Child sexual abuse in Australian institutional contexts 2008–13: Findings from administrative data

Leah Bromfield, Craig Hirte, Olivia Octoman and Ilan Katz

August 2017

ISBN 978-1-925622-40-9

Executive Summary

Purpose

The purpose of this project was to:

  • identify the data holdings that currently exist on contemporary (within the past five years) incidents of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts in Australia
  • determine the accessibility of any such data for research purposes
  • identify what, if anything, the data reveals about the extent of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts in Australia.

Methods

The project comprised four stages:
  1. a literature review of the relevant Australian and international research and 'grey' literature (including previous commissions of inquiry into institutional abuse), focusing on the methodologies for using administrative data to estimate the extent of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts
  2. conceptual scoping and desktop analysis of promising data sources – including information provided to the Royal Commission by jurisdictions and institutions regarding data holdings
  3. phone-based consultations with data custodians regarding the relevance of their data holdings, specific fields of interest and challenges for data extraction
  4. issuing formal notices for data extraction, and data analysis to guide conclusions – to the extent the data allows – about the nature and extent of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts in Australia.