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Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Commonwealth government set up a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The Royal Commission ends on 15 December 2017. The final report is to be given to the government by this date.

What is being investigated by the Royal Commission?

The Royal Commission is looking into how institutions with a responsibility for children have managed and responded to allegations and instances of child sexual abuse.

It is investigating where systems have failed to protect children, and making recommendations on how to improve laws, policies and practices to prevent and better respond to child sexual abuse in institutions. 

What is a Royal Commission?

A Royal Commission is a form of public inquiry on a matter of public importance. This means that members of the public can contribute to the inquiry by giving information or other relevant material. However not all inquiry hearings are held in public. The interests in holding public hearings need to be balanced against the protection of the rights and interests of those involved in or affected by the inquiry.

When the public inquiry is completed it's recommendations, report and other appropriate material are often made widely available.

Can I get legal help for the Royal Commission?

knowmore is an independent service giving free legal advice to people who are considering telling their story or providing information to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

It is a free service providing:

  • legal advice and assistance
  • assistance with preparing written statements and submissions
  • information about the Royal Commission and referral
  • links to other support services.

Contact knowmore's free advice line available Monday to Friday 9am-5pm (EST, but times will be reviewed in line with client needs) on 1800 605 762.  Go to knowmore's website to find out more about the service. 

knowmore does not provide legal representation but, if needed, will assist people giving evidence in formal hearings before the Royal Commission in finding suitable lawyers for representation and in obtaining funding for that representation.

Can I get any other support if I am thinking about or wanting to tell my story?

Private sessions allow survivors to share their stories in person with a Commissioner. The Royal Commission has now stopped taking applications for registrations for private sessions. The Commission has advised that there will be no exceptions.

  • Relationships Australia WA has been selected to support people who are thinking about or wishing to tell their story at the Royal Commission. If you want to discuss how you can be supported by this service or wish to refer someone call the Relationships Australia Royal Commission Support Service  (RCSS) on (08) 61640255. This service is free.
  • Yorgum Aboriginal Corporation is an Aboriginal community-based organization. Yorgum's Royal Commission Support Service can provide support to any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander who was sexually abused while in institutional care as a child, family members who have been affected by this experience and whistle blowers. Individual and group counselling, family support, referrals to other service providers, advice about the Royal Commission and support before, during and after the Royal Commission is available. For information on how to access the service call (08) 9218 9477 or 1800 469 371 (freecall).

Where can I get more information?


Last reviewed: 05/10/2016


Last modified: 5/01/2017 8:42 AM


The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.