National Centre’s first Annual Report highlights victim and survivor voices at its heart

The National Centre is pleased to announce the release of its inaugural Annual Report 2023.

Founded in late 2021, as a key recommendation from the 2017 Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse, the National Centre is a partnership between three respected organisations with strong histories of leadership in responding to child sexual abuse – Australian Childhood Foundation, Blue Knot Foundation and the Healing Foundation.

Since establishment, the National Centre has focused its efforts on setting a strong foundation to deliver on its vision to create a community where children are safe, and victims and survivors are supported to heal and recover, free from stigma and shame – a future without child sexual abuse.

Over the past year, achievements and highlights at the National Centre include:

  • Building a robust and comprehensive governance structure that draws in expertise across the sectors and across the country
  • Establishing the Survivor-led and First Nations Colleges to guide and inform the direction and work at all levels
  • Finalising and publishing Here for Change – Our Five-Year Strategy
  • Commissioning $2.99M in research grants to build the evidence base on the subject of child sexual abuse and its responses across Australia
  • Creating a strong visual brand identity using co-design and human-centred design principles
  • Launching the “In Conversation” webinar series to explore critical issues related to child sexual abuse, prompt public awareness and action.

Reflecting on the critical input provided by those with lived experience, Survivor-led Adult College member Frank Golding said:

“All too often survivors’ testimony and experience has been appropriated and voiced by ‘expert’ researchers and commentators. Older survivors, especially, often find their experience of child sexual abuse described as historical, as if ‘getting over it’ is just a matter of time. I am pleased to have been able to add my voice to others in the formative stage of the National Centre as it affirms the proposition that lived experience is also living experience. The National Centre has listened intently to its experts by experience. We carry the power of history within us to help the National Centre interpret what it meant to be silent and powerless – and how best to confront the challenges the National Centre faces.”

Looking ahead, National Centre CEO Dr Leanne Beagley reiterates, however, that real and lasting change will take an ‘all of society’ approach

“We know from the recent Australian Childhood Maltreatment Study (ACMS) that one in three women and one in five men in Australia have suffered childhood sexual abuse and that it can take more than 23 years for survivors to disclose. Further, the rates among young adults are no different to older Australians, meaning rates are not declining, despite the ongoing efforts of specialised taskforces, tighter prevention approaches, dedicated police units, and child protection agencies.”

“Ending the horrific rates of abuse will take community vigilance and strong commitment from government and leaders across all sectors. It will take deeper understanding and evidence around what the drivers of child sexual abuse are, and how to interrupt its trajectories. Most importantly, it will take genuine listening to the experiences of those who live with the impact of child sexual abuse so that we don’t repeat past mistakes. These experiences may be hard to hear, but we cannot look away.”

Read the National Centre Annual Report 2023 here.

Watch a recording of the launch event below.

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Child sexual abuse is a national health crisis that the National Centre is committed to addressing. Please join us in Reshaping the Conversation, a safe space for understanding, dialogue and collaboration in child sexual abuse response and prevention. Secure tickets now.

Understanding child sexual abuse

Supporting Victims and Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse: Rapid Evidence Reviews
Ngagagee Ngulu Murrup Durra (‘The Ngagagee project’)
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

Supporting Victims and Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse: Rapid Evidence Reviews
Ngagagee Ngulu Murrup Durra (‘The Ngagagee project’)
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

Supporting Victims and Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse: Rapid Evidence Reviews
Ngagagee Ngulu Murrup Durra (‘The Ngagagee project’)
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

Ngagagee Ngulu Murrup Durra (‘The Ngagagee project’)
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

Ngagagee Ngulu Murrup Durra (‘The Ngagagee project’)
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