A growing number of children are using social media and mobile friendly websites to come forward with complaints of sexual abuse, the Royal Commission has been told.
One of the country’s largest sexual assault services told the commission’s ongoing examination of child sex abuse on Wednesday that it was receiving a large number of reports from children through its anonymous mobile-friendly website and its Facebook page.
“Some of them have reported very serious interfamilial assaults that I don’t think they have ever reported anywhere else,” the manager of the South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence, Carolyn Worth, said.
Website for South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence.
“Those sorts of approaches through social media are the ones they make comfortably,” she said. “Some of them actually will put a phone number saying, ‘I would like to be contacted’.”
Ms Worth said information from the anonymous reporting site was also being used to arrest sex offenders.
“We now have a system with the police where we pass that anonymous information … to intelligence officers in most states and territories,” she said.
“They then put the mode of operation, basically who offended against them, into their database. About two months ago, they actually arrested somebody by having added two reports that we sent them to some other information they had.”
– Paul Bibby