The Perversity of Child Sexual Abuse

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Organised by:

Jan McGregor Hepburn

12 August 2023

Time: 09:45 - 16:00

Price: A$75 – A$100


The Wheeler Centre
176 Little Lonsdale Street

VIC 3000

Map of address



Anne Manne, Frances Thomson Salo, and Jan McGregor Hepburn

Why does it happen? How does it happen? What are the consequences? And why are abusers so often protected by those around them?

In this important day seminar, three experienced speakers will come together to discuss the implications of child sexual abuse. The day will be of interest not only to clinicians working in the field but to survivors and concerned citizens.

Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA), the dark side of the human condition, is widely known about and yet consistently disavowed in all cultures and levels of society. More recently, an awareness of the grave harm this has caused has received global publicity.

Survivors are stigmatised; while we know that some perpetrators have themselves suffered abuse, we also recognise that most survivors will not go on to offend or become perpetrators.

The myth that most CSA victims will go on to offend themselves causes great harm to survivors, in addition to the abuse they suffered, adding to their reluctance to coming forward.

We know that a great number of mental health conditions in adulthood have CSA at their roots, and that shame and embarrassment, rather than belonging to the perpetrator, can be lodged in the victim; effectively silencing them. The Australian Royal Commission found, for example, that it can take an average of 33 years for a survivor to come forward.

While the ubiquity of CSA and recent publicity has resulted in the start of a global discourse – much more needs to be done.

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