If you have experienced institutional child sexual abuse you can now apply for compensation, counselling and/or a direct apology (such as an apology from the responsible institution if you wish) as part of the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (“the Scheme”).
All state and territory governments, including the South Australian Government, have signed up to participate in the Scheme. The Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Scouts Australia, Salvation Army, YMCA and Uniting Church have also committed to joining the Scheme.
South Australian applications relating to organisations and non-government institutions which operated in South Australia are now being considered.
South Australian applications relating to government institutions will be considered from 1 February 2019. From 1 July 2018, you will have 10 years (until 30 June 2027) to apply for the Scheme.
The compensation offered under the Scheme will range from less than $10,000 up to a maximum of $150,000.
You can apply for the Scheme if:
- You experienced sexual abuse as a child; and
- The abuse happened before 1 July 2018; and
- An institution was responsible for bringing you into contact with the person who abused you; and
- You were born before 10 June 2010 you are an Australian citizenship or permanent resident.
You cannot apply for the Scheme (except for in exceptional circumstances) if you are currently in prison, a youth training centre, remand or a community correction centre. You cannot access redress if you have already received a court ordered payment for the sexual abuse you suffered from the institution.
You can apply for the Scheme even if you have previously received compensation under a State Government scheme or through a private settlement. Any compensation that you have previously received will be taken into account and deducted from any compensation available to you under the Scheme.
We encourage you to speak to us about whether the Scheme is the right option for you, or if you have any other options available.
Further information about the Scheme is available at https://www.nationalredress.gov.au and https://www.agd.sa.gov.au/projects-and-consultations/national-redress-scheme.
There are some organisations set up to provide free legal assistance as part of the Scheme or you may contact us to enquire about what assistance we may be able to provide you with.
We encourage you to obtain independent legal advice before you accept any money offered to you under the Scheme.
The matters set out in this article are general in nature and cannot be relied upon as legal advice. If you would like to discuss any legal matters relating to the Scheme or any other related matter you are invited to contact Leonora Herweijer or Emily Rutherford from the Camatta Lempens civil litigation team on (08) 8410 0211.