The national inquiry into child sex abuse will return to the Northern Territory to continue private hearings with people affected by child sexual abuse while they were in institutions.
The Royal Commission spent time in the territory this week meeting with members of the Stolen Generation who had suffered abuse in institutions when they were children.
Royal Commission CEO Janette Dines said: “Around 40 people attended the meetings which were an opportunity for people to speak with trained investigators in an informal setting where they could feel safe.
“The Royal Commission wants to make it easy for as many people as possible to tell their story, and be heard and believed,” Ms Dines said in a statement.
The commission was not due to be in the Northern Territory until next week but provided extra sessions to hear from members of the Stolen Generation after community lobbying, the ABC has reported.
Ms Dines said the Royal Commission would also hold private sessions in Darwin from October 15.
“This is a chance for any Territorian affected by child sexual abuse in an institution to tell a Royal Commissioner what happened to them.
“We’ve had a strong response from Territorians wanting to tell their story. People have different reasons for coming forward. Many people want the Royal Commission to know what happened to them as a child and the impact it has had on their lives,” Ms Dines said.
On Wednesday, October 16 the Chair of the Royal Commission, Justice Peter McClellan, will be meeting with support services in Darwin to talk about the Royal Commission’s work.
Ms Dines said the forum would focus on how community organisations can help their clients engage with the Royal Commission.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse said it would return to other parts of the Northern Territory for further private sessions in the future.
Anyone wishing to tell their story to the commission can find out more by visiting the website www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au