Support for victims and survivors
It is vital that during the Commission hearings victims can tell their stories, so the complete truth comes out and a sustainable process of healing and reconciliation is developed, resourced and implemented by the Church.
Victims and survivors need to be supported and encouraged to speak their truth and their voices need to be heard. It will be painful and traumatic for many.
The Church has and will continue to offer victims and survivors of Church sexual abuse compensation and it will do this without imposing confidentiality conditions.
Any past confidentiality agreements will be waived so victims and survivors can tell their stories to the Royal Commission.
If you are concerned a confidentiality clause in an agreement you have signed could prevent you telling the Commission your story, contact the Council so we can assist you.
Within the Church there are already a number of established services for victims and survivors of sexual abuse.
Towards Healing is the Church’s overarching response to dealing with sexual assault within the Church.
Melbourne Response assists people who have been abused sexually, physically or emotionally within the Archdiocese of Melbourne.
Zimmerman Services is the child protection and healing and support agency in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
Catholic Social Services Australia: is the national network of Catholic social services. The majority of members provide counselling and support services.
Victims and survivors can also contact non-church support groups and services:
List of support services on the Royal Commission website
CLAN - Care Leavers Australia Network
Broken Rites, an Australian support group
Bravehearts, an Australian support group
Adults Surviving Child Abuse, Australian peak body which advances the health and wellbeing of people and communities affected by childhood trauma
Survivors & Mates Support Network, for men coping with the effects of childhood sexual abuse
SNAP, survivors' network
Lifeline, 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention
Headspace, mental health support for young people
Men's Line, telephone and onilne counselling support for men
1800RESPECT, national sexual assault domestic and family violence counselling service
Ethi-call, confidential ethics counselling service offered free by St James Ethics Centre - an independent organisation with no religious or political affiliations. If you are having trouble deciding whether to report abuse in the Church this free service may help.
Knowmore an independent service with specialist trained staff to provide legal information and advice for telling your story to the Royal Commission.
FaHCSIA more information about the Royal Commission and support services including facts sheets FAQ's, support services and media releases.