Vicki Dobrunz of Heartfelt House.
Vicki Dobrunz of Heartfelt House. Brenden Allen

Sentences for convicted predators are ‘sacrificing our kids’

THE DIRECTOR of an Alstonville-based service for victims of child sexual abuse is hopeful a NSW parliamentary inquiry into sentencing of child sexual assault offenders delivers tougher penalties.

For more than eight years, Heartfelt House executive director Vicki Dobrunz has helped heal the raw wounds of adult survivors of child sexual abuse.

She said as long as we had the current sentencing system for child sex offenders, we would "keep sacrificing our kids".

"The message these sentences are sending to the victims that come forward is that if you come forward and report an offender, we will still protect the offender," she said.

"We are not placing enough value on our children's lives with these sentences. The child victims of sexual abuse get a lifetime sentence."

Mrs Dobrunz said victims could suffer a lifetime of psychological and mental issues, massive trust issues, relationship issues and suicidal thoughts.

"Surely the justice system knows from other offenders that these people are likely to re-offend.

"Is it the fact that we can't afford to keep these offenders in jail?"

The parliamentary inquiry will examine whether current sentencing options are appropriate and effective.


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