Advocacy

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Policy

Historically, the needs of the 5 million Australian adult survivors of childhood trauma and abuse have not been prioritised by governments. The establishment of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the extension of its term to the end of 2017 is a significant turning point in societal acknowledgement of the issue of child abuse and survivor needs. However, government and societal responses are not commensurate with the scale of the issue or need.

Blue Knot Foundation advocates systemically for innovations in policy and action to better meet the public health challenge of unresolved trauma. Due to resourcing constraints however Blue Knot Foundation is unable to conduct personal advocacy on behalf of individuals.

According to the World Health Organisation, "healthy public policy" puts health and equity on the agenda of policy-makers in all sectors, and at all levels. Healthy public policy aims to create supportive environments for people to live healthy lives, make healthy decisions, and enjoy a life-enhancing physical and social environment.

Blue Knot Foundation, in collaboration with the MHCC and other partners led a national strategy around trauma informed practice. Its Practice Guidelines for Treatment of Complex Trauma and Trauma Informed Care and Service Delivery have set the standards for trauma informed practice. Its education and training programs are building the capacity of many workplaces in trauma informed service delivery.

These initiatives are pivotal in promoting access to the trauma specific and trauma informed services across sectors, which are needed to facilitate pathways to recovery for survivors, their families and communities.

Despite substantive research around the public health burden of unresolved childhood trauma, this type of trauma is often not identified, acknowledged or appropriately addressed.  Some of Blue Knot Foundation’s advocacy of policy efforts include:
  • August 2015 ASCA convenes parliamentary briefing on Perspectives on Redress and Upcoming Report (by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse). To view the related document
  • ASCA presentation to public hearing around Redress and Civil Litigation Click here
  • ASCA adds its voice for certainty around funding for community mental health services. View pdf
  • Senator Penny Wright, Australian Greens' spokesperson for mental health thanking ASCA for assisting survivors of childhood trauma and abuse through a heartfelt speech delivered in Senate. To read full/watch full speech
  • March 2015 ASCA provided the following submission to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Consultation for Redress and Civil Litigation. Read ASCA's response
  • Feb 2015 ASCA and Pegasus Economics have released a report: The Cost of Unresolved Childhood Trauma and Abuse in Adults in Australia. The report highlights a strategy for addressing the structural budget deficit by addressing the public health issue of childhood trauma and abuse at its core. Read the report
  • As an active member of the Coalition for Protecting Australia’s Children, ASCA advocates for the needs of adult survivors of childhood trauma and abuse and a trauma informed approach to care. Click here to read the document guiding the development of second 3 year plan for Protecting Australia's Children.
  • ASCA provided the following response to: Consultation Paper on the Establishment of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. click here
  • ASCA responded to 10 year roadmap for National Mental Health Reform click here
  • July 2011 ASCA made the following submission to Senate Community Affairs’ Committee’s Inquiry into Commonwealth Funding and Administration of Mental Health Services
  • 2010 ASCA worked collaboratively with a number of key mental health organisations around a National Strategy to Trauma Informed Practice. Read the NS-TIC paper.
  • ASCA and MHCC produced a position paper on Traumatic Amnesia. Read the Traumatic amnesia paper.
  • Senator Helen Kroger highlights the work of ASCA and the needs of adult survivors in the Senate.
  • March 2009 ASCA submitted A Response to the Interim Report of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC) – A Healthier Future for all Australians from Adults Surviving Child Abuse To see ASCA’s response click here
  • Feb 2009 ASCA sent a letter to the consultation around the development of the fourth National Mental Health Plan to include provision for the needs of adult survivors. Click here to read ASCA's letter
  • Prof Freda Briggs and Dr Cathy Kezelman presented paper to ministers, MP's and advisors at a meeting convened by PACAN (Parliamentarians against Child Abuse and Neglect) on February 5th 2009. To read the draft presented by Prof Freda Briggs click here To read the draft presented by Dr. Cathy Kezelman click here
  • Campaigning for federal recognition of organised abuse: In response to the parliamentary inquiry into serious and organised crime, ASCA made a written submission on organised child sexual abuse and provided testimony to the Committee on the 8 June 2007.
  • Mandatory reporting laws in Western Australia: ASCA advocated for and influenced introduction of mandatory reporting laws March 2007
  • 2004, ASCA led the way in pushing for the abolition of Statute of Limitations in South Australia so survivors could report childhood abuse even if it occurred prior to 1982 (the previous cut-off date) to the police and seek justice through the courts.