Recent Developments in the Sexual Abuse Redress Schemes

A recent announcement by the Federal Government of a National Redress Scheme has been a welcome response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The scheme will be introduced in July 2018 and provides for compensation of up to $150,000, psychological counselling and a personal response from the institution for survivors of abuse.

The Victorian Catholic Church has also announced a change to its redress scheme which will also see an increase of the maximum amount payable to $150,000.

While these are a welcome change the national scheme will be an ‘opt in’ scheme meaning that claims will not be able to be made against any institutions who do not wish to contribute to the scheme. The Commonwealth government may as a last resort provide funds for institutions that do not have the capacity to contribute or no longer exist.

The maximum compensation payable will be grossly inadequate for many claims but for those who do not wish to participate in the litigation process or wish to claim against an institution that no longer exists the scheme will provide a means of obtaining some recognition of the devastating effects of the abuse on the survivors.

If you would like further information about your eligibility to claim for an injury suffered in as a result of sexual abuse contact Nick Mazzeo or Wendy Kleyn on (03) 9670 5999 for advice.