Active Research

Ngagagee Ngulu Murrup Durra (‘The Ngagagee project’)

    • Understanding child sexual abuse
    • Disclosure of child sexual abuse
    • Needs of victims and survivors
    • Prevention of child sexual abuse
    • Response to child sexual abuse
Research Topic areas 
  • Community awareness
  • Cultural components of healing and recovery from child sexual abuse
  • Drivers of child sexual abuse
  • Mental health
  • Other
  • Therapeutic responses
Project Duration
Start: April 2023
End: December 2027
Geographical Scope
VIC
Populations
Victims and survivorsWorkforceFirst Nations community members
Young adults (18-25 years)Adults (26-65 years)Older adults (>65 years)
Gender
All genders

Project Lead

Associate Professor Graham Gee, Murdoch Children's Research Institute
Project lead email: graham.gee@mcri.edu.au

Project Team

Professor Helen Milroy, University of Western Australia
Helen Kennedy, Murdoch Children's Research Institute
Jordan Gibbs, Murdoch Children's Research Institute
Denise Sweet, Murdoch Children's Research Institute
Professor Stephanie Brown, Murdoch Children's Research Institute
Carly Black, Murdoch Children's Research Institute
Dr Laura Biggs, Murdoch Children's Research Institute
Cat Lloyd-Johnsen, Murdoch Children's Research Institute
Stella Mulder, Murdoch Children's Research Institute

Background

‘Ngagagee Ngulu Murrup Durra’ means ‘Hear us: Our voices, spirit and heart’ in Woiwurrung, the language of the Wurundjeri Peoples.

This 5-year project focuses on the experiences and healing needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survivors of child sexual abuse in Victoria, Australia. The project has been developed in collaboration with six key Victorian Aboriginal organisations currently supporting the healing of survivors, their families and communities. These are: Safe Pathways to Healing Sexual Assault Prevention Working Group, Yoowinna Wurnalung Aboriginal Healing Service, Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BADAC), Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS), Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) and Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO).

The project will be conducted in three phases or ‘Platforms’ of research. Platform 1 is focused on supporting the Victorian workforce dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survivors. Platform 2 will be co-designed with survivors and draw on their experiences and insights to better understand what is needed to enable healing and recovery. Platform 3 will focus on supporting communities.

Our approach in this research is underpinned by Indigenous research methodologies including Dadirri (‘deep listening,’ gifted by Dr Miriam Rose Ungunmerr Baumann) and the research principles outlined by Professor Lester Irabinna-Rigney: resistance as the emancipatory imperative in Indigenous research; political integrity in Indigenous research; and privileging Indigenous voices in research.

Aims

The aims of Platform 1 are:
1 To strengthen the wellbeing and capacity of the workforce supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survivors of child sexual abuse.
2 To build a Victorian workforce understanding of the experiences and processes of healing in relation to child sexual abuse from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives.

Methods

Platform 1 includes the following:
1 A scoping review of Indigenous peoples’ experiences of healing and recovery from child sexual abuse (see https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/21/3/311)
2 Development of a grounded theory of healing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survivors from a workforce perspective.
3 Development of a resource for organisations working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survivors based on insights shared by project participants.
4 Provision and evaluation of a Community of Practice for practitioners working in this complex space.

Significance and Dissemination

International research suggests that child sexual abuse is disproportionately reported among communities experiencing health inequities, political and social inequality and systemic discrimination. These issues are highly relevant for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the impacts of child sexual abuse are of concern to many communities. The literature emphasises that, in addition to focusing on individual healing and recovery, there needs to be far greater investment in social and structural change and First Nations-led initiatives.

This study aims to provide new insights into healing and recovery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survivors, their families and communities. In addition to a focus on healing, we are committed to contributing what we can through this research to the prevention of child sexual abuse in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

We anticipate the following outcomes from Platform 1:

1 An overview of current documented knowledge about Indigenous peoples’ experiences of healing and recovery from child sexual abuse, including barriers and enablers to disclosure, access to services and cultural components of healing and recovery.
2 Practice-based evidence for promising cultural and therapeutic approaches that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survivors of child sexual abuse and documentation of core elements of practice specific to Aboriginal healing services.
3 Preliminary evidence about how to strengthen workforce wellbeing in this area of work.
4 A theory of healing relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survivors of child sexual abuse.

Outputs will include workshop and community reports, practice briefs, community and academic presentations and peer-reviewed journal articles.

We anticipate this work being disseminated both within Australia and internationally. We have a strong interest in connecting with other First Nations researchers working in this area.

Further Details

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Funding body:
NHMRC, Eisen Family Private Fund. Platform 1: $500,000.
Australian Human Research Ethics Committee:
Royal Children's Hospital HREC
Prevention of child sexual abuse

Preventing repeat child exploitation material offending: An international evaluation of the CEM-COPE Program

James Ogloff
Swinburne University of Technology
Response to child sexual abuse

Evaluation of the Multi-Agency Investigation & Support Team

James Herbert
Centre for Social Impact - University of South Australia
David O'Shaughnessy
University of Western Australia
Understanding child sexual abuse

Conceptualising and Estimating the Costs of Child Sexual Exploitation (Phase One of Australian Study into Economic Costs of Child Sexual Exploitation)

Jonah Rimer
The University of Queensland

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Understanding child sexual abuse

Preventing repeat child exploitation material offending: An international evaluation of the CEM-COPE Program
Conceptualising and Estimating the Costs of Child Sexual Exploitation (Phase One of Australian Study into Economic Costs of Child Sexual Exploitation)
An environmental scan of Child Sexual Abuse related workforce training offerings in Australia
Enhancing the capability of Australia’s Primary Health Workforce to respond to child sexual abuse
CHANGE – curtailing harm and navigating growth: evidence for change pathways of young people who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour
Amplifying the voices of victim-survivors: Advancing the harmful sexual behaviour evidence base – the Ava project
Reshaping the Conversation: Development of a shared language and preferred definitions guide endorsed by victims and survivors of child sexual abuse
Building a knowledge frame for responding to the needs of children and young people who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour
Children and Young People’s Safety Project
Child safe practices using contextual safeguarding strategies
The more I talk, the stronger I get: unlocking our past to free our future
Delivering trauma-informed support for child sexual abuse victims in Victoria: mapping the knowledge gaps and training needs of the specialist sectors
Online child sexual victimisation and associated mental health outcomes
Differentiating adverse childhood experience profiles of male youths who exhibit harmful sexual behaviours

Response to child sexual abuse

Preventing repeat child exploitation material offending: An international evaluation of the CEM-COPE Program
Evaluation of the Multi-Agency Investigation & Support Team
Conceptualising and Estimating the Costs of Child Sexual Exploitation (Phase One of Australian Study into Economic Costs of Child Sexual Exploitation)
Effect of multi-agency deliberation on perceptions of risk in responses to child abuse and neglect
The Australian child sexual abuse attitudes, knowledge and response study
CHANGE – curtailing harm and navigating growth: evidence for change pathways of young people who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour
Improving legal, policy and practice responses to the intersection of domestic violence perpetration and child sexual abuse offending
Into the war zone: disclosure and disbelief in the Family Court
Understanding the experiences of child sexual abuse disclosure in Australia in the wake of the Royal Commission
Building trauma-responsive sexual health and relationship education
Learning from victims and survivors about what helps disclosure and responses to child sexual abuse
Amplifying the voices of victim-survivors: Advancing the harmful sexual behaviour evidence base – the Ava project
The dignity by design project: survivor-led system redesign
Evaluating a harmful sexual behaviour education program in a residential care setting
Community as experts: investigating the context, needs and help-seeking pathways for child sexual abuse survivors and their supporters in the NSW Bega Valley
Developing and implementing a framework for abuse prevention through culture change and organisational development
Reshaping the Conversation: Development of a shared language and preferred definitions guide endorsed by victims and survivors of child sexual abuse
Building a knowledge frame for responding to the needs of children and young people who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour
Australian Child Maltreatment Study
Children and Young People’s Safety Project
Child safe practices using contextual safeguarding strategies
Enhancing the capacity of rural and regional respectful relationship educators
Strengthening relationships and connections for young people in therapeutic residential care
The safeguarding capability of adults in Catholic Church ministries: a global perspective
Creating safer futures: raising public awareness of child sexual abuse among young adults through digital storytelling
Survivor perspectives on institutional use of child sexual abuse material
The more I talk, the stronger I get: unlocking our past to free our future
Delivering trauma-informed support for child sexual abuse victims in Victoria: mapping the knowledge gaps and training needs of the specialist sectors
Online child sexual victimisation and associated mental health outcomes
Differentiating adverse childhood experience profiles of male youths who exhibit harmful sexual behaviours

Needs of victims and survivors

Evaluation of the Multi-Agency Investigation & Support Team
The Australian child sexual abuse attitudes, knowledge and response study
An environmental scan of Child Sexual Abuse related workforce training offerings in Australia
Enhancing the capability of Australia’s Primary Health Workforce to respond to child sexual abuse
Improving legal, policy and practice responses to the intersection of domestic violence perpetration and child sexual abuse offending
Into the war zone: disclosure and disbelief in the Family Court
Understanding the experiences of child sexual abuse disclosure in Australia in the wake of the Royal Commission
Building trauma-responsive sexual health and relationship education
Learning from victims and survivors about what helps disclosure and responses to child sexual abuse
Amplifying the voices of victim-survivors: Advancing the harmful sexual behaviour evidence base – the Ava project
The dignity by design project: survivor-led system redesign
Supporting continuous quality improvement in safeguarding at Hockey Australia and other national sporting organisations
Evaluating a harmful sexual behaviour education program in a residential care setting
Community as experts: investigating the context, needs and help-seeking pathways for child sexual abuse survivors and their supporters in the NSW Bega Valley
Enhancing the capacity of rural and regional respectful relationship educators
Creating safer futures: raising public awareness of child sexual abuse among young adults through digital storytelling
Survivor perspectives on institutional use of child sexual abuse material
The more I talk, the stronger I get: unlocking our past to free our future

Prevention of child sexual abuse

Preventing repeat child exploitation material offending: An international evaluation of the CEM-COPE Program
Conceptualising and Estimating the Costs of Child Sexual Exploitation (Phase One of Australian Study into Economic Costs of Child Sexual Exploitation)
The Australian child sexual abuse attitudes, knowledge and response study
An environmental scan of Child Sexual Abuse related workforce training offerings in Australia
CHANGE – curtailing harm and navigating growth: evidence for change pathways of young people who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour
Evaluating a harmful sexual behaviour education program in a residential care setting
Developing and implementing a framework for abuse prevention through culture change and organisational development
Building a knowledge frame for responding to the needs of children and young people who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour
Australian Child Maltreatment Study
Strengthening relationships and connections for young people in therapeutic residential care
Differentiating adverse childhood experience profiles of male youths who exhibit harmful sexual behaviours

Identification of child sexual abuse

The Australian child sexual abuse attitudes, knowledge and response study
An environmental scan of Child Sexual Abuse related workforce training offerings in Australia
Enhancing the capability of Australia’s Primary Health Workforce to respond to child sexual abuse
Supporting continuous quality improvement in safeguarding at Hockey Australia and other national sporting organisations
Evaluating a harmful sexual behaviour education program in a residential care setting
Developing and implementing a framework for abuse prevention through culture change and organisational development
Children and Young People’s Safety Project
The safeguarding capability of adults in Catholic Church ministries: a global perspective

Disclosure of child sexual abuse

The Australian child sexual abuse attitudes, knowledge and response study
An environmental scan of Child Sexual Abuse related workforce training offerings in Australia
Enhancing the capability of Australia’s Primary Health Workforce to respond to child sexual abuse
Improving legal, policy and practice responses to the intersection of domestic violence perpetration and child sexual abuse offending
Into the war zone: disclosure and disbelief in the Family Court
Understanding the experiences of child sexual abuse disclosure in Australia in the wake of the Royal Commission
Learning from victims and survivors about what helps disclosure and responses to child sexual abuse
Supporting continuous quality improvement in safeguarding at Hockey Australia and other national sporting organisations
Community as experts: investigating the context, needs and help-seeking pathways for child sexual abuse survivors and their supporters in the NSW Bega Valley