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This article examines how treating historic abuse inquiry testimonies as retrospective assertions of rights can help to shed light on how this abuse was able to occur and how memories are recalled in an inquiry environment. It presents its approach as a possible framework for other historians seeking to analyse testimonies with sensitivity. It uses, as an example, a case study from the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse concerning two interrelated “homes” for girls, showing the ways in which abuse survivors can use their testimonies to assert rights denied them in the past and further the goals of public inquiries.


School of Arts

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Journal Article

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