Sanctions for failure to join National Redress Scheme welcomed

Blue Knot Foundation welcomes the legislation being introduced to parliament to strip charities not signing up to National Redress Scheme of their charity status, said Dr Cathy Kezelman AM in response to the Federal Government’s legislation to strip organisations which do not sign up to the National Redress Scheme of their charitable status.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse shocked the nation as it highlighted the systemic failures of thousands of our mainstream institutions. To have 80 institutions abrogating their moral and human responsibility for the often irreparable harm caused to child under their watch is indefensible.

It is impossible to reconcile religious or community groups purporting to do good works while at the same time presiding over a complete lack of accountability or responsibility for lives lost and decimated.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses is but one of these recalcitrant institutions; but the scale of the crimes within, with allegations involving 1800 children and 1000 perpetrators, squarely places it front and centre as one whose active intransigence is reprehensible. The government is to be commended for its strong stance.

Every child who is sexually abused is one child too many. Every survivor living with the long-term impacts of trauma and abuse is one person too many. It is time for zero tolerance to the systemic ducking and weaving and abject moral decay institutions failing to join the scheme perpetuate.


About Dr Cathy Kezelman AM

Dr Kezelman AM is a medical practitioner, mental health consumer advocate and President of Blue Knot Foundation National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma. She worked in medical practice for 20 years, mostly as a GP. Under her stewardship Blue Knot Foundation has grown from a peer support organisation to a national centre of excellence combining a prominent consumer voice with that of researchers, academics and clinicians advocating for socio-political trauma-informed change and informed responsiveness to complex trauma. Dr Kezelman was awarded an AM “for significant service to community health as a supporter and advocate for survivors of child abuse” in 2015.

About Blue Knot Foundation

Blue Knot Foundation is Australia’s National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma, empowering recovery and building resilience for the more than five million adult Australians (1 in 4) with a lived experience of complex trauma, including childhood trauma and abuse, their families and communities. The organisation played a pivotal role supporting the work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, in advocating for fair and equitable redress, and now in supporting people applying for redress, as well as engaging with the Disability Royal Commission.

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