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Launch of guides for reporting on child sexual abuse

The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP
Media Release

Today the Attorney-General’s Department has released a series of guides produced by the University of Canberra that support responsible reporting on child sexual abuse and empower victims and survivors engaging with the media. 

The media has an important role to play in breaking the silence on child sexual abuse.

But reporting on child sexual abuse can be challenging for journalists and presenters. The guide for media released today promotes reporting that raises community awareness of child sexual abuse, promotes education, reduces stigma, and empowers victims and survivors.

The guide for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse recognises that while sharing experiences with the media can be empowering, encourage others to come forward, increase community awareness and generate legal and policy change, it can also generate further hurt and trauma.

To inform the guides the University of Canberra undertook comprehensive research, including a literature review and detailed analysis of media reporting on child sexual abuse.

The guides were informed by consultations with over 100 individuals, including victims and survivors, advocates, media professionals, and policy and research staff.

The Government thanks everyone who contributed to the development of the guides, including staff at the News and Media Research Centre at the University of Canberra, individuals who provided feedback, and the National Strategy Advisory Group on the National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse 2021-2030.

The guides complement work being done under the National Strategy to raise awareness about child sexual abuse and empower victims and survivors. 

Read the guides on the National Office for Child Safety website.

For support, call Bravehearts 1800 272 831; Blue Knot Foundation 1300 657 380; Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800; or visit the National Office for Child Safety website.