Breaking the silence : creating the future : addressing child sexual assault in Aboriginal communities in NSW


The Aboriginal Child Sexual Assault Taskforce was established in 2003. ACSAT’s primary aims for this report were to examine child sexual assault in Aboriginal communities, review how government and non-government agencies in New South Wales respond, and make recommendations about how these responses could be improved. Information for the report was gathered from: a review of literature and relevant research; written submissions, and other information, from government agencies; written submissions from non-government agencies and individuals; consultations with Aboriginal communities across NSW; and, consultations with government and non-government agencies. The starting point for analysis was current research into child sexual assault in Aboriginal communities, the Aboriginal community’s perspective of child sexual assault and the issues they identified with current service responses. This perspective was then matched with services provided by government and non-government agencies and gaps and barriers were documented. The review has also revealed a comprehensive government system of child protection and criminal justice that has many barriers and gaps in the way services are provided to Aboriginal people. These barriers and gaps are rendering this response ineffective for most Aboriginal people who are seeking help to deal with child sexual assault. ACSAT has formulated many recommendations that aim to overcome these barriers to access and eliminate service gaps. Once implemented, these measures will allow both the government and the community to work together more effectively, and provide more positive outcomes to Aboriginal people. In addition, a new model needs to be developed which makes an effective, cooperative response to child sexual assault available that is community driven and works with government agencies in genuine partnership.

Copyright Information

Copyright This website contains information, data, documents, pages and images (?the Material?) prepared by the Attorney General?s Department of New South Wales. The Material is subject to copyright under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), and it is owned by the State of New South Wales through the Attorney General?s Department of NSW. The Attorney General?s Department of NSW encourages the availability, dissemination and exchange of public information. You may copy, distribute, display, download and otherwise freely deal with the Material for any purpose, on the condition that you include the copyright notice ?© State of New South Wales through the Attorney General?s Department of NSW? on all uses. You must, however, obtain permission from the Attorney General?s Department of NSW if you wish to: ?charge others for access to the work (other than at cost) ?include all or part of the work in advertising or a product for sale, or ?modify the work To obtain such permission, please contact the Community Relations Unit. This copyright statement applies to all Lawlink Agencies, other than the Crown Solicitor?s Office. It does not, however, apply to court transcripts, which may not be reproduced or copied without the permission of the Attorney General?s Department. This copyright statement also does not apply to any third party works appearing in the Material. Trademarks The Material includes registered trademarks and trademarks that are the subject of pending applications or which are otherwise protected by law including, but not limited to the word NSW Attorney General?s Department and the Attorney General?s Department of NSW logo. Unless otherwise indicated, the trademarks are owned by the Attorney General?s Department of NSW and may be the subject of rights in other countries. You may use the trademarks as permitted by the above copyright notice or otherwise with permission from the Attorney General?s Department of NSW. Contact the Community Relations Unit to obtain such permission. Copyright and Judicial Decisions Judicial decisions may be reproduced without infringing Crown copyright, subject to the following conditions: 1.copyright in judicial decisions continues to reside in the Crown; 2.the state reserves the right at any time to revoke, vary or withdraw the authorisation; 3.the publication of the material must not purport to be the official version; 4.the notice does not allow the reproduction of any headnote or summary, footnotes, comments, case lists, cross-references or other editorial material prepared by or for the Council of Law Reporting or other law report agency without the further authority of the Council or agency. 5.the arms of the state must not be used in connection with the publication unless authorisation is provided; 6.the publication of material is required to be accurately reproduced in proper context and to be of an appropriate standard. Any enquiries regarding the copyright of judicial decisions should be referred to the originating jurisdiction. See Contact NSW Caselaw for details. Disclaimer While the Material contained in this Website has been formulated with all due care, the State of New South Wales does not warrant or represent that the Material is free from errors or omission, or that it is exhaustive. The State of NSW disclaims, to the extent permitted by law, all warranties, representations or endorsements, express or implied, with regard to the Material including but not limited to, all implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. The State of NSW further does not warrant or accept any liability in relation to the quality, operability or accuracy of the Material . The Material is made available on the understanding that the State of New South Wales and its employees and agents shall have no liability (including but not limited to liability by reason of negligence) to the users of the Website for any loss, damage, cost or expense whether direct, indirect consequential or special, incurred by, or arising by reason of, any person using or relying on the Material and whether caused by reason of any error, omission or misrepresentation in the Material or otherwise. Users of the Website will be responsible for making their own assessment of the Material and should verify all relevant representations, statements and information with their own professional advisers. Furthermore, whilst the Material is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact upon the accuracy of the Material. The Material may change without notice and the State of New South Wales is not in any way liable for the accuracy of any information printed and stored by a user. Changes are periodically added to the Material and the Department may make improvements and/or changes in the Material and/or the Website at anytime. The State of New South Wales takes no responsibility for the accuracy, currency, reliability and correctness of any information included in the Material provided by third parties nor for the accuracy, currency, reliability and correctness of links or references to information sources (including Internet sites) outside of the Department. In addition to the Material, the Website provides links to and from other Internet sites. These external information sources are outside the control of the Department and it is therefore the responsibility of the Internet users to make their own decisions about the accuracy, reliability and correctness of information found on those external Internet links. The search engines provided on this website are to assist Internet users to locate resources more quickly. However, the Department takes no responsibility for the accuracy, currency, reliability and correctness of its search facilities, and does not warrant or represent that the search facilities are free from errors or omission, or that they are exhaustive. The internet is not a secure medium and communications to and from the website may be intercepted or altered in transit. The Department does not warrant or represent that this website or any linked sites, are free from anything which may damage any computer used to access the site. Disclaimer for Judicial Decisions Every effort has been made to comply with suppression orders or statutory provisions prohibiting publication that may apply to this judgment or decision. The onus remains on any person using material in the judgment or decision to ensure that the intended use of that material does not breach any such order or provision. Further enquiries may be directed to the Registry of the Court or Tribunal in which it was generated. Linking Credible Internet sites have permission to link to pages within our Website. Please observe the following conditions of linking to our Website: 1.Links must be presented in a way which fairly represents our role and our site(s). They must not embarrass us. 2.The context in which you insert the link must not give your visitors the impression that your site, or your company, is sponsored or endorsed by us. 3.The context of the link must not suggest that we have created any of your content, i.e. the source material must be clear, and acknowledgement of the Website clearly provided. 4.You must never reproduce any logos of the Department appearing on the Website without the express approval of the Department. The Department also provides links to other websites within Lawlink. In general, the Department will only provide links to other government websites, and websites of national and international bodies or organisations containing credible information on similar issues as those contained within Lawlink. The Department does not provide links to commercial websites. If you are offended or upset by any material that appears on an Internet website, you are entitled to lodge a complaint with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), who will then investigate the complaint and take such action as it thinks fit. If you would like to know more about the ACMA's role in regulating Australian Internet content, you can visit its website at