The royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse commences hearings on April 3.
The commissioners and those who work with them are going to hear some extremely distressing stories of abuse. Some will be gut-wrenching. Some will produce feelings of revulsion and disgust. Some, even though true, will be hard to believe.
People who work in the area of child sex abuse know how distressing these stories can be. It is recognised that professionals who listen to and help victims of child sexual abuse are at risk of themselves suffering from compassion fatigue, a form of significant psychological distress including recurrent, intrusive recollections of what the abuse victim has related to them.