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Oral Submissions by The Salvation Army to the Royal Commission

23 June 2014

The Salvation Army has co-operated openly and transparently with the Royal Commission. The Salvation Army is committed to continuously reviewing and improving its current claims processing framework to ensure a fair and equitable system is available to all survivors.

Number of Claims against The Salvation Army:

The Salvation Army in no way seeks to diminish the number of claims made, but has highlighted the number of claims against the total number of children in the homes, in order to assist and provide a context to the overall and vast evidence submitted to the Royal Commission.

At all times, The Salvation Army has said all of these claims are deeply disturbing and none of the instances of abuse should ever have occurred. One claim of abuse is too many.

The Salvation Army acknowledges that others may never have reported their abuse as they may not be willing, able or comfortable to speak up.

The Salvation Army's 'Restorative Justice' Framework:

As an organisation, The Salvation Army has embraced a 'restorative justice' framework when working with survivors to respond to claims of sexual abuse.

This restorative framework is voluntary for survivors to participate in, is intended as a non-legalistic path to ensure survivors are able to safely speak of their experience, receive an unconditional apology, and where appropriate, The Salvation Army provides adequate financial and other assistance to help them find healing.

If a survivor does not wish to participate in the restorative justice approach, they are of course free to seek to pursue a civil claim against The Salvation Army.

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The Salvation Army acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters throughout Australia. We pay our respect to Elders and acknowledge their continuing relationship to this land and the ongoing living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia.

The Salvation Army is a child safe organisation that is committed to ensuring the wellbeing of children and young people, and protecting them from harm.

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