Tasmania Police is weighing up a historic apology to child-sex abuse victims in institutionalised care whose cries for help were initially not believed by officers.
Police forces across the country are considering the apology and Tasmania Police said it could follow suit, after the idea was put forward at a meeting between all commissioners of police in Melbourne in September.
It follows the Royal Commission into Institutionalised Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, during which it was revealed many claims of abuse in orphanages Australia-wide fell on deaf ears - and in some instances children who ran away from their ordeals were even returned to their abusers.
But victims will be made to wait until at least December, as police forces wait to hear what findings the Royal Commission will hand down.
The Care Leavers Australasia Network said children from across Tasmania were abused while in orphanages after failings by police, including at the Ashley Boys’s Home, near Deloraine; Weeroona Girls’s Home at Latrobe; and Wybra Hall, at Mangalore, in the state’s South.
CLAN chief executive Leonie Sheedy said she was still moved by a story of two teenage Tasmanian boys who fled abuse in the 1960s.
The pair, aged 14, were able to find a car and were absconding from an orphanage when they crashed and one of the boys died.
The story was told to her by the sister of the boy who died, years later.
Ms Sheedy asked why an apology wasn’t delivered sooner.
“It’s good they’re going to apologise, but why do (police forces) have to wait until December to see what the commission recommends?” She said.
In a statement on Tuesday, Tasmania Police said: “We were sympathetic to the issues raised and we intend to finalise discussions with Care Leavers Australasia on this once the Royal Commission has finalised its report.”
- This article was first published on The Advocate