Abuse reporting law passes Victoria, Australia Parliament

by AndersonsInfo 7 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • AndersonsInfo


    Victorian parliament has passed laws making it mandatory for priests to report child abuse, including when it is revealed to them during confession.

    A bill introduced by the state Labor government passed the upper house on Tuesday after last week getting a green light from the Legislative Assembly, with opposition support.

    "Today we've made Victoria a safer place for children. The special treatment for churches has ended and child abuse must be reported," Child Protection Minister Luke Donnellan said in a statement...

  • careful

    It will be interesting to see how the Catholic church responds. They view confession as sacrosanct.

  • Finkelstein

    Thats good news for JWS children and the general population over all .

    Now if they can make this a universal law for all secular organizations as well such as Sports clubs, schools, etc.

    Personally I think if leaders of an organization with minors come aware of a possible situation of child sexaul abuse within their organization and they deliberately try to cover up the matter as to protect the public image of their organization, that they should be heavily penalized and punished.

  • blondie

    Yay, Barbara. Another significant step along the way in helping protect children from being abused by their so-called religious protectors.

    Thanks for all your hard work and all the others who have helped along the way. This is not the end of the road but a reason to double down on these efforts.

  • jwleaks

    Media Release:


    Religious and spiritual leaders in Victoria must report child abuse to the authorities, even if it was heard in the confessional, under historic new laws passed by the Andrews Labor Government.

    The Labor Government’s Children Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 passed through the Victorian Parliament today, delivering on a key election commitment. The legislation means people in religious ministries are now mandated reporters to child protection and the confessional seal must be lifted for suspected sexual abuse of children.

    Mandatory reporting refers to the legal requirement for nominated professional groups to report a reasonable belief of physical or sexual child abuse to authorities.

    Priests and spiritual leaders in religious ministries will now join teachers, police, medical practitioners, nurses, school counsellors, early childhood and youth justice workers as mandated reporters.

    In addition, the new laws ensure disclosures of abuse during religious confession are not exempt under the Failure to Disclose offence contained in the Crimes Act – meaning those who don’t report abuse face up to three years in prison.

    The landmark reforms also allow survivors of sexual and non-sexual institutional abuse to apply to the courts to overturn unfair historical compensation payments.

    Other reforms passed to strengthen the protection of children include:

    • Limiting the right of appeal to VCAT for people whose Working With Children Check application is rejected if they have been charged with, convicted or found guilty of a Category A offence as an adult. These offences are the most serious offences and include murder and rape
    • Allowing siblings where one is Aboriginal and the other is not, to both be a part of the Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care program, ensuring better connection to culture and community for children in care
    • Clarifying that immunisation is part of routine medical care, guaranteeing vaccines for children in out-of-home care and protecting vulnerable children and adults across the entire community.

    These reforms respond directly to recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

  • zeb

    well done Victoria..

  • resolute Bandicoot
    resolute Bandicoot

    Thanks Barb, I was working away from home and could not manage to post this great news (from a Victorian).


  • FatFreek 2005
    FatFreek 2005

    Wonderfful, and I hope precedent setting.

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