- For Parishes
More excellent information to come out of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Released September 7th 2016
Research reveals new insights into children’s views of safety
A survey of over 1,000 children and young people reveals that over 40 percent would feel uncomfortable talking to an adult at school if they were in a situation where an adult or other young person made them feel uncomfortable.
Children and young people were most likely to report that they would tell a friend or parent if they found themselves in an unsafe situation with just over a quarter reporting that they would tell a teacher.
Further, one in 10 children and young people surveyed believed adults at their school would not know what to do if they sought help from them about an unsafe situation. More than a quarter of males and almost one-fifth of females said they would deal with the situation alone.
These findings are just some of many published in a new research report examining children’s views of safety commissioned by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released today.
Our safety counts: Children and young people’s perceptions of safety and institutional responses to their safety concerns is the second report from the Children’s Views of Safety project, commissioned by the Royal Commission and prepared by the Institute of Child Protection Studies at the Australian Catholic University.
The research surveyed 1,142 children aged 10 to 18 recruited from schools, youth organisations and on line through electronic marketing.
Royal Commission Acting CEO Marianne Christmann said understanding how children perceive safety and institutions’ response to safety concerns is vital to develop strategies to support children and young people, and to protect them from harm.
“The report provides new insights into ways children prefer to seek help, and in particular the important role that friends and families play in preventing, identifying and responding to child sexual abuse – including grooming behaviours,” she said.
The report also identifies barriers to children and young people seeking help.
It notes the most significant barrier to seeking support at school was feeling uncomfortable talking to adults about sensitive issues. The report states that children and young people were also concerned that things would get worse if they told an adult about their situation.
“We know that children and young people are frequently denied information or the opportunity to have a say about their safety for fear that talking about safety will distress them,” Ms Christmann said.
“But this desire to protect children may in fact make them more vulnerable.”
This research highlights the importance of including children in discussions about safety which will be the theme of an upcoming research symposium in October.
The research will help inform the Royal Commission’s recommendations which will be finalised in a report and handed to government in December next year.
Some key findings
Read Our safety counts: Children and young people’s perceptions of safety and institutional responses to their safety concerns by Dr Tim Moore, Professor Morag McArthur, Jessica Heerde and Steven Roche at the Institute of Child Protection Studies at the Australian Catholic University
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