The Supreme Court's decision to uphold Cardinal George Pell's conviction for child sexual abuse tells survivors they can achieve justice, the head of the region's sexual assault support service says.
Loddon Campaspe Centre Against Sexual Assault chief executive officer Kate Wright's comments came after the Supreme Court dismissed Pell's appeal in a 2-1 majority ruling on Wednesday.
Read more: George Pell loses sexual abuse appeal
Pell was convicted in December of one charge of sexual penetration of a child under 16 and four counts of indecent assault with or in the presence of a child under 16, for his offending against two 13-year-old choirboys in the 1990s.
"I think that this is actually reinforcing for [victims], that they will be believed and justice can be achieved through our criminal system," Ms Wright said of the Supreme Court's decision.
In delivering the decision, Chief Justice Anne Ferguson said Pell's surviving victim - who gave evidence in the trial - "came across as someone who was telling the truth".
But Ms Wright said the attention surrounding the case could also cause distress to victims.
"I believe the publicity and having a man of such high profile... also creates quite a bit of distress for people as well," she said.
By Wednesday afternoon, Loddon Campaspe CASA had already received some calls from people for whom the news caused distress.
CASAs across the state experienced a surge in calls after the news of Pell's conviction broke in February and his sentencing the following month, but Ms Wright said she did not know if it would see the same spike this time around, although it would monitor the number of contacts it received.
She said services existed to help the survivors of such abuse, such as CASA and the Sexual Assault Crisis Line (for details of support services, please see end of story).
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse showed people believed what had happened to children, Ms Wright said, and agencies were funded to respond to the issue.
"[Survivors] can seek support and know they will be believed," she said.
Ms Wright said it was important the community did not focus on Pell's career and profile, but the fact he had a conviction for child sexual abuse that came about as a result of a police investigation, and two Supreme Court justices had now upheld.
Pell will spend at least three years and eight months in prison, of a total sentence of six years.
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