Calling police key step in process

DEMAND: Bravehearts’ Leza Sullivan says services are in demand.
DEMAND: Bravehearts’ Leza Sullivan says services are in demand.

A CRIMINOLOGIST who works for child sexual assault counselling and support group Bravehearts said the parents in this matter had done everything right.

"Contacting the police in the first instance is incredibly important, Bravehearts research and policy development manager Carol Ronken said.

"We understand that it is difficult to investigate matters involving young children, however, officers in the Child Protection Investigation Units undergo extensive training in interviewing young children.

"These interviews are crucial as police cannot rely on the existence of physical evidence.

She said that in many cases there simply was no physical evidence.

"It is absolutely vital that investigations are thorough and that all procedures set in place by Queensland Police are strictly adhered to, especially in cases involving children," Ms Ronken said.

"Parents should know that they have rights to ask questions if they are unhappy with an outcome or a process."

Since the announcement of the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse, calls to Bravehearts help and support line have increased by almost 300%, according to the advocacy group's therapeutic services manager Leza Sullivan.

"This comes at a time when we are struggling to meet demand for frontline counselling services," Ms Sullivan said.

"But in response, the government has provided Bravehearts with short-term emergency support of $77,000 for three months to meet the sharp increase in demand placed on our services. This will result in three extra counsellors to meet demand in the short-term," she said.

Topics:  child rape police

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