New ACT Child Sexual Abuse Laws
On 1 September 2019, the ACT Government introduced new laws to improve the reporting of child abuse.
- Adults who reasonably believe that a sexual offence has been committed against a child must make a report to the police. Failure to make a report is an offence.
- Ministers of religion, religious leaders and members of the clergy of a church or religious denomination will be mandated, reporters. This means that along with other professionals working with children, these groups are mandated under law to report their concerns regarding physical or sexual abuse of a child to Child and Youth Protection Services. (The same mandatory reporting obligations apply irrespective of whether the information was disclosed in a religious confession).
- Information disclosed in a religious confession will need to be reported to the ACT Ombudsman under this Scheme if it relates to sexual abuse against a child, or non-accidental physical injury to a child.
Four important fact sheets on these new laws can be found at the following link
- Summary Factsheet
- Failure to report factsheet
- Mandatory Reporting obligations factsheet
- Reportable Conduct Scheme technical changes factsheet
For more information