Posted By LAF Editor on February 2, 2014
Child sexual abuse statistics publicly available in the United States are far more comprehensive and meaningful than in Australia. Despite the scholarly interest in the relationship between non-traditional families and child sexual abuse, and regardless of the good evidence that family breakdown is a major risk factor, data published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) do not provide specific information about family structure, the identity of the perpetrators, and their relationship with the abused child.
The silence of the statistics regarding this crucial information should be corrected by the agencies responsible in the interests of transparency and informed discussion of child sexual abuse.
Despite family breakdown exposing children to greater risk of sexual abuse, the issue receives scant attention in this country. When the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) released a major report on child welfare in 2011 that detailed the studies and statistics demonstrating the links between family structure and child sexual abuse, the evidence was neither disputed nor acknowledged in the little public discussion that ensued; the report simply washed in and out of the public domain and left little trace on community attitudes.
Child sexual abuse is not fully and frankly discussed because the public discourse is self-censored by politicians, academics, social service organisations, and the media in compliance with politically correct attitudes towards ‘family diversity’—the socially ‘progressive’ and ‘non-judgmental’ fiction that says the traditional family is just one among many, and equally worthy, family forms.
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