In Australia, a boy of 10 is raped by an Anglican clergyman, who cuts his victim with a small knife and smears blood over his back. This happened in the 1960s ... but only now has this and other decades-old stories of sexual violence and degradation been heard, catalogued and, crucially for many victims, believed.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is an unprecedented investigation into an epidemic of depravity across Australia. The ... inquiry began in 2013 and has heard from thousands of survivors of paedophiles who worked, or volunteered, in sporting clubs, schools, churches, charities, childcare centres and the military. It has the power to look at any private, public or non-government body that is, or was, involved with children.
The Commission's task is to make recommendations on how to improve laws, policies and practices to protect the young. To date, it has held more than 6,000 private sessions, along with several high-profile public hearings. The chief royal commissioner, Justice Peter McClellan ... is one of six commissioners; two women and four men, and they include a former Queensland police chief, a consultant child psychiatrist and a retired federal politician. When it hands down its final report at the end of 2017, this painstaking inquiry will have lasted for almost five years. Already, more than 1,700 cases have been referred to the authorities, including the police. More prosecutions will almost certainly follow.