Hagar Australia’s Patron, Rachel Griffiths, has welcomed today’s announcement by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop that the Australian Government will introduce new measures to prevent paedophiles from travelling overseas to abuse vulnerable children.
The announcement comes after the actor contacted Senator Derryn Hinch last year highlighting the need for stronger preventative measures and asking him to pursue this issue with the government.
“Hagar works in Asia directly supporting children who have been sexually abused, including by Australians, so we know all too well the deep trauma that this crime inflicts on extremely vulnerable children,” Ms Griffiths said.
“The power imbalance that is always present when sexual abuse occurs becomes even more pronounced when Westerners abuse children in developing countries because of the comparative wealth of the perpetrator and poverty of the victim. In many cases, this wealth is used to groom children and their families prior to the abuse.”
“Like most Australians, I find this sickening and it is particularly uncomfortable to know that Australian citizens are among the perpetrators of this terrible crime.”
“As our nation increasingly shines a light on the extent and impact of child sexual abuse in our own institutions, we must not forget that there are Australians who have abused children beyond our borders too.
“It is always a long journey to achieve some justice and rebuild a life after such deep trauma but this can be especially challenging in poor countries which lack the same support systems and whose legal systems are still developing.
“While we are yet to see the full details of what has been proposed, this is an important and welcome step forward,” said Ms Griffiths.
Contact: Jo Pride