620 cases of abuse reported in Australian state26 September 2012
Catholic leaders in Victoria, south-eastern Australia, have acknowledged that in the past 16 years, the Church has upheld about 620 cases of criminal child abuse in the state. Most cases relate to incidents that occurred between 30 and 80 years ago.
The acknowledgement came in Facing the Truth, the Church's submission to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Non-Government Organisations.
Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne said the submission included statistics showing that since the Melbourne Response and Towards Healing - the two church protocols for dealing with abuse claims - were introduced in the mid-1990s, "the incidence of abuse has fallen dramatically from the appalling numbers in the 1960s and 1970s", but there was still work to be done.
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