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World News

Australia Royal Commission: More than 1,000 claims of child abuse against Anglican clergy

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The commission released the data revealing the scale of abuse within the Australian Anglican church on Friday.

The complaints were made to 22 of Australia's 23 dioceses. 74 per cent of complaints involved child sexual abuse alleged to have taken place between 1950 and 1989.

The data also showed that 75 per cent of the complainants were male and 25 per cent were female and the average age at the time of the alleged abuse was eleven years old.

The data also showed that those lodging a complaint waited an average of 29 years to come forward.

The alleged abuse took place at the hands of 247ordained clergy and 285 lay people. 94 per cent of the accused were male.

Anglican Church diocese made a total payment of nearly AUS$31 million (£19.2 million) to abuse survivors over the last 35 years including compensation, treatment and legal costs.

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Hon Justice Peter McClellan AM and Justice Jennifer Coate hear proceedings at the commission yesterday 

The general secretary of the Australian general synod, Anne Hywood, said in a statement to the royal commission on Friday: "We have witnessed firsthand the suffering of those who have shared their stories.

"We have seen in their faces and heard in their voices not only the pain of the abuse they suffered as a child, but the further damage we inflicted when they came forward as adults, seeking justice and comfort, and we pushed them aside."

She went on to issue an apology to survivors.

"We apologise for the shameful way we actively worked against and discouraged those who came to us and reported abuse."

"We are ashamed to acknowledge that we only took notice when the survivors of abuse became a threat to us."

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is a royal commission established in 2013 by the Australian government to investigate the history of abuse in educational and religious institutions.

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