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Byron Shire
March 4, 2021

Commission seeks children’s home sex abuse victims

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Cover of of the recently published Sexual Abuse Survivor’s Handbook by Byron Shire resident John Saunders.
Cover of of the recently published Sexual Abuse Survivor’s Handbook by Byron Shire resident John Saunders.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is calling on former residents who suffered child sexual abuse at the North Coast Children’s Home in Lismore to come forward.

The Commission’s CEO Janette Dines says she is particularly interested in talking to anyone who made a claim to the Grafton Anglican Church.

‘We know that many children suffered terrible sexual abuse at the North Coast Children’s Home over a very long period of time, from the 1940s to the 1980s, and that many victims are still suffering the long-lasting effects of child sexual abuse.’

She says information shared is kept absolutely confidential. To speak with the Royal Commission, call 1800 099 340 or visit www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au.

Meanwhile, a community forum and Q&A night planned for November 28 aims to break down the social taboos surrounding child abuse.

Q&A and forum planned Nov 28

Abuse survivor and Byron Shire resident John Saunders is the author of the recently published Sexual Abuse Survivor’s Handbook and, along with mayor Simon Richardson, will host the evening.

A panel of five professionals in the fields of health, law and relationships will also attend.

John’s book sheds light on instances of past and present abuse within one of the largest, oldest and most powerful organisations on Earth, the Catholic Church.

The evening will be held at the Community Centre, Byron Bay, on November 28 from 7pm. Bookings can be made at the centre. For information about the book visit www.sexualabusesurvivors.com.au.

In May the Anglican bishop of Grafton, Bishop Keith Slater, resigned suddenly over revelations at the royal commission into child-sex abuse that he mishandled decades-old abuse cases at the North Coast Children’s Home.

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