YMCA in Australia takes strong stand against child sexual abuse

Date: 04 October 2016

The YMCA has a deep and abiding commitment to providing a safe and nurturing environment for children and young people.  

It is from this foundation the YMCA in Australia has announced details of its Redress Scheme as a tangible demonstration of its sincere and deep apology to any past victims of child abuse at a YMCA in Australia. The World YMCA fully supports this Redress Scheme and affirms the global YMCA Movement’s commitment to safe spaces for all.

“The YMCA considers all forms of child abuse to be intolerable and inexcusable under any circumstances. We recognise the lifelong impact that child sexual abuse has on the health and wellbeing of individuals, their families, and communities – and we want to prevent it from happening, so that all children and young people can reach their full potential,” said Melinda Crole, Interim Chief Executive YMCA Australia.

Ms Crole said the YMCA’s commitment to institute a National Redress Policy was based on the organisation’s long-held values of respect for the dignity and intrinsic worth of all people, and of justice for all people, as well as its increased awareness and knowledge of the issue and its impacts.

“We are so sorry for the hurt caused, and while we know we can never truly make up for the past, we sincerely hope redress will provide survivors with a pathway towards healing.”

Measures taken by the YMCA in Australia to ensure abuse never happened again included training 24,000 staff and volunteers in safeguarding children and young people over the past nine years; including 6296 since June 2015, introducing a new National Child Protection Policy in 2015, and externally auditing compliance with this policy right across Australia by the Australian Childhood Foundation.

“We know we cannot erase the pain experienced by abuse in the past, however we are doing everything in our power to ensure that children and young people at the YMCA are protected from harm, today and in the future,” said Ms Crole.