PRIME Minister Scott Morrison has delivered a national apology to thousands of child sexual abuse victims.
Hundreds of survivors were in Canberra for the apology on Monday.
Mr Morrison told the survivors they have been believed and institutions failed them.
He said Australia must acknowledge the long and painful journey of sexually abused children and say sorry.
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"Today, Australia confronts a trauma, an abomination, hiding in plain sight for far too long," Mr Morrison said.
"To the whistleblowers, who we did not listen to, sorry. To the spouses, partners, wives, husbands, children, who have dealt with the consequences of the abuse, cover-ups and obstruction, sorry. To generations past and present, sorry.”
To the victims, he said: “I believe you, we believe you, your country believes you.”
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten also told the victims they were now heard and believed.
“Australia failed tens of thousands of children across generations and across the country,’’ he said.
“Our nation let you down. Today we offer you our nation's apology, with humility, honesty, and hope for healing.”
As part of his speech, Mr Morrison announced a national museum will aim to raise awareness and understanding of the effects of child sexual abuse, displaying the history so the nation does not forget the untold horrors they experienced.
A research centre will look to raise awareness and understanding of the impacts of child sexual abuse, support help seeking and guide best practice for training and other services.
The apology follows the release of last year's report by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The government will also commit to reporting every year for the next five years on the progress of the royal commission's recommendations.