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CASA FORUM

Looking for facts and stats from the forum?

Download the Fact Sheet: Statistics about sexual assault

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Three New Criminal Offences Introduced in 2014-2015 in Victoria

To improve the Responses to Child Sexual Abuse within the Community and Organizations.

These new offences arose from the recommendations contained in the of Betrayal of Trust, the report of the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Non-Government Organisations.

The Offence of the Failure to Disclose - in Relation to Childhood Sexual Assault came into effect on 27th October, 2014 in Victoria. This new law applies to all adults, not only those who work professionally with children.

Put simply, if you have a reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed by an adult against a child in Victoria, you must report that belief to Victoria Police.

The Department of Justice has an easy to understand explanation of the new law on their web site including a pdf document to download.

For more information visit
http://www.justice.vic.gov.au
Download the PDF
Betrayal of Trust: Factsheet - Failure to Disclosure


Failure to Protect Offence – The failure to protect offence is expected to take effect from the 1st July 2015 and “will apply to people within organisations who knew of a risk of child sexual abuse by someone in the organisation and had the authority to reduce or remove the risk, but negligently failed to do so” (Department of Justice Victoria website).

For more information visit
http://www.justice.vic.gov.au

Download the PDF
Betrayal of Trust: Factsheet - Failure to Protect

Grooming Offence

A grooming offence came into effect on the 9th April, 2014. This offence targets individuals who communicate with a child or their parents with the intent of committing child sexual abuse.

For more information visit
http://www.justice.vic.gov.au

Download the PDF
Betrayal of Trust: Factsheet - Grooming Offence

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GVCASA News & Updates

The Ditto Program

Ditto comes to school to teach your kids personal safety skills.

Children and Santa

Should children sit on Santa’s Knee is a question that has been debated in the media in the last few days. I think it is time a few facts were laid out to guide the discussion.

At GV CASA we ask every victim survivor what was the relationship to them of the person who sexually assaulted them, ie a stranger, a member of their family. Over the last 19 years we have provided a service on average of 400 victim survivors per year. In that time not one person has nominated a Santa as the perpetrator of their sexual abuse.

This is particularly pertinent when you realize that the majority of people, both females and males, attending GV CASA were sexually assaulted at 12 years of age or under. Last year for example 259 of the people attending were sexually assaulted at 12 years of age or under, of these 160 are now adults. So childhood is a high risk time for sexual assault but the focus needs to be on the situations where sexual assault most commonly occurs.

The sexual assault of children is rarely a one off event, instead sexual assault of children occurs within a relationship whether with a family member, family friend, or a professional who has regular access to the child alone. Sexual assault of children happens in secret.

In contrast children sitting on Santa’s knee are being watched by a least one parent or caregiver, the photographer is closely studying the scene and there is usually a line of parents watching as they are waiting for their child’s turn. This does not fit any of the situations where children are sexually abused.

Children should not be forced to sit on Santa’s knee if they don’t want to, but this is out of respect for the child’s feelings not because the Santa has been labelled a risk to them.”

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HELP ME - App

The Daniel Morcombe Foundation “Help Me” app for mobile phones is suitable for people of all ages to set up a personal safety network to use in an emergency and costs just .99 cents.

Follow this link to find out more about this useful tool www.danielmorcombe.com.au/app.html

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Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept

Jay Sanders has written a beautifully illustrated book entitled “Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept” which encourages children to speak up and not keep secrets if someone is hurting them or making them feel unhappy. For further information about the book please follow the website link.

Website: www.somesecrets.info

Debra Byrne reads Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept. The book is aimed at 3-12 year old children and is intended to give them skills to deal with inappropriate touch.

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The Australian Institute of Family Studies has published a research study entitled: 'Insights into sexual assault perpetration: Giving voice to victim/survivors' knowledge'.

This study provides insights into how everyday social norms are employed by perpetrators to facilitate sexual assaults. Table 3 Perpetrators' Resources and Strategies in Sexual Offending set out the elements utilized by perpetrators to set up sexual assaults, and to keep them secret.

Visit this website for more information www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/resreport18/

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What would You do if a child told you that she or he was being sexually assaulted?

Visit the National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) to read the report which shows that only about a third of their 22,000 respondents would report childhood sexual assault to the Police.

Website: www.preventingchildabuse.com.au

The pamphlet Keeping Children Safe from Sexual Abuse is available by following the Downloadable Material link on the Napcan Home page.

website: www.napcan.org.au

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Bsafe Program

The Bsafe project was a Women's Health Goulburn North East and Victoria Police initiative.

The Bsafe pilot project is now complete and discovered that it is imperative that Bsafe is implemented as a safety option for all rural women and children escaping family violence in Victoria.

For further information about the Bsafe program visit Women's Health Goulburn North East.

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The Ditto Adventure Program in schools
The Ditto Adventure Program is aimed at providing tools for reducing the incidence of abuse, and in particular, sexual abuse. This exciting program conducted within Primary Schools was played to 8,294 children during the 2009 school year.

The program features ‘Ditto’ a lion cub and was developed specifically for children from prep through to grade 3.

For further information or to book The Ditto Adventure Program for your school, please contact GVCASA on (03) 5831 2343.

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