Child sexual abuse in Australia
Child sexual abuse is a matter of concern in Australia, and is the subject of investigation and prosecution under the law, and of academic study into the prevalence, causes and social implications.
According to a report that recorded the types of child abuse reported in Australian states and territories in 2011–12, there were 48,420 substantiated cases of child endangerment, of which 5,828 were cases of sexual abuse.
Evidence from reports indicate that the majority of sexual assaults in Australia are undertaken by perpetrators who knew the victim. According to a 2009 report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 42% of sexual assaults reported to law enforcement agencies in Australia that year took place against children under the age of 14; this statistic includes sexual assaults that adults said were committed against them when they were under the age of 14. The percentage of cases in which the child had a familial relationship with the perpetrator were: 26% of cases in southern Australia, over 20% of cases in the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania, 39% of cases in New South Wales, and 30% of cases in Queensland.
In March 2014, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that police had identified about 30 to 40 children under the care of the Department of Human Services of Victoria who have been abused by paedophile gangs.
Child sexual abuse has been connected to later emotional and behavioural problems in victims, and to an increased tendency toward alcoholism, depression, mental illness, and suicide. In 2007 the Queensland Children's Commission reported that "[s]ome 70% of psychiatric patients are known to have been sexually abused as children". A study carried out in 27 prisons in New South Wales found that 65% of male and female prisoners had been sexually and physically abused as children.
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- Dante Arthurs (b. 1984) – raped and murdered a child in a shopping centre in 2007. Sentenced to 13 years imprisonment.
- Robert Bropho (1930–2011) – an Australian Aboriginal rights activist and convicted serial child sex offender from Perth, Western Australia. He was jailed for three years in 2008; however, the Court of Appeals extended the term to six years. He died while serving a six-year sentence.
- Michael Guider (b. 1950) – sentenced for multiple instances of child sexual assault.
- Jack Perry (b. 1917) – convicted in 1994 of sex offences against a minor.
- Robert Hughes (b. 1948) – actor, convicted in 2014.
- Gerald Ridsdale (b. 1934) – Catholic priest, convicted of multiple child sexual offences.
- Steve Randell (b. 1956) – former Australian Test cricket match umpire whose cricket and professional careers ended when he was convicted in August 1999 of 15 separate counts of sexual assault against nine schoolgirls between 1981 and 1982. He was sentenced to four years imprisonment with a two-year minimum, and was released on parole in May 2002.
- Brian Keith Jones (b. 1947) – in 1981, he was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 12 years. In 2006, he was sentenced to an indefinite term for breaching the parole conditions.
- Robert 'Dolly' Dunn (1941–2009) – a school teacher working for the Marist Brothers, a Catholic religious order. He had committed 24 sexual offences against young boys over a 10-year period to 1995. Charges also included three drug charges. In 2001, he was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 22 and a half years.
- Dennis Ferguson (1948–2012) – in 1988, he kidnapped and sexually abused three children, and was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment.
- William Kamm (b. 1950) – religions cult leader, convicted of child sexual abuse, sentenced to five years imprisonment for sexually assaulting a girl.
- Terry Martin (b. 1957) – Tasmanian parliamentarian, on 21 November 2011 was convicted of creating child pornography and having sex with a 12-year-old girl.
- "Child abuse and neglect statistics – Child Family Community Australia". Australian Institute of Family Studies. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- Ramplin, Kimberley (3 April 2014). "Child abuse: Enough talk of empowerment in the abstract". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- Oakes, Dan (12 March 2014). "Paedophile gangs targeting children in state care in Victoria for sexual abuse". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "Child Sexual Assault: Facts and Statistics". Bravehearts Inc. December 2012. pp. 27–29. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- "Child Sexual Assault: Facts and Statistics" (2012), p. 31.
- Weber, David (8 November 2007). "Inquiry called into WA child-killer case bungle" (transcript). AM (ABC Radio) (Australia).
- Bennett, Cortlan (9 November 2007). "Child killer Dante Arthurs stalked up to 12 girls". Perth Now. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
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- Murphy, Padraic; Hadfield, Shelley (14 May 2011). "Defiant Derryn Hinch in new pedophile claim". The Australian. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- Howden, Saffron (9 April 2014). "Hey Dad! actor Sarah Monahan wants Robert Hughes to go to jail for child sex offences". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- Ellingsen, Peter (14 June 2002). "Ballarat's good men of the cloth". The Age. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
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- "Man Jailed for 14 Years on Mt Baldy Offense". The Age. 4 June 1981. p. 18. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- "Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Amendment Bill 2013". Parliament of New South Wales. 13 March 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "'Dolly' Dunn's sentence slashed by 10 years". The Sydney Morning Herald. 21 December 2004. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- Lawrence, Kara (19 September 2009). "Inside the mind of evil predator, convicted paedophile Dennis Ferguson". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
- "Terry Martin guilty of sex crimes against prostitute, 12". News Limited. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2014.