Private sessions being held for child sex abuse victims
VICTIMS of child sexual abuse have started sharing their stories during face-to-face private sessions in Brisbane.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse expects to conduct the private sessions for at least the next month.
Private sessions, which are conducted in an informal setting in the presence of one or two commissioners, have been running in Sydney for the past four weeks.
Royal Commission CEO Janette Dines said a large number of people were talking about their experiences for the first time and had different reasons for coming forward.
"Many people have said that after years of keeping silent, they feel safe to speak out," Ms Dines said.
"Some people want the royal commission to know what happened to them as a child and the impact it has had on their lives. Many people are telling us that they want to help make institutions safer for children in the future."
Ms Dines said commissioners would return to Queensland as many times as necessary.
She said the response from those people who had already participated in private sessions had been "positive".
Trained counsellors are available to provide immediate support to anyone in distress during the sessions.
People affected by child sexual abuse in an institution can register to tell their story to the royal commission by phoning 1800 099 340; emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or; writing to GPO Box 5283, Sydney NSW 2001.