Anglican Church reassures survivors they will be heard

In light of the effect on survivors of the decision of the High Court of Australia to acquit Cardinal Pell, the Anglican Bishop of Tasmania, Dr Richard Condie, wants to reassure people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse within the Anglican Church in Tasmania, that their claims will continue to be taken seriously

“I make no comment on the decision of the High Court, except to acknowledge the impact of the decision on survivors of abuse,” Bishop Condie said.

“We encourage any person who suffered abuse in the Anglican Church in the past to come forward. I want to reassure survivors that they will be heard, and their claims taken very seriously.”

“We applaud the courage of any survivor who comes forward with their story.”

“I want to reaffirm our church’s commitment to the National Redress Scheme and acknowledge how important it is for people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse. Redress provides a measure of restorative justice to survivors, as well as recognition and support.”

Bishop Condie said, “I can confirm that our Pastoral Support and Assistance Scheme (PSAAS) continues to operate as an alternative to the National Redress Scheme. It does not have the same eligibility restrictions as the national scheme.”

The Anglican Church of Tasmania has instituted many changes over the last eighteen years in order to protect children and prevent abuse. The safety of children and vulnerable people in our church communities is paramount. We have been working hard to screen, educate and develop church leaders and volunteers who are working with vulnerable people. We have improved our response to and support for survivors of sexual abuse. We have no tolerance for abuse of any kind.

To report abuse within the Anglican Church of Tasmania call the Director of Professional Standards on 1800 017 286 or Tasmania Police on 131 444.

Published: Wednesday 8 April 2020