After several years of investigations, the extent of child abuse within the Australian Catholic Church is now being revealed.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, was told that around 4,444 people claim to have been victims of abuse between 1980 and 2015.
The royal commission is investigating physical and sexual abuse within institutions like schools, sports clubs, and religious organizations.
According to Gail Furness, the lead lawyer assisting the commission in Sydney, more than 1,000 Catholic institutions have been identified, as well as 1,880 alleged perpetrators.
Furness stated that 60% of all survivors were from faith-based organizations, two-thirds of whom were from the Catholic Church. Children who came forward after being abused were ignored or punished and were not properly investigated.
Over the next few weeks, several senior Australian Catholics will be testifying. The commission’s final report is due by the end of this year.