Survivors of child sexual abuse are calling for changes to the National Redress Scheme, citing that the current scheme insensitively categorises survivors according to the nature of the conduct committed against them and the maximum payment of $150,000 is only offered to very few survivors.
Kirsty Osborne, Lawyer at Adviceline Injury Lawyers, says that given the state of the current redress scheme, civil claims often have the potential to achieve better outcomes for survivors.
"Many survivors are initially interested in applying for redress payments rather than taking civil action because they are nervous about the idea of going to court. This is entirely understandable as this process can be stressful, particularly when the subject matter is so sensitive," says Kirsty.
"However, the reality is, the majority of civil claims have the potential to reach out of court settlements, sometimes before commencing formal court proceedings."
Kirsty explains that bringing a civil claim happens in stages and lawyers who have experience working with survivors are skilled at providing information and support to their clients every step of the way. She further highlights that civil claims have greater potential to achieve comprehensive compensation for survivors.
"The reality is, no amount of money will ever be enough to repair the damage caused by child sexual abuse, but it is important for survivors to understand their legal rights and the different ways they can seek compensation for the harm suffered. Making a claim for a redress payment is only one option and with the current $150,000 cap, it isn't always the option that will achieve the best outcome for survivors."
If you or a loved one are a survivor of sexual abuse and would like free legal advice about your compensation options, contact Adviceline Injury Lawyers on (03) 9321 9988.