Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has delivered an emotional apology to thousands of victims of child sexual abuse on behalf of the nation.
In a speech broadcast live around the country, Morrison (pictured above) broke down in tears, saying the trauma suffered by children who were abused in schools, churches and youth groups for decades had been “hiding in plain sight for too long”.
“Today, we finally acknowledge and confront the lost screams of our children,” Morrison told the Australian parliament. “We must be so humble to fall before those who were forsaken and beg to them our apology.”
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The national apology comes after a five-year inquiry into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, which uncovered thousands of instances of abuse “at a wide spectrum of institutions reaching back decades”, CNN says.
Hundreds of victims of institutional abuse gathered at Parliament House to watch the address.
“There are few moments where a hush comes over Capital Hill,” said the ABC’s Matthew Doran. “This apology has been one of them.”
One survivor of sexual abuse told the BBC: “For me it gave me a lot of comfort to hear [the apology]. At least we lived long enough to hear it.”
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