Improving criminal justice responses to child sexual abuse

knowmore undertakes systemic advocacy to improve the criminal justice system’s response to child sexual abuse and to remove the barriers victims and survivors face in accessing justice. Our advocacy focuses on:

  • ensuring that the Royal Commission’s recommendations are fully implemented in all states and territories
  • challenging barriers within the criminal justice system that disproportionately affect survivors and particular groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people with disability.


An effective criminal justice response to child sexual abuse should provide access to justice for victims and survivors and hold to account those who commit, facilitate or conceal child sexual abuse. However, The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s Criminal justice report concluded that the criminal justice system is often ineffective in responding to child sexual abuse. The Royal Commission found that crimes involving child sexual abuse have lower reporting rates and result in fewer convictions. To address this, it made 85 recommendations to:

  • encourage reporting
  • improve police and prosecution responses
  • strengthen child sexual abuse offences
  • make it easier for victims and survivors to give their best evidence
  • improve court processes, timeframes and outcomes.

knowmore strongly supports the implementation of the Royal Commission’s criminal justice recommendations.