Sex abuse inquiry: support groups give evidence

VICTORIA Police investigators and victims’ supporters from the Broken Rites organisation will give evidence to the Victorian Parliamentary inquiry into clergy sexual abuse in Melbourne today. 

The six-member state inquiry has called investigators from the Victoria Police Sexual Offences Child Abuse Investigations Team and managers of Centres Against Sexual Assault to give evidence at the third day of hearings. 

Griffith University academic Professor Stephen Smallbone and  Dr Joe Tucci of the Australian Childhood Foundation will also make presentations to the committee. 

Broken Rites president Ms Chris MacIsaac and honorary researchers Dr Wayne Chamley and Dr Bernard Barrett are expected to speak about attempts by religious organisations to deter reporting of abuse by victims. 

The Victorian Parliament’s Family and Community Development Committee responded to earlier criticism of the format of the hearings by allowing upwards of two hours for each organisation. 

The committee’s report will be presented to Parliament by April 30.