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NFPs call for tax exemption status to be stripped from child sex abuse institutions

In the lead up to the Prime Minister’s national apology for institutional child sexual abuse survivors, community groups have called for the government to strip the charity tax exemptions from institutions

Community groups have called for the government to remove charity tax exemptions from institutions behind the decades of child sexual abuse.

Care Leavers Australia CEO, Leonie Sheedy, said the institutions that are still deciding whether to opt into the national redress scheme for victims should have their charity tax status removed, adding she has never healed from being abused.

“You can learn to live with it, but it never goes away. It will be with me and all care leavers until the day they put that lid on the coffin,” she told the ABC.

Hundreds of survivors will head to Canberra on Monday where Prime Minister Scott Morrison will say they have been believed and institutions failed them.  A museum and national research centre will also be announced as part of the apology.

The government has committed to reporting every year for the next five years on the progress of the royal commission’s recommendations.

Bravehearts Founder, Hetty Johnson, said survivors made it clear that they wanted the commission recommendations fully implemented.

“There is a lot of anger in the community,” she told Sky News.

“They’ve made it clear they want these recommendations implemented as they were intended and it’s yet to see whether the government will actually do that.”

The government has accepted 104 of the 122 recommendations handed down by the royal commission, with the other 18 being closely examined in consultation with states and territories.

Morrison’s apology in parliament will be followed by an address from Opposition Leader Bill Shorten before the House of Representatives is adjourned.

Senior Labor frontbencher, Tony Burke, said no one can underestimate what the apology would mean to victims.

“The tone of the day will be quite different to what a normal parliamentary day will be – and it needs to be,” Burke told ABC Radio.

“People have been waiting so long to hear those words: ‘we believe you’.”

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