Workshop aims to increase reporting of child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities

Workshop aims to increase reporting of child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities
Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSW LHD) this week participated in a two-day workshop, titled Facilitating the Disclosure, aimed at engaging Aboriginal workers and the community on issues relating to child sexual assault.

The workshop, hosted by the Joint Investigation Response Team (JIRT), is a collaboration of NSW Police Force, NNSW LHD, Family and Community Services (FaCS), the Education Centre Against Violence (ECAV), and local Aboriginal Community members.

JIRT comprises detectives from the NSW Police Force Child Abuse Squad, child protection caseworkers from Family and Community Services, and health clinicians from NSW Health. It is tasked with investigating allegations of sexual abuse and serious physical abuse of children in NSW.

“The Northern Rivers JIRT office responds to approximately 300 reports of child abuse each year, with JIRT working with children and families to investigate allegations, initiate criminal proceedings, ensure safety and wellbeing of victims, and manage any health and medical needs,” Tamahra Manson, Violence, Abuse and Neglect Manager, Richmond Clarence Health Services Group, said.

“JIRT recognises that sexual abuse of children in Aboriginal communities is still under-reported, with the focus of this two-day Facilitating the Disclosure workshop being how we can target service providers and members of the Aboriginal community in the NNSW LHD.”

The workshop aimed to improve the skills of members of the Aboriginal community in identifying the signs of child sexual abuse, knowing how to respond to disclosures of sexual abuse from children, and understanding the JIRT investigation process.

“Our hope is that this workshop results in increased reporting of child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities in and around the Northern Rivers,” Ms Manson said.

 


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