Jump to content

ALL adults in the ACT must report suspicion of child sexual assault - why is this not national?


  • Please log in to reply
25 replies to this topic

#1 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 25 August 2019 - 06:55 PM

As of the 1 September in the ACT,

Quote

Under the new laws if an adult believed, on reasonable grounds, that a child had suffered sexual abuse it would become criminal not to report that to police.

(from https://www.abc.net....harged/10826042)

Is this the case in any other states?

I have some concerns around the need to report it to the police as quoted in this media article, and would like to read the actual legislation once it is in - surely a report to child protection authorities should also be an allowable option?

I really like that this legislation is coming in - hopefully it is a step toward no more hiding secrets in the family, or within churches etc. It will also make those who share child pornography more liable directly to the child, I should think.

Edited by SkeptiHandsOnMum, 25 August 2019 - 06:55 PM.


#2 ineedmorecoffee

Posted 25 August 2019 - 07:08 PM

It should be national, we should all be obligated to speak up if we think a child is being abused.

Are you saying you have concerns around reporting abuse, but you’re not concerned that not reporting it would allow the abuse to continue?



#3 AliasMater

Posted 25 August 2019 - 07:22 PM

Queensland doing something similar.

I went to a gym class yesterday morning - 45 minutes. I had to exercise through one lady complaining, non stop through the entire class, about the proposed legislation and the sanctity of the confessional. She was so angry it might be enforced. I knew people thought this but it was the first time I had ever heard it said out loud.

She worked for QLD Cath Ed.

Edits: WORKS for I should say, not worked.

Edited by AliasMater, 25 August 2019 - 07:23 PM.


#4 PizzaPlease

Posted 25 August 2019 - 07:24 PM

It's difficult to draw many conclusions without more detail but I would be concerned about any change to the law that risked criminalising non disclosure of abuse by victims, for instance if the oldest child in a family had turned 18 and all had been victimised. Does anyone know if that is a risk here or are there exemptions to prevent this?

#5 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 25 August 2019 - 07:24 PM

View Postineedmorecoffee, on 25 August 2019 - 07:08 PM, said:

Are you saying you have concerns around reporting abuse, but you’re not concerned that not reporting it would allow the abuse to continue?
Whhaaaaatttt? Um, no. I am not sure where you have got this from?

I am already a mandatory reporter, and have no trouble with reporting.

ETA: Re-reading, my only guess is that you deduced that from my comment about reporting to police - I meant that I believe that people should be able to report to child protection OR police, it should not have to be the police. Some people have a very strong aversion to any contact with the police, and others might not feel comfortable reporting a suspicion to the police without evidence - whereas child protection might be seen as a "safer" agency to touch base with.

Edited by SkeptiHandsOnMum, 25 August 2019 - 07:31 PM.


#6 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 25 August 2019 - 07:27 PM

View PostPizzaPlease, on 25 August 2019 - 07:24 PM, said:

It's difficult to draw many conclusions without more detail but I would be concerned about any change to the law that risked criminalising non disclosure of abuse by victims, for instance if the oldest child in a family had turned 18 and all had been victimised. Does anyone know if that is a risk here or are there exemptions to prevent this?
I am still unable to find the full amendment to the Act - I am thinking that maybe it will not be up until 1 September. One would hope that there is some protective measure around victims who are not yet ready/able to report.

#7 blueskies12

Posted 25 August 2019 - 08:23 PM

This is fantastic news. It stops the silence. The protection of children is everyone's business.

#8 gettin my fance on

Posted 25 August 2019 - 08:50 PM

At least contacting police is pretty simple to do.

Everyone knows 000.

Finding the correct number for FACS is not so automatic.

#9 Murderino

Posted 25 August 2019 - 09:06 PM

I think Vic introduced this a few years ago?

#10 CallMeFeral

Posted 25 August 2019 - 09:27 PM

View PostSkeptiHandsOnMum, on 25 August 2019 - 06:55 PM, said:

I really like that this legislation is coming in - hopefully it is a step toward no more hiding secrets in the family, or within churches etc. It will also make those who share child pornography more liable directly to the child, I should think.

That's a great point re the porn, it really makes clear the boundaries of unacceptable for those people who might still think of it as not actually DOING the thing.

I do wonder/worry about less discretion and wording of the law. I hope there is some sort of flexibility around cases where immediate disclosure might be risky for the child.

#11 blimkybill

Posted 25 August 2019 - 09:39 PM

View PostWTFancie shmancie, on 25 August 2019 - 08:50 PM, said:

At least contacting police is pretty simple to do.

Everyone knows 000.

Finding the correct number for FACS is not so automatic.
000 is for emergencies, there will be some other number to call to report suspected sexual abuse, not 000.

#12 blimkybill

Posted 25 August 2019 - 09:41 PM

It's interesting, because I am a mandatory reporter and have reported many times. However I have never reported to Police, only to Child Protection. I never thought of calling the police (although it has never been about suspected sexual abuse). I would be interested to see guidelines on what to report to child protection and what to report to police. I haven't seen anything locally (ACT) about this yet.

#13 Goldenash

Posted 25 August 2019 - 09:44 PM

It was a recommendation of the royal commission and as far as I am aware all states agreed to implement it.

Victoria did a couple of years ago

Edit to add it sits alongside mandatory reporting to cp

Edited by Goldenash, 25 August 2019 - 09:44 PM.


#14 ineedmorecoffee

Posted 25 August 2019 - 10:02 PM

View PostSkeptiHandsOnMum, on 25 August 2019 - 07:24 PM, said:


ETA: Re-reading, my only guess is that you deduced that from my comment about reporting to police - I meant that I believe that people should be able to report to child protection OR police, it should not have to be the police. Some people have a very strong aversion to any contact with the police, and others might not feel comfortable reporting a suspicion to the police without evidence - whereas child protection might be seen as a "safer" agency to touch base with.

Fair enough, I can understand that some people are averse to dealing with the authorities.

#15 seayork2002

Posted 25 August 2019 - 10:09 PM

My first instinct was to think 'I can't believe it has to be law to report it should be automatic to people to do so if they are aware' but then part of me thinks what if the victims totally genuinely do not want it reported? Is there a way there opinions can be taken into account?

(I am really not sure if I am explaining what I am trying to say properly- and no I am not saying it shouldn't be reported , I am trying to see it from the victims viewpoint also)

#16 Mooples

Posted 25 August 2019 - 10:16 PM

View Postseayork2002, on 25 August 2019 - 10:09 PM, said:

My first instinct was to think 'I can't believe it has to be law to report it should be automatic to people to do so if they are aware' but then part of me thinks what if the victims totally genuinely do not want it reported? Is there a way there opinions can be taken into account?

(I am really not sure if I am explaining what I am trying to say properly- and no I am not saying it shouldn't be reported , I am trying to see it from the victims viewpoint also)

As a mandatory reporter we must report regardless of what the victim’s wishes are. In our training we are given advice on what to say to children so they know that we will respect their wishes as much as possible but there are some things we must pass on.

#17 FuzzyChocolateToes

Posted 25 August 2019 - 11:04 PM

View PostMurderino, on 25 August 2019 - 09:06 PM, said:

I think Vic introduced this a few years ago?
I don't think that's correct. Members of specific  professions are required to report on a mandatory basis in Victoria  (teachers, health care workers etc)  but this law will require ALL adults to report.

Edited by FuzzyChocolateToes, 25 August 2019 - 11:07 PM.


#18 Mooples

Posted 25 August 2019 - 11:07 PM

View PostFuzzyChocolateToes, on 25 August 2019 - 11:04 PM, said:


I don't think that's correct. Some professions are required to report on a mandatory basis (teachers, health care workers etc)  but this says ALL adults.

In Victoria it is all adults for sexual abuse. https://www.educatio...obligation.aspx

#19 FuzzyChocolateToes

Posted 25 August 2019 - 11:18 PM

View PostMooples, on 25 August 2019 - 11:07 PM, said:



In Victoria it is all adults for sexual abuse. https://www.educatio...obligation.aspx
I did not know that! So it should be though.

#20 PurpleWitch

Posted 26 August 2019 - 12:31 AM

Report it all you want but until the actual laws change, it is pretty pointless.

The system does not seem to protect the victim.

#21 IamzFeralz

Posted 26 August 2019 - 06:51 AM

View Postseayork2002, on 25 August 2019 - 10:09 PM, said:

My first instinct was to think 'I can't believe it has to be law to report it should be automatic to people to do so if they are aware' but then part of me thinks what if the victims totally genuinely do not want it reported? Is there a way there opinions can be taken into account?

(I am really not sure if I am explaining what I am trying to say properly- and no I am not saying it shouldn't be reported , I am trying to see it from the victims viewpoint also)

Since the victims we are talking about are children, they may have an extremely warped sense of what they think is the best thing to do.  My psychologist was from a family where DV was being perpetrated.  His mother moved out and he said for the longest time, he wanted her to move back in with the abusive husband.  It wasn’t until he was an adult that he saw it very differently.

His point was that you have to do what is best for the children, even if it may not be what they want at the time.  They are too young to make a judgment.

#22 WaitForMe

Posted 26 August 2019 - 12:56 PM

View PostPizzaPlease, on 25 August 2019 - 07:24 PM, said:

It's difficult to draw many conclusions without more detail but I would be concerned about any change to the law that risked criminalising non disclosure of abuse by victims, for instance if the oldest child in a family had turned 18 and all had been victimised. Does anyone know if that is a risk here or are there exemptions to prevent this?

I sympathise, but I'm not in favour of loop holes.

Aren't any charges at the discretion of a court? Or police? I think such discretion is best placed there rather than in the law itself.

#23 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 01 September 2019 - 07:10 PM

So the article seems deceptive in stating

Quote

ACT Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said the offence — with a penalty of up to two years in prison — would apply to all Canberrans, because child abuse did not only occur within institutions.
"We have a responsibility, the whole of the community has a responsibility, to make sure our children are safe," Mr Ramsay said.
The obligation to report would be simpler than mandatory reporting schemes that previously covered professions like teachers and health staff.
Under the new laws if an adult believed, on reasonable grounds, that a child had suffered sexual abuse it would become criminal not to report that to police.

Whereas today's amended Children and Young People Act states

Quote

Offence—mandatory reporting of abuse (1)A person commits an offence if—(a)the person is a mandated reporter; and (b)the person is an adult; and ©the person believes on reasonable grounds that a child or young person has experienced, or is experiencing—(i)sexual abuse; or(ii)non-accidental physical injury; and (d)the  person’s  reasons  for  the  belief  arise  from  information obtained by the person during the course of, or because of, the person’s work (whether paid or unpaid); and (e)the  person  does  not,  as  soon  as  practicable  after  forming the belief, report (a mandatory report) to the director-general—(i)the child’s or young person’s name or description; and (ii)the reasons for the person’s belief

With a section now saying

Quote

aA  person  who  is  or  was  a  member  of  the  clergy  of  a  church  or religious denomination is not entitled to refuse to make a mandatory report because it contains information communicated to the member during a religious confession.

The list of mandatory reporters does not have anything indicating anything other than those whose paid or voluntary employment places them in authority positions around children. No mention of all adults.

religious confession.

False alarm, sorry

Edited by SkeptiHandsOnMum, 01 September 2019 - 07:11 PM.


#24 Daphne27

Posted 02 September 2019 - 01:16 AM

See new section 66AA of the crimes act 1900

Sorry i cant seem to cut and paste on my phone but it is titled failure to report and is as above in the article and in addt ioon to the mandatory reporting laws.

There are exceptions including
- if you are a mandatory reporter and have told child protection and
- if the person is an adult and doesnt want police to know.

Edited by Daphne27, 02 September 2019 - 01:22 AM.


#25 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 02 September 2019 - 07:33 AM

View PostDaphne27, on 02 September 2019 - 01:16 AM, said:

See new section 66AA of the crimes act 1900

Sorry i cant seem to cut and paste on my phone but it is titled failure to report and is as above in the article and in addt ioon to the mandatory reporting laws.

There are exceptions including
- if you are a mandatory reporter and have told child protection and
- if the person is an adult and doesnt want police to know.
Ahhh! THANK YOU! Given that they released an update to the Children and Young People Act yesterday also, wouldn't you think that they would have made both Acts reflect the change? Bizarre.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

'My parenting style is Survivalist'

A helicopter or tiger mum, I am not.

8 mums reveal their favourite nappy bags

We asked a bunch of mums which nappy bags they love the most.

Why you shouldn't bother throwing a big first birthday party

If you're feeling the pressure to host an all-out, over-the-top shindig for your baby's birthday, I hereby grant you permission to throw the rules out the window.

The 24 baby names on the verge of extinction this year

If you're on the hunt for the perfect baby name and don't want a chart-topper like Oliver or Olivia, then do we have the list for you.

'My mum doesn't seem that interested in my baby'

Q: My mother and I have always been close, but now that I have a baby, she has not helped out as much as I thought she would.

New guidelines: "Bottle-feeding mums need support too"

Breast is best, but mums who can't, or choose not to breastfeed need support too.

Dads also struggle to 'have it all', study finds

Men and women both experience work-family conflict.

Language development may start in the womb

Study found babies can recognise foreign languages before birth.

Meet the baby born from an embryo frozen for 24 years

Experts say little Emma is a record breaking baby.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

From our network

Five things you need to know about flu and pregnancy

As the 2017 flu season begins in earnest, here?s what you need to know to protect yourself and baby.

Mum tips to keep your pre-baby budget in check

Money might be funny in a rich man's world (or so ABBA told us), but for the rest of us it's a major consideration – particularly before having a baby.

5 easy ways to make your maternity leave last longer

Maternity leave is a special time for you, your partner and your new little bundle. The last thing you want is for financial worries to stand in the way of that joy.

10 ways to keep your 'buying for baby' costs down

Becoming a parent is full of surprises – not least of all finding out that, for such small beings, babies cause a lot of chaos and expense.

5 ways to prepare to go from two incomes to one

Here are some ideas for getting that budget in shape, ready for being a one income family.

 

Baby Names

Need some ideas?

See what names are trending this year.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.