Recent media reports confirm that a National Redress scheme for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse will soon be up and running. The establishment of the Scheme was recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Subject to the passage of legislation, the Scheme will start on 1 July 2018, and will run for 10 years. The scheme is designed so that relevant organisations can make amends for sexual abuse that happened to children they were caring for. The scheme will be funded by governments and non government institutions. So far, the Commonwealth Government, the governments of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory have all committed to join the Scheme. As well as private institutions including the Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Salvation Army, Boy Scouts and the YMCA.
The Redress Scheme will provide to victim’s access to psychological counselling; if desired a direct personal response such as an apology from the responsible institution; and a monetary payment. Payments will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, reflecting the severity and impact of the abuse experienced with a maximum payment of $150,000. The National Redress Scheme will be an alternative to seeking compensation through the courts.
However, victims will still be able to obtain justice via the court, either one or the other, but not both. To qualify for the scheme the person will have to have experienced sexual abuse; experienced the abuse in an institution that is part of the scheme; and have experienced the abuse when under the age of 18.
If you need further information regarding compensation call Geoff Yeo at Peacockes Solicitors on 0448 673 924.