Royal Commission Into Child Abuse
In 2013 the Australian Government established a Royal commission to investi- gate and report on institutional child sexual abuse. Many of us have been saddened and distressed by what the commission has revealed especially the many revelations uncovered in long trusted faith based organisa- tions.
A Royal Commission has the power to inquire into an issue of national concern, report and make recommendations to government and refer offenders if needed to the police. As of September last year the commission has referred more than 1659 matters to police for further investigation, has taken over 43,000 phone calls, letters and emails, and has held more than 4,700 private ses- sion with victims of abuse. The commission estimates that there are 100,000 victims in Australia who may be eligible for child abuse compensation.
The commission has recommended that the federal government establish a national redress scheme to compensate victims of abuse. In response the federal government announced that it will set up such a scheme to give people who suffered abuse whilst in the care of private or public institutions access to compensation and professional support.
It is anticipated that the redress scheme will commence in 2018. Importantly survivors need to know that they do not need to wait for the redress scheme to obtain compensa- tion and professional support. A survivor can now seek compensation and support directly from the offending institution and thus should seek legal advice regarding their options as soon as possible.
For confidential and sensitive advice on this or any legal issue Geoff Yeo of Peacockes Solicitors is available to assist with your queries.