Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Apology pledge for SA child sex victims

The South Australian Government says it will make a formal apology to victims of child sexual abuse, as a result of the wide-reaching Mullighan inquiry.

The final report by the former Supreme Court judge Ted Mullighan has been tabled in State Parliament.

It has 54 recommendations, after the inquiry took evidence from nearly 800 victims of child sexual abuse.

Over 200 of the victims were in state care at the time.

More than 400 alleged offenders have been referred to police.

Premier Mike Rann says the Government will immediately give $2.4 million over three years towards prosecuting cases that have arisen from the inquiry, and will respond to the report's recommendations by mid-June.

"In my view every effort must be made to bring those who prey on children to justice, no matter who they are, no matter where they are, whether their crimes occurred last week, last year or decades ago," he said.

Mr Rann also praised the work of Commissioner Mullighan.

"It was his ability to gain the necessary trust of vulnerable people whose experience of authority, whatever form, had often been hostile, that made the inquiry such a success," he said.

"Without his ability to create that relationship of trust, witnesses simply would not have come forward."

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