Active Research

Understanding the experiences of child sexual abuse disclosure in Australia in the wake of the Royal Commission

    • Disclosure of child sexual abuse
    • Needs of victims and survivors
    • Response to child sexual abuse
Research Topic areas 
  • Government & policy responses
  • Institutional abuse
  • Justice & legal responses
Project Duration
Start: July 2023
End: May 2025
Geographical Scope
Nation-wide
Populations
Victims and survivors
Young adults (18-25 years)Adults (25-65 years)Older adults (>65 years)
Gender
All genders

Project Lead

Professor Patrick O'Leary, Disrupting Violence Beacon, Griffith University
Project lead email: p.oleary@griffith.edu.au

Project Team

Professor Leah Bromfield, Australian Centre for Child Protection, University of South Australia
Dr Ana Borges Jelinic, Disrupting Violence Beacon, Griffith University
Dr Eden Thain, Australian Centre for Child Protection, University of South Australia
Craig Hughes-Cashmore, Survivors & Mates Support Network
Dr Katherine Reid, Griffith University
Amanda Paton, Australian Centre for Child Protection, University of South Australia
Dr Gary Foster, Griffith University
Jacqueline Le Mesurier, Australian Centre for Child Protection, University of South Australia
Sian Burgess, Australian Centre for Child Protection, University of South Australia

Background

This research project will investigate and compare the trajectories of disclosure of two groups of victims and survivors of child sexual abuse – people over and under 30 years of age with a disclosure experience between 2013 and 2022. These groups differentiate adults that disclosed abuse during or after the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Aims

The aim of this project is to understand barriers and facilitators for disclosure and the role of the Royal Commission in this dynamic. This project is centred on survivors’ wellbeing, with a multidisciplinary and nation-wide lens.

Methods

A literature review on the current state of knowledge on disclosure will be followed by recruiting participants for individual surveys and interviews. Recruitment will be assisted by partnering with survivor networks. The project will be guided by a Project Advisory Committee, with mixed methods data analysis.

Significance and Dissemination

This research will provide a better understanding of disclosures, preparing professionals and certain target groups to more effectively manage and facilitate disclosure. Better prepared professionals avoid re-traumatisation and assist in victim and survivor healing. A full report, policy and practice brief, participant summary and presentation will be developed and delivered to a broad audience.

Further Details

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Funding body:
The National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse
Funding budget:
$250,000 grant
Monitoring and governance:
This project is guided by oversight of the Project Advisory Group
Australian Human Research Ethics Committee:
This project is subject to ethical oversight by the Griffith University Human Research Ethics Committee
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
Response to child sexual abuse

Effect of multi-agency deliberation on perceptions of risk in responses to child abuse and neglect

James Herbert
Centre for Social Impact - UWA

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