Royal commission returns to help more child abuse victims
A MONTH of meetings was not enough for a royal commission to hear enough of the Queensland voices telling of child abuse.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will now return to Brisbane in October.
Hearings may yet be held in other parts of the state as many from regional and rural centres are already approaching abuse advocates Bravehearts to tell their stories.
Bravehearts founder and director Hetty Johnston said it was now receiving up to 500 calls a week across Australia from those wanting to know more about the commission.
Although the tales were grim, she said these were people filled with hope for justice or hope that a future generation was protected.
For Ms Johnston, the scale of abuse was not a surprise.
"They are from everywhere, anywhere where children gather, those places draw the attention of those people who violate children," she said.
"From our experience, it's sporting clubs, schools - not just churches."
She said smaller towns often made reporting crimes of abuse difficult for victims, because their attackers might be almost immune to criticism.
"If someone is an alleged offender, they're very good at grooming not just the child but the parents and community at large," she said.
"These are the last people you think of.
"It's harder for regional people to get the same fair hearing."
There was not yet any detail on how many attending the Brisbane meetings or what the commission learned from its visit.
The commission is now holding hearings in South Australia.
For those wanting to contribute to the Royal Commission, phone 1800 099 340, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Bravehearts on 1800 272 831.