The month of May was historic for victims of child sexual abuse with a number of high profile institutions - including the Catholic Church, and states South Australia and Tasmania pledging their commitment to join the national redress scheme.
Further, legal loophole - the'Ellis defence' has been addressed via legislation, meaning that survivors abused by representatives of unincorporated institutions can now make claims against the organisations associated with their abuse.
Both the legislative change and the increased commitment to the scheme is significant for victims. Particularly so for survivors who reported in the Royal Commission sexual abuse in a religious institution. Here it was found that 62% of these individuals were abused in a Catholic Church setting.
The National Redress Scheme is set to take effect from 1 July 2018, and will offer victims counselling, apologies from the responsible organisation and financial compensation.
The Catholic Church were the first non-government institution to opt-in to the scheme. It is hoped that further institutions, and the state of Western Australia - now the only state that hasn't opted into the scheme - will also elect to take part.
If you or someone you know is a victim of institutional sexual abuse, call Bree Knoester for a confidential conversation on (03) 9321 9879.