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The Salvation Army responds to recent media criticism

31 May 2014

Following comments made as part of the ABC Radio programme Background Briefing on Sunday, 26 May 2014, The Salvation Army makes the following statement.

The Salvation Army sincerely apologises to the survivors of abuse, their families, and the Australian community. The Salvation Army acknowledges that every instance of abuse inflicted on children in our care was a failure of the greatest magnitude. Our concern for the survivors remains our number one priority.

The Salvation Army remains committed to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and looks forward to receiving its recommendations and findings in due course.

The Salvation Army is committed to being open and transparent with the Australian public, but at no time will The Salvation Army jeopardise specific investigations which are currently ongoing. It is therefore improper for The Salvation Army to make comment to the media about specific cases which are being investigated by the Royal Commission. Further, with regard to cases referred by the Royal Commission to the police, it would be improper for The Salvation Army to make comment until these cases have run their course through the judicial system.

The Salvation Army remains committed to improving and strengthening its systems and procedures with regard to the survivors of abuse. The Salvation Army has a ‘zero tolerance’ policy when it comes to abuse of any kind, and reaffirms its commitment that the care and protection of the most vulnerable in the community, particularly children is our highest priority.

Finally, The Salvation Army confirms that no funds donated by the Australian public to the Red Shield Appeal are used for the purposes of legal costs or compassionate grants to the survivors of abuse and will be subject to an independent external audit.

Mr Roger Corbett, Chairman of The Salvation Army Eastern Territory Advisory Board, said he has spent a lot of time seeking to understand the situation and The Salvation Army and affirmed his absolute support for Commissioner James Condon in moving forward.

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The Salvation Army acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.

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