State response to Commission child sexual abuse inquiry ‘could fall short’

Tasmanian victim-survivors of institutional child sexual abuse feel they are being kept in the dark as they wait for the Commission of Inquiry (COI) to deliver its final report ahead of the formal closing of the inquiry this week.

Arnold Thomas & Becker Principal lawyer Kelly Pullan (née Schober) said victim-survivors were hoping to see recommendations in the final report that included direct and personal apologies to survivors.

Ms Schober welcomes the report of the Commission of Inquiry, and advised that her firm and a number of their clients had provisions submissions to the Inquiry.

She said, “through Arnold Thomas & Becker’s and our clients’ participation in the COI, we have pushed for the implementation of various recommendations which we believe are absolutely fundamental to ensuring that these very grave and beyond devastating State failings are never ever repeated, and to ensure those children in the State’s care are safeguarded and protected.”

Ms Schober spoke of the anxiety being felt by survivors as they awaited the report of the COI, “We understand that some of our clients are feeling anxious in the lead up to the report being handed down. A lot of the anxiety arises from the significant sense of mistrust they carry towards those in authority and/or positions of power- that is, feelings which are absolutely explainable by them having been horrendously failed, silenced, cornered, invalidated and ignored by those who were previously entrusted to their care and livelihood, namely the State and its persons.”

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