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Western Australia Removes Confessional Exemption for Child Sexual Abuse Reporting

Discussion in 'News & Current Events' started by Occams Barber, May 22, 2019.

  1. Occams Barber

    Occams Barber Newbie Supporter

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    The West Australian, 23/5/2019
    ABC News, 23/5/2019

    Western Australia Removes Confessional Exemption for Child Sexual Abuse Reporting

    Western Australia is the latest Australian state to schedule changes to laws requiring mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse. Under the revised statute, Catholic priests in WA will be legally required to break the seal of the confession to report child sexual abuse. Religious officials found guilty of failing to report would face a maximum penalty of $6000 but, more crucially, would be saddled with a criminal record and may be banned from working with children. The law will come into effect in the second half of this year.

    Laws removing confessional exemptions for reporting child sexual abuse have already been passed in South Australia and the Northern Territory while Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory (Canberra) are in the process of developing legislation. The remaining states, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, are expected to follow suit. This Australia-wide movement, to remove the confessional exception to mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse, was one of several hundred recommendations arising from the Royal Commission into Institutionalised Child Sexual Abuse.

    Australia is not the first, or only, country to legally remove confessional privilege for reporting child sexual abuse.

    In the United States:
    “… among the States that list clergy as mandated reporters, Guam, New Hampshire, and West Virginia deny the clergy penitent privilege in cases of child abuse or neglect. Four of the States that enumerate “any person” as a mandated reporter (North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Texas) also deny clergy-penitent privilege in child abuse cases."
    Clergy as Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect
    (Page 2)
    Children’s Bureau, Child Welfare Information Gateway​

    Following 9 years of investigation into child abuse by church institutions, Ireland legally withdrew confessional privilege for reporting child sexual abuse in 2015.
    The Irish Times, 15/12/2017
    OB
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
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  2. Ana the Ist

    Ana the Ist Aggressively serene!

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