This month, the IGFF team have continued to provide support and advocacy services from home. This newsletter outlines some of our team’s more systemic advocacy work, along with recent updates in the field of institutional abuse.
The current circumstances, and different restrictions in different areas, affect people in different ways. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on (03) 9940 1533 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to talk more about what’s going on, or any of the contents of this email.
Local Governments Commit to Supporting Survivors
IGFF CEO Clare Leaney and Councillor Jake Keogh from the city of Knox caught up earlier this month, to talk about the actions local governments can take to support and protect people living in their communities. Part of this meeting can be watched online.
Recently, IGFF CEO Clare Leaney caught up with Jake Keogh, Councillor in the Knox City Council to talk about how local governments can support Survivors and vulnerable people in their municipalities. In particular, they discussed the actions that can be taken against institutions that have refused to sign onto the National Redress Scheme.IGFF provides support and advocacy for Survivors, families and communities impacted by institutional abuse. If you would like to talk more about our services, or chat to one of our case workers, you can call us on (03) 9940 1533 or email email@example.com.
Posted by In Good Faith Foundation on Wednesday, 26 August 2020
This discussion was in response to institutions that are refusing to sign on to the National Redress Scheme. Councillor Keogh is going to present a motion for committing to action in his municipality at the next council meeting. As he writes:
I am hopeful that by next month these organisations would have reconsidered their position, but if they do not then Knox Council, on behalf of the residents of Knox needs to show that this action is well below the standard expected from any organisation operating within our community.
We as a community need to help and protect anyone who suffered this inconceivable pain.
News from the the UK Independent Inquiry
The UK Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Assault has just concluded its public hearings into Child Protection in Religious Organisations and Settings. We hope that the testimony and stories of those coming forward will lead to further accountability and change. More information about the Inquiry is available online.
Reflections from the Jewish Community Organisation Kol v’Oz
Advocate Manny Waks, in this month’s Kol v’Oz newsletter, has shared the organisation’s submissions to the Inquiry about the Jewish community, as well as crucial commentary on responses to its findings, writing powerfully:
The ‘blight’ on the community comes from the community’s response – to ostracise victims as though they are bringing the community into disrepute by speaking up, to support perpetrators, to celebrate them once they’re released from jail if they make big donations and to fail to hold to account those who are in positions of responsibility for the safety of children and fail.
It is not just a time for ‘humility and sensitivity to the needs of those who have been abused’ but a time for accountability for those who stood by and allowed it to happen, covered up abuse and worsened the suffering of victims. Only then will the necessary cultural change have occurred to ensure the safety of children from this scourge.
The IGFF team highly recommend subscribing to the Kol v’Oz mailing list.
They are not going to change. They are who they are and anything imposed is going to have loopholes, so there has to be some external protection.
Former Jehovah’s Witness Survivors and Elders have also provided testimony to the Inquiry, calling for mandatory reporting. These updates reflect the systemic issues that mean the institution is not going to be held accountable in Australia through the National Redress Scheme, as they have openly chosen not to join on.
Submissions for the second anniversary Independent Review of the National Redress Scheme are open
- previous and current applicants,
- families, friends, carers, anyone that has or is supporting someone with their Redress journey,
- people who have commenced an application but not proceeded with it or who have decided not to apply to the Scheme.
- They will not ask you to share your personal experience of abuse, and you do not have to include any personal information unless you want to. It’s about how you think the Scheme has done so far, so they can improve. If your feedback is utilised any personal information will be de-identified.
Providing Feedback to the Independent Review has no bearing on the progress or outcome of your Redress application.
Let Us Speak Campaign to Remedy Victorian Legislation
In Victoria recent changes in legislation mean that Survivors who have spoken publicly about their experiences may need to apply for a court order in order to continue doing so. The Let Us Speak campaign has created a factsheet about what this means.
IGFF have called on the Victorian Government to change this immediately, as until this remedy occurs, thousands of survivors of sexual abuse, their families and supporters will have lost confidence in the justice system and the Government.
You can read our full media release here.
If you have any more questions about what we’ve been up to, how we can support Survivors, or any of our services, you can leave a message for us to call back at (03) 9940 1533 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
IGFF is committed to achieving justice for Survivors of institutional abuse. We acknowledge the strength, courage and sacrifices of all on the journey to recovery.
IGFF would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respect to Elders past, present and emerging.