13 September, 2016
A statement from Melinda Crole, Chief Executive Officer, YMCA Australia
The YMCAs of Australia apologise and express our sincere and deep regret to anyone who has experienced sexual abuse as a child in the care of the YMCA.
As a community organisation that has provided services for children and young people for over 160 years in Australia, we have a profound responsibility for the care and protection of the children and young people we serve. We know that in the past, some children experienced sexual abuse while in the care of the YMCA by the very people entrusted with their care and protection.
The YMCA considers any form of child sexual abuse to be intolerable and inexcusable.
We wish to say to anyone who has experienced sexual abuse at a YMCA program or service, or by a YMCA employee or volunteer – we are deeply sorry.
We acknowledge the long-term pain and suffering caused by child sexual abuse, not only for those directly affected but also for their partners and families – and for this suffering, too, we are deeply sorry.
We would like to encourage anyone who has experienced sexual abuse within the YMCA, no matter how long ago, to come forward to the YMCA, police, or the Royal Commission – wherever you feel most safe and comfortable.
If you choose to come forward and share your story, we are committed to listening to you, and working with you, with your confidentiality assured
While the YMCA supports a Federal Government Redress Scheme, we know that many survivors are seeking assistance today. So with all that has been learned through the Royal Commission about how to best support survivors, we have developed an approach to redress that is available to survivors of past abuse in the YMCA. We also understand that some people may not wish to come forward, and we respect your wishes, too.
If you would like to contact the office of YMCA Australia, please call 1800 981123 (9am-5pm Mon-Fri EST) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be assured that any communication with the YMCA will respect your right to privacy.
Alternatively, we also encourage you to contact the police and/or the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on 1800 099 340. Further information about the YMCA's approach to redress can be found at ymca.org.au\redress.
All YMCAs in Australia have a deep and abiding commitment to providing a safe and nurturing environment for children and young people and while we know we cannot erase the pain experienced by abuse in the past, YMCAs are doing everything in their power to ensure that children and young people are protected from harm, today and in the future.
Public Apology Video
Watch a video of the above apology from Melinda Crole, Chief Executive, YMCA Australia, here.