Betrayal of Trust: Factsheet – The new ‘failure to disclose’ offence

The Department of Justice has released the Betrayal of Trust fact sheet on the new offence of failing to disclose child sexual abuse to police, which came into operation on 27 October 2014. The fact sheet provides important information about this new criminal offence that imposes a clear duty upon adults to report information about child sexual abuse to police, including what constitutes a reasonable belief, defining a reasonable excuse for not disclosing the information and further exemptions to the offence. You can access the fact sheet on the Department of Justice website here.

The other new criminal offence for failing to protect a child under the age of 16 from criminal sexual abuse will come into effect on 1 July 2015. The offence will apply where there is a substantial risk that a child under the care, supervision or authority of an organisation will become a victim of a sexual offence by an adult associated with that organisation. The person in a position of authority will be guilty if they knew of the risk of abuse and had the authority to reduce or remove the risk, but negligently failed to do so. A fact sheet about the failure to protect offence is also attached.

Please distribute this information to your staff.

For further information on the implementation of Betrayal of Trust, access the Department of Justice Betrayal of Trust Implementation page for information about further work in this area.

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