Tasmania’s Premier Delivers Historic Apology To Child Abuse Victim-Survivors
"A chapter no-one should ever forget"
Content in this story might be confronting and upsetting to some people
The Premier has delivered an historic apology to victim-survivors of child sexual abuse in Tasmanian government institutions.
It comes two years after a Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmanian Government’s responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings was called.
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In a special session of parliament on Tuesday, Jeremy Rockcliff apologised for the state government’s failure to protect vulnerable young people from sexual abuse, for ignoring the warnings of whistle-blowers, and for institutions which failed to act.
“We failed you; we are all accountable and we are sorry,” he told parliament.
“Our institutions have a responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children, and our institutions have clearly failed in that responsibility.
“No child should experience sexual abuse, or any other form of abuse," he said.
“We are deeply sorry that our institutions violated your trust when they should have been places you could feel safe, supported, and protected.”
The premier acknowledged that the Inquiry had exposed "a chapter no-one should ever, ever forget."
“And today we give a solemn undertaking to all Tasmanians, to never, ever allow a repeat of this abuse, secrecy and suppression to never, ever allow a repeat of the failures that allowed such abuse to occur.”
And he acknowledged the victim-survivors who were not able to hear the apology.
“With a heavy heart, I want to recognise those victims who tragically are no longer with us,” Mr Rockliff told parliament.
“They are not here to see the failings of Government institutions brought to light, nor to see the parliament of Tasmania apologise, take accountability, and commit to action.
“To you all, I say I have listened, and I have learned.”
If this story's caused distress call sexual assault support line is 1800 697 877 or call lifeline 13 11 14
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