatic, but our Government and the bureaucrats that they appoint represent us and we cannot abrogate our responsibility with silence.
The Government recently appointed the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. While the ‘terms of reference’ start out by saying that ‘all children deserve a safe and happy childhood’, it’s basically a historical investigation into sexual abuse in Australian Institutions over the last 50 years where the perpetrators are now either dead or in jail.
So why has the Government spent $502,800,000.00 on a Royal Commission that does not even address the horrendous crimes being inflicted on children right now? Why are we excluding the most vulnerable people in society just because they weren’t abused in an institution?
Some would say that the most vulnerable are those Aboriginal children in remote communities, conveniently outside the terms of reference of the Royal Commission.
The Australian Institute of Family Studies publication (October 2016) estimates that less than 30% of all sexual assaults on children are reported and that the reporting rate is even lower for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. In some states, it was concluded that the sexual abuse of Indigenous children was widespread and grossly under–reported, with an estimated 88% of all sexual assaults in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities going unreported.
So, not being able to accurately define the extent of the problem is apparently a good enough reason to exclude the most vulnerable from the Royal Commission’s terms of reference even though they advocate that ‘all children deserve a safe and happy childhood’.
So do taxpayers think they are getting value for money ($502,800,000.00)? Like most things involving Government, all the budget goes towards administration costs (the bureaucrats) and very little gets to the pointy end of the problem.
Perhaps another Royal Commission in 50 years’ time will adequately explain to victims why we did nothing while they were being raped, only this time we can’t pretend we didn’t know about it.
31st October 2016