Australian PM Scott Morrison delivers national apology to child sex abuse victims

Cheryl Sanders
October 24, 2018

Both the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) and Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) state that they also recommit themselves "to working with the community to eliminate the scourge of child sexual abuse". Australia says we believe you. "We say sorry. To the children we failed, sorry". Sorry. To the parents whose trust was betrayed and who have struggled to pick up the pieces.

"To the whistle-blowers, who we did not listen to, sorry". To the spouses, partners, wives, husbands, children who have dealt with the consequences of abuse cover ups and obstruction, sorry. Sorry. To generations past and present. Unacknowledged tears. The tyranny of invisible suffering. The never-heard pleas of tortured souls, bewildered by an indifference to the unthinkable theft of...

"Today, we confront a question too disgusting to ask, let alone answer - why were not the children of our nation loved, nurtured and protected?"

Ms Gillard sat in the House of Representatives gallery next to campaigner Chrissie Foster, whose two daughters were sexually abused by a Catholic priest.

Morrison listed the many institutions where abuse has taken place.

"It is a wonderful thing our country's apologising, but there is so much more work to be done".

"It is not the time for government or institutions to haggle over the dollars, to hide behind the lawyers". Today we reckon with our past and commit to protecting children now and into the future, " he said.

"Today, Australia confronts a trauma, an abomination hiding in plain sight for far too long". Why didn't we believe?' He said nothing could be done to right the wrongs inflicted on children.

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison stands before delivering the National Apology to survivors of child sexual abuse in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, on October 22, 2018.

He then read the official apology to survivors and their families, who gathered in Parliament's Great Hall with a mix of sadness, anger and relief.

Yesterday's apology to the victims of institutional child abuse is the result of allowing powerful interests to hold sway over politicians and regulators.

The national apology was a recommendation from the royal commission, which held almost 60 public hearings and 8,000 private sessions.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten also told the victims they were now heard and believed.

The research centre will also assist those seeking help, and guide best practices for training and other services. More than 8,000 people shared their experiences of abuse with the commission.

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