Senior leaders representing 30 faith traditions from across Victoria gathered to discuss ongoing efforts to prevent institutional child abuse.

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Senior faith leaders gather to discuss ongoning efforts to prevent institutional child abuse.

The event, held at Melbourne Museum, was hosted by The Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) in association with the Faith Communities Council of Victoria (FCCV)

‘This was a welcome opportunity to progress action on the findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse and the Betrayal of Trust Inquiry to better protect children and young people from child abuse in religious settings’ said Liana Buchanan, Victoria’s Commissioner for Children and Young People.

‘We were fortunate to hear from a panel of survivors of institutional abuse. As we build a safer future, we must acknowledge and learn from the experience of those who have suffered in the past. Survivors’ messages today were clear – we need to listen to and believe children, and should accelerate the pace of change,’ Commissioner Buchanan said.

'Child abuse is unacceptable and violates the basic tenets of each of our religions. Our organisations must establish practices and behaviours to deter and prevent child abuse' said Reverend Ian Smith, secretary of the Faith Communities Council of Victoria.

During the day, faith leaders participated in round-table discussions on challenges and key learnings in working to keep children safe from abuse.

Towards the closing of the summit, the Faith Communities Council of Victoria issued a joint public statement calling on all religious institutions to implement the Child Safe Standards, Reportable Conduct Scheme, and Mandatory Reporting as legislated by State Government, and to respond appropriately to any allegations of child abuse or other child-related misconduct.

The joint public statement can be read here (pdf)

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Faith Leaders release statement of commitment on addressing safety, protection and well-being of all children.

For media information on this event please contact Reverend Ian Smith on (03) 9650 4511

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