Skip to main content Skip to footer

Media Release

High Court decision in George Pell case

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

As a result of today’s decision in the High Court, we understand there will be many people, particularly victims of sexual abuse, feeling vulnerable and hurt.

Victims of Crime Commissioner Fiona McCormack said her immediate thoughts were with the victims – not just the victims involved in a particular case but all victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings.

“We respect the High Court’s decision, however it’s important to be aware high-profile cases of institutional child sexual abuse impact many people,” Ms McCormack said.

“I think of the long haul for all victims. I think of the courage it must have taken to stand up to the powerful, impenetrable, immovable and unrepentant institutions over so many years while still trying to survive the devastation of the sexual abuse.”

Ms McCormack said it’s important to recognise it’s not just sexual abuse that wounds people and robs them of their childhood and their trust. 

“It’s also the denial, the resistance and the lack of compassion for victims by those institutions that prevents them from healing and from moving forward,” she said.

“We need to acknowledge that there will be many people who will be feeling vulnerable today. This is further impacted by the isolation experienced during the COVID-19 restrictions. 

“I would ask any friends or family of victims to please reach out to those they believe may be feeling vulnerable, check on them by phone or email, and let them know they are not alone.”

Anyone feeling vulnerable is encouraged to reach out to their support network or contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. 

To contact our office, please visit our Contacts page.

Media contact:
Sarah Schwager, Senior Media and Communications Adviser
Phone: 0409 142 807; Email:

Quick exit