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Police squad to investigate child sex crimes in Peel region over fears abuse is rife

WA Police Minister Michelle Roberts will ask the state's police commissioner to send a squad of detectives to the south west after the death of a 11-year-old girl prompted fears a group of child abusers were operating in the region. Annaliesse Ugle, who has been named with her family's permission, took her own life earlier this week after her alleged abuser was released on bail. Peter Humes, the man in his 60s who is alleged to have abused her between 2014 and 2020, faces 11 charges of indecent dealing and sexual penetration of a child under 13-years-old. He is the second Aboriginal man in the state's Peel region, about 100 kilometres south of Perth, to face serious child sex accusations. On...

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Dire Federal Circuit Court backlogs prove family court merger a risk to families, judges

A bill to collapse the specialist Family Court into the generalist Federal Circuit Court (FCC) must not proceed, amid revelations the FCC is facing severe backlogs of more than a year’s worth of migration and family law cases. The FCC’s Annual Report, released on Friday, reveals stark concerns that the FCC is simply unable to cope with its increasing workload, putting vulnerable children, Australian families and Judges at significant risk. The FCC’s pending migration law caseload spiked by 58 percent, up from 7,674 applications in 2017–18 to 12,158 applications in 2019-20. If current filing rates continue, the Report concludes that without further resources the pending migration caseload will overtake the pending family law caseload in less than two years. The FCC...

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Girl, 11, kills herself after man accused of raping her was set free on bail - as her distraught family say the system 'let her down'

Year six student takes her own life weeks after her sex abuser was granted bail The tragedy has sent shock waves through Western Australia's legal system  The girl's distraught mother said the police and the courts 'let her baby down' The case reignites concerns over lack of support for Aboriginal victims of crime An 11-year-old girl has taken her own life just weeks after the man accused of brutally raping her was freed on bail.    The Year 6 student was airlifted to Perth Children's Hospital from a rural community on Monday and died from her self-inflicted injuries the following day.   Her alleged abuser was arrested in September and charged with sexual penetration of a child under 13 and indecent dealings with a...

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Advocates fear Indigenous kids are losing connections to their culture

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are around 9.7 times more likely to be in out-of-home care than non-Indigenous kids  Indigenous groups are concerned by new research that shows an increasing number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care are being placed away from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and carers. A report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) found the rate of Indigenous kids in out-of-home care (OOHC) living with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers has fallen over the past two years, from 47.9 per cent to 43.4 per cent.  The overall number of Indigenous children in OOHC has increased from 15,500 to 18,000, while the OOHC rate per 1,000 Indigenous...

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Abusers in the ranks

Police are too often failing to take action against cops who commit domestic violence, fuelling a culture of impunity in forces across the country and putting victims at risk, an ABC News investigation has found. Domestic violence workers say they come in “waves” — women who, three or four at a time, step forward for help escaping a special class of abuser experts deem particularly high risk: police officers. Often they’ll call from out of town. A woman living in a rural community in one of Australia’s eastern states recently got in touch with a domestic violence service in a busy city, hundreds of kilometres away. She told support workers her husband — a cop with specialist training and connections...

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