Never again: can the royal commission help make our children safe?

To date, not one person has been convicted in Australia for the crime of concealment of child sexual abuse.

Research funded by the royal commission and led by Donald Palmer from the University of California’s sociology department uncovered the organisational culture that exists when children are abused. Palmer found six features conducive to the perpetration of child abuse, one of them being macho cultures where leadership positions are filled by men.

“However, in private sector organisations, men tend to fill upper-level management positions,” the report found. “Further, in the not-for-profit sector, men tend to fill upper-level management positions, while women fill lower-level staff positions There is no evidence to suggest that the situation is any different in organisations that deliver services to children and young people. As a result, it may be that many detected instances of child sexual abuse fail to trigger a robust institutional response simply because they are observed by women and communicated to men. In patriarchal societies, men are assumed to possess strong sexual impulses and their pursuit of sexual gratification is viewed positively and considered normative.”

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