Urgent calls for roll-out of sexual abuse redress scheme

Urgent calls for roll-out of sexual abuse redress scheme

The legal community, survivor groups and victims are urgently calling for the roll-out of a redress scheme which provides legitimate apologies and equal access to compensation for all victims of sexual abuse. In September 2015, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended that the Australian Government establish a national redress scheme for 60,000 abuse survivors. In lieu of establishing the recommended scheme, the Federal Government seeks to implement a national framework of consistent principles which would underpin redress schemes run by states and territories. Tabled in November 2013, the Family and Community Development Committee's Inquiry report entitled ?Betrayal of Trust' provides recommendations and findings to the Victorian Government regarding the handling of institutional child abuse. These recommendations and findings were supported by the Victorian Government in principal, with Government attention immediately directed towards critical recommendations of securing the safety of children. ?Betrayal of Trust' recommended the Government to consider an alternative avenue for survivors of institutional child abuse to bring claims of abuse against institutions, as opposed to bringing claims before the court. The Government's preliminary view is that the application process should be as simple as possible, with discussions to take place with the claimant to determine the goals and outcomes he/she seeks. The Victorian Government has committed to the implementation of a redress scheme, while remaining open to participating in a national redress scheme/cooperating with other Australian governments. It is proposed that any scheme the Government establishes will include both government and non-government institutions and organisations, and cover forms of institutional child abuse such as sexual abuse, physical abuse, psychological abuse, cultural abuse, and neglect. The establishment of a redress scheme is important in supporting victims to get their lives back on track. In addition to financial compensation, the Victorian Government consider redress through emotional support and apology to be critical. Currently, Adviceline Injury Lawyers assist many victims of abuse with claims against institutions and individuals for compensation. We also advise clients on Other entitlements and Sentencing Act compensation applications. A state redress scheme providing for compensation for victims of sexual abuse would offer an expedited, stream-lined path to compensation and remove some of the obstacles now encountered such as the time to issue court proceedings and difficulties in recovering compensation amounts from individuals.

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