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Victim’s advocate labels national apology ‘tokenistic’

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Survivors of institutional child sexual abuse have shed tears of relief as the Prime Minister delivered a national apology.

A sombre mood fell over the Great Hall in Parliament House, as Scott Morrison uttered the words, “I’m sorry”.

After decades of feeling shamed and silenced, abuse survivors feared this day would never come.

But victim’s advocate Howard Brown says the apology is “tokenistic”.

“I just can’t see that this apology is actually going to secure anything,” he tells Ben Fordham.

“We are still in a situation where only one in three kids who are at serious risk of harm even receive a face-to-face assessment from Family and Community Services, and I can’t see the apology changing that.

“I should say there are some people for whom the apology is absolutely necessary.

“It’s fantastic for them, but unfortunately it only represents a small percentage of people.”

Mr Brown says the legal system needs to be redirected to ensure offenders are prosecuted to “the full extent of the law”.

“And that the victims are actually adequately supported in that process.”

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