Sexual abuse information forum in Ballarat tonight

BALLARAT Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA) is encouraging anyone with questions about the Royal Commission into Institutionalised Child Abuse to attend a free community information forum tonight. 

Chair of the Royal Commission Justice Peter McClellan will address the forum and answer any questions the public may have about the commission. 

Ballarat CASA manager Shireen Gunn said there had been confusion about whether tonight’s forum was part of the Royal Commission. 

“It is not a hearing, there has been confusion surrounding (what is happening on the night),” Ms Gunn said. 

“It’s a quiet, informal information forum for people who have an interest in the commission.” 

The Royal Commission will host private sessions in Ballarat tomorrow and on Friday. 

Ms Gunn said she was expecting more than 100 people to attend the free forum, which will be held at the Eureka Ballroom.

While the community forum is not necessarily the place for victims of child abuse to talk about their experiences, Ms Gunn said CASA would have counsellors on-site if the night stirred up unpleasant memories for some attendees. 

Ms Gunn said it was important to host the community information forum in Ballarat. 

“It is really important, Ballarat has its own history,” Ms Gunn said. 

The forum will be held from 6pm to 8pm at the Eureka Ballroom, 613 Main Road, Ballarat and is closed to the media for privacy reasons. 

Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. 

CASA counsellors can be contacted on 5320 3933.

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