Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

To Handle Abuse Claims Properly

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

To Handle Abuse Claims Properly

Article excerpt

VICTIMS of sexual abuse at Lismoreas North Coast Childrenas Home who came to the Anglican Diocese of Grafton for support or compensation were turned away.

Yesterday the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton stood down, admitting he had failed to pass on to the proper authority the details of some abuse cases from the 1940s to the 1980s.

The failings came out in January in initial findings of the Diocese of Graftonas audit for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse

The Right Reverend Keith Slater started receiving claims of physical, psychological and sexual abuse in 2006.

The alleged perpetrators included staff at the home, visiting clergy, members of holiday host families and other residents of the home.

According to Rev Slateras statement, legal opinion suggested the diocese didnat have legal responsibility to respond, but because of the churchas connection with the home, it resolved it had a amoral responsibilitya to respond.

Protocol for managing complaints of sexual abuse had been put in place in 2004 and required all matters to be referred to a professional standards director.

aI acknowledge that I was responsible for ensuring full compliance with the protocol and that I failed in this duty,a Rev Slater said.

aSome matters detailing sexual abuse at the North Coast Childrenas Home were not referred to the professional standards director as they should have been.a

In 2007, 39 claims were settled through a payment.

Two other claimants were not ready to settle at that time.

In the cases of sexual abuse and where perpetrators were identified, the diocese informed the police and received advice that police investigations had started.

This related specifically to allegations against two members of clergy who were still alive at the time the claims were presented. …

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