There is increase in issues relating g to the abuse of children in our societies. Due to this unfolding, the role of the government of Australia in formulating policies that will protect the child has also increased. Child abuse and its problems have a very great impact on all corners of the society including recreation and sporting activities. However, it was just recent that this government concern was translated into programs that are systematic and structured to help in alleviating this problem for the society. According to McIntosh (2002), a lot of articles and documents have been written regarding to neglect and child abuse and the actions that ought to be taken to stop this habit before it gets out of hand.
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The wood royal commission In NSW led to the sensitization of the community on how the issue of child sexual abuse has become rampant in the society. In addition to this, the need for coming up with a development and implementation strategy to make sure that the children are protected from situations that ay be abusive was highlighted. The children's protection is a responsibility that should be treated with the seriousness it deserves. The strategies put in place are geared towards ensuring that the children are protected and ensuring that child abuse is prevented and alleviated from the society (Holzer & Lamont, 2009).
Sexual Abuse among the Children in NSW
The strategies enacted will ensure that guidelines are enforced to present the children with a safe and an environment that is safe. In addition tot his; the community service providers are presented with essential risk management tools that can be beneficial in developing and organizing preventive strategies and how to manage the issues of child abuse effectively. Despite there being differences in the way matters are addressed in the eight different jurisdictions of Australia, the understanding of what child abuse is consistent in all the states (Cossins, 2000).
Child abuse has been divided into four main categories, sexual abuse, physical abuse emotional abuse and neglect. The police is bestowed with the mandated of ensuring that the rights of the children are respected. In addition to this, there are clear guidelines that have been put into place to ensure that any crime that is related to the abuse of children is adhered to when investigating them. Similarly to investigating, there are various procedures and steps that should be followed in bring the people who have committed these offences to justice.
The state and its territorial governments in Australia are liable to administer and carry out operations related to child protection. There are a number of legislatives that are present in each state and territory which are supposed to govern how these essential services are offered. In New South Wales, the children and young persons act of 1998 is employed in offering protection to the children. In addition to this, there are other acts that are considered relevant as far as child sexual abuse is concerned. These are Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Amendment (Parental Responsibility Contracts) Act 2006 (NSW), The Ombudsman Act 1974 (NSW), Commission for Children and Young People Act 1998 (NSW) and the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).
The legislations that have been enacted by New South Wales are structured in a way that the best interests of the children are put at heart and addressed by all the responsible institutions. The legislations ensures that matters concerning the children are given the serious address that they deserve, this is by involving the children and young persons to make decisions in matter that affect them. The children and the young people in Australian jurisdictions are supposed to be consulted when dealing with issues that will affect them in one way or the other (NSW police force. 2011).
Being a signatory to the United Nations, Australia embeds most of the conventions present in the UN conventions on the rights of a child of 1986 and majority of the principles present in this convention have been embedded within the Australian child protection legislation. In conjunction to the policy structures that depict the extent, nature and ways in which the services are offered within its boundaries are used to decide on how the legislative processes are to be carried out. In a study carried out by NSW Police Force. (2011), it was found out that the legislative procedures reflected highly on the goals and services that the government works towards to in offering its services. Similar to these studies, other studies found out that the services offered by different Australian states differed greatly in relation to the needs of the different states. Despite these differences, legislation in all the states possessed similar principle guidelines on how the services were being administered (McIntosh, 2002).
In case of a child being sexually abused, the New South Wales states requires legal mandatory reporting to be made. The state has enlisted a list of people who occupy specific positions who are supposed to make these reports to the respective authorities (Parkinson, 2003). Counselors, court personnel and mediators are required by the legislation to make report reports and allegations of child abuse to licensed child care providers and family courts. As of the 1st of January, 2009, the legislation that was concerned with ensuring that mandatory child abuse was reported in community and children services was amended into the children and community act of 2004. This ensured that the personnel who were authorized to make any possible reports regarding children sexual abuse was extended to include nurses, teachers, doctors, police officers and midwives. It was believed that this group of people was at a better position of knowing whether a child has been or is being subjected to sexual abuse (Swain & Rice, 2009).
According to a study by Holzer & Lamont (2009) it was noted that child sexual abuse was not distributed randomly in the society. Most of the reports that had been made regarding sexually abused children were amongst those children from families that are deprived and whose backgrounds are said to be disorganized. Dysfunctions in marital status as identified by Cossins (2000) indicated cases where divorce and various cases in domestic violence have been associated with high instances of sexual child abuse cases. In addition to this cases of intrafamiilal and extrafamilial perpetrations have been seen as playing a part in the increase of child abuse sexually. Similarly, the relationship between the child and the parent matters a lot.
A poor relationship and attachment can increase sexual abuse cases among children. When children are exposed to one form of abuse, the likelihood of the same children suffering and being exposed to the other abuses is very high. However this does not imply that a child who is emotionally disturbed or abused may end up suffering sexually. The state is owed with providing security and safety to children who have suffered sexually. In this relation, there are two specific classes of policies that are aimed at reducing and stopping cases associated with child sexual abuse (Swain & Rice, 2009). The two are provision of referral services to clients to support them in pursuing for justice and using statutory guidelines and responses in supporting the already existing frameworks.