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Child Abuse Commission has overwhelming support

The federal government's royal commission in to child sexual abuse is overwhelmingly supported. In a virtual focus group of 966 respondents, balanced by voting intention we found the only significant resistance was from Liberal voters, but that was only 18 per cent.

 

The Commonwealth Government has announced that it will set up a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse. How strongly do you agree or disagree with this action?
Grn Und Ind ALP LP Grand Total
Strongly agree 87% 73% 57% 85% 37% 63%
Agree 11% 18% 22% 12% 28% 19%
Neither agree nor disagree 0% 4% 19% 2% 14% 8%
Disagree 1% 4% 3% 1% 12% 6%
Strongly disagree 0% 0% 0% 0% 6% 2%
Unsure 1% 1% 0% 1% 2% 1%
Grand Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Total agree 98% 91% 78% 96% 66% 83%
Total disagree 1% 4% 3% 1% 18% 8%
Net agree 97% 87% 76% 95% 48% 74%

n=966

The resistance from Liberals was directly from those who disagreed with the action, as well as those who neither agreed nor disagreed. The only other group to show any resistance was those intending to vote for Independents.

The strongest concepts from respondents were that it was long overdue that child sexual abuse was investigated, and the Catholic Church was seen as being of significant interest. This factor was also the reason for some of the opposition from Liberal voters who were suspicious of the prime minister's motives in instituting the inquiry and thought it was motivated in large part by a desire to tag Tony Abbott for his Catholicism.

 

Royal Commission Child Abuse Why 500px

 

The Leximancer Map shows how central the Catholic Church is to the debate. At the bottom of the map you can see that those who strongly agree say it is overdue, and that it is necessary that justice be done. At the other end words such as "political", "witch" and "money" indicate those opposed see it as a political witch hunt which will be insufficiently-funded to get real results.

 

Verbatims

First_Pref: kap
Commission_Agree: strongly_agree
COLUMN: commission_agree_why
The institutional culture of many so called "community" organizations and in particular the Catholic church, has enabled the proliferation and sustained access to vulnerable children over some time. Public utterances by senior church representatives while attempting to placate public concern are rendered meaningless by the simple fact that such abuse has been rampant for decades if not longer.

First_Pref: alp
Commission_Agree: strongly_agree
COLUMN: commission_agree_why
Child sexual abuse and institutional complicity in it are serious problems that require a full examination to prevent in future and to redress, as far as possible, for past failure. The Catholic Church, while not the only guilty party, is a major contributor to this failure, and only a Royal COmmission with full powers and ample terms of reference can get through its malign political web of influence.

First_Pref: und
Commission_Agree: strongly_agree
COLUMN: commission_agree_why
Perpetrators of child abuse through any institution (not just the Catholic church) should be held accountable. An abused victim carries the scars for the rest of their life and perpetrators being brought to justice may provide healing for some victims

First_Pref: lp
Commission_Agree: strongly_agree
COLUMN: commission_agree_why
This is long overdue & it's about time that the catholic church which holds itself up as moral arbiter of society is taken to account (Although there are many other institutions involved which are equally accountable but the hypocrisy of the church is particularlybreathtaking). Sadly many of the victims of this appalling abuse will never be able to get over it and it seems many have already taken their lives.

First_Pref: alp
Commission_Agree: strongly_agree
COLUMN: commission_agree_why
My belief is that there are still many instances of institutional child abuse that have never been exposed to thorough police investigations and proven perpetrators brought to justice and victims provided with legal and social redress

First_Pref: alp
Commission_Agree: strongly_agree
COLUMN: commission_agree_why
Sexual abuse of children is committed mostly by individuals acting alone, however institutions can create an environment that facilitates those activities and protects the perpetrators. This needs to be prevented

First_Pref: alp
Commission_Agree: strongly_agree
COLUMN: commission_agree_why
It is about time all organisations are compelled to reveal their involvement in child abuse & cover-ups for office bearers in this evil. Because it has 6 times the number of cases of paedophillia alleged against it than all other religions together, the Catholic Church in particular should be brought to justice.
Sentence: 1019/1

First_Pref: lp
Commission_Agree: agree
COLUMN: commission_agree_why
Sexual abuse of children crosses all boundaries and stata in society including the Judiciary, Politics, the Police Service and the Media and the terms of reference should not only concentrate on the Churches and not solely on the Catholic Church - if this happens I agree it is a good idea to clear the air and bring healing to those who have been abused.

First_Pref: lp
Commission_Agree: agree
COLUMN: commission_agree_why
I chose agree because while I believe it is urgent that something is done about child abuse I am concerned that the RC is only looking at institutional and religious child abuse and is totally overlooking domestic child abuse which is by far the greater risk to children

First_Pref: alp
Commission_Agree: agree
COLUMN: commission_agree_why
Investigating sexual abuse and applying current laws shall apply to every person, institution and organisation. Although, I do agree this commission might help to fight endemic child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and other religious organisations, it shows how powerful they are.

First_Pref: lp
Commission_Agree: agree
COLUMN: commission_agree_why
I agree that this is a necessary action. What I question is WHY it has taken so long to acknowledge the issue (most especially concerning the Catholic church and the clear evidence that church office holders of considerable ’distinction’ have aided and abetted those who abused children.

First_Pref: cd
Commission_Agree: neither_agree_nor_disagree
COLUMN: commission_agree_why
I think that the sexual abuse occurring now and the effectiveness of the processes designed to prevent, detect and recover from abuse are far more pressing issues than abuse which has occurred in the past, particularly as the institutions concerned understand the problem better and have developed processes to prevent, detect and compensate for any current abuse. Assessing the effectiveness of these processes and applying the best ones to the biggest problem areas (which are primarily under government control) would be a far better idea.

Commission_Agree: disagree
COLUMN: commission_agree_why
Child sexual abuse is something that definately needs to be investigated, however the timing seems more political than anything else and another way to demonise Abbott for his strong Catholic beliefs, and as a distraction from ALP stuff-ups and Gillards past dealings whilst she was a lawyer at Slater & Gordon. Simply put, I don't trust the ALP to get this RC right, and the potential for harm is very great indeed.

First_Pref: lp
Commission_Agree: disagree
COLUMN: commission_agree_why
Too much money - it is known that there was cover ups in institutions - special police task force to be set up to deal with any complaints past and present - victims must contact police - the Royal Commission is needed to find out the extent of child sexual and physical abuse that is rampant in all sectors of the community today not 30 years ago.

First_Pref: lp
Commission_Agree: strongly_disagree
COLUMN: commission_agree_why
A Royal Commission may well uncover past behaviour but can hardly be expected to find ways to legislate against future abuses when the remedy is in the hands of the victims and available access to justice, which are matters of community attitude. I believe the Commission,though meant to seem caring, is a political act designed to place Abbott in an uncomfortable position.

First_Pref: lp
Commission_Agree: unsure
COLUMN: commission_agree_why
I believe that NSW & Victoria are already investigating child abuse and wonder whether Federal action at this time is just going to be overwhelming and rather than something, nothing will be achieved. I haven't read the proposal the government issued in the last few days and probably won't have time to do so in the next few but it seems like a huge undertaking without adequate prior discussion.

 

 

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Comments   

 
+1 #1 MrGeoff Thomas 2012-12-12 00:54
To me, the Catholic church seems strong on sympathy and apologies, and sometimes prepared to give cash compensation.
What is really absent is any vital determination to root out the abusers and expunge the problem.
Possibly the problem is too deep, too many high ranking have given in to temptation due to their vows forbidding marriage, - then they need to rigorously examine that and propose enforceable solutions that will work, not wring their hands and say sorry. Sorry, sorry doesn't cut it in this case because nothing follows.
 
 
0 #2 RE: Child Abuse Commission has overwhelming supportKathryn 2013-03-03 00:58
The Catholic Church has lost all credibility on a successful solution to its horrendous history of child sexual abuse within its ranks. When the notorious ex-priest paedophile, Gerald Francis Ridsdale, responsible (and charged) for the horrific sexual abuse of dozens and dozens of young children, was walking into court, who was there to support him? No less than his long-time mate, CARDINEL PELL! Did Pell think to walk to court with any of the victims of Ridsdale's abuse? No! His allegiance to Ridsdale says more about Pell and the Catholic Church's ongoing support of criminal priests than anything else. Pell should hang his head in shame but, instead, he is more concerned about strutting the world stage. As leader of the Catholic Church in Australia, he has a very very worrying history of sweeping things under the carpet.