Welcome to what feels distinctly like a wintery July. Our question this week looks at important questions the nation’s child abuse scandal will raise, and what duties and responsibilities the government may have in the wake of whatever findings  may come to light once the independent inquiry completes its work.

Whilst institutional responses to child abuse allegations will once again be under the spotlight, as they have been previously many times in the countless reports written on the subject prior to the Inquiry’s inception, it is likely that other more fundamental questions about social, political and religious culture will also need to be addressed.

In Australia, their own inquiry into child sexual abuse has begun to shed light on how religious movements turned a blind eye to abuse, simply because it is not considered to be abuse in itself. At home, political culture has ensured that sexual abuse of children continues to be down played in various quarters, especially where it might jeapordise high profile officials and government business. 

Our question this week then is just this: can the inquiry make real headway without tackling cultural norms in society at every level or is there another way to untangle the very old and deeply knotted ropes which bind abuse and society on a daily basis?