Crime Commission report reveals failure to act
Three alarming reports in News Ltd papers about child on child sexual abuse. More children are exhibiting problem sexual behaviour including assault of other children.
Teachers and childcare workers have raised the alarm over an increase in children coercing other children into sexual acts.
The widespread increase, with some children involved as young as three, is creating a “hidden population” of abuse victims.
A report by the Australian Crime Commission’s National Indigenous Intelligence Task Force has lifted the lid on a culture of “confusion, denial and non-disclosure” among child protection authorities, which it says have failed to keep pace with increasingly sexualised and sexually abusive behaviour in children.
The report, released this month, estimates that between 40 per cent and 90 per cent of sexual offending against children was committed by other children, “a fact that continues to go largely unknown”…
The report reinforces escalating concern among child protection advocates over an increase in sexually aggressive behaviour in children, as young people become exposed to sexual and pornographic images.
Bernadette McMenamin, the founder of the child protection charity Child Wise, said: “Everyone who works with children will testify that sexualised behaviours in children have definitely increased.
“There are disinhibitors around. We are a much more open society than we were before.”
The report, undertaken by ACC research fellow Wendy O’Brien in the past 18 months and the second in a two-part series, examined the responses of authorities in the health, child protection, education and juvenile justice sectors to sexualised and sexually offending behaviour in children.
It revealed a critical shortage of therapy available for children who exhibit sexually abusive behaviour. Only young people who entered the juvenile justice system were readily able to access social support. Outside the criminal justice system, there was only one therapeutic residential unit in the country – catering for six adolescents.
The report says childcare workers are increasingly concerned about how to respond to sexualised behaviour in very young children, and that there has been a “substantial increase in children coercing other children into sexual acts”…Read story here
Story 2: Rise in calls to experts about child-on-child sex abuse
CHILD protection advocates are being inundated with requests for advice on how to handle sexually abusive behaviour in children.
Responding to an Australian Crime Commission report that lifted the lid on a culture of “confusion, denial and non-disclosure” of sexualised and sexually abusive behaviour in children, the Australian Childhood Foundation said there had been a tenfold increase in demand for its therapeutic services.
The foundation runs a program in Victoria for children aged between seven and 12 years that exhibit problem sexual behaviour, in which social workers and psychologists work with the families and carers of the children.
Ten years ago, when the program started, it was attracting about 10 referrals a year. Now it attracts more than 150.
The ACC report estimated that between 40 per cent and 90 per cent of sexual offending against children was committed by other children, and called for a drastic increase in therapeutic services for young people displaying sexually aggressive behaviour…Read more.
Story 3: Issue of schoolchildren sexually assaulting each other in Queensland is being ‘ignored’
A DISTURBING trend of Queensland schoolchildren sexually assaulting each other is being swept under the carpet by authorities, a child development expert claims.
Professor Freda Briggs, an adviser to the Federal Government’s Safe School Framework, said she knew of at least 10 cases of sex assaults by children against other children in Queensland schools in 2008-09 and claimed many of the cases were not taken seriously by authorities.
“Five-year-olds just starting school are at risk of violent abuse by older children in school toilets,” she said.
“The cases I am aware of have been swept under the carpet and victims have to leave the schools while the perpetrators remain.” Read more
These latest reports further demonstrate why we must urgently address sexualised imagery and the widespread pornification of culture. If not, the problem will get worse, with shocking long term negative physical and mental health outcomes for children. One positive step you can take today is to sign up to Collective Shout: for a world free of sexploitation. Also support Kids Free 2 B Kids, Beth Mitchell’s Stop adult magazines being sold at convenience stores and Say No for Kids. Ask your candidate what they are doing to address this – and tell them you won’t support them unless they promise to act.