Institutions must be held accountable for failing to protect children who have suffered institutional abuse whilst in their care.
If you have been a victim of institutional abuse, or any other form of abuse, we are here to help you seek compensation.
We know compensation can’t undo the trauma of child sexual abuse, and other forms of abuse, but it can help you with counselling, loss of income to assist you to make a new start in life. Holding institutions to account can also ensure they put the right procedures and safeguards in place so that children receive the protection they need going forward. We provide victims with sound legal advice and representation, to help them achieve the best possible outcome.
Since the commencement of the National Child Sexual Institutional Abuse Redress Scheme (the ‘Redress Scheme’), on 1 July 2018, survivors of historical child sexual abuse have been increasingly empowered to step forward, talk about their own suffering, and seek compensation (where previously they may have been unable or unwilling to do so).
However, despite an increase in the number of survivors taking this courageous step, we consider that those survivors will likely find the legal landscape in NSW (and wider Australia) remains complicated and unaccommodating.
In fact, it is challenging for some lawyers to navigate the relevant legislation and case law, and compensation options – which is why we encourage all victims to obtain personalised advice from lawyers with demonstrated experience in complex personal injury and abuse claims.
Here are some common questions raised by victims of historical institutional sexual abuse:
- What is institutional abuse?
Institutional abuse is a term used to cover abuse of children (either historically or recent) and includes physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
- What is a claim for institutional sexual abuse?
The claim is that an organisation, such as a school, church or children’s home, failed to protect the person from a risk of abuse.
- How can an institution be held responsible for the wrongful and criminal acts of a former employee or volunteer? (Vicarious liability)
- What is the National Child Sexual Abuse Redress Scheme?
- Can’t I just make a sexual abuse claim through the National Redress Scheme?
- Will I need to go to Court if I make a claim?
- Am I entitled to claim compensation in relation to crimes committed against me?
- What if I have not reported the abuse to police?
- Will my criminal or psychiatric history affect my ability to claim compensation?
- Should I report the abuse to my GP?
- Am I out of time to claim compensation?
- What is the Redress Scheme and how can it help me?
- Has the institution responsible for my abuse joined the Redress Scheme?
- How long will the Redress Scheme run?
- What is the process for applying for compensation under the Redress Scheme?
- What is the process for commencing court proceedings for damages at common law?
- Will my identity be protected if I step forward and commence court proceedings?
- What if I have already received a relatively small compensation payout and signed a binding Deed of Release?
- Why do I need a lawyer help me to obtain a compensation payout, award or settlement?
There are two avenues for seeking compensation for institutional sexual abuse. Either through the Redress Scheme, or by seeking legal advice about a bringing a common law claim. Here’s how we can help:
- We can advise you of your legal rights and entitlements in relation to historical institutional abuse (suffered by you, or a loved one).
- We can provide assistance in obtaining the advice and support necessary to get you through the claims process.
- We can advise you on the advantages and disadvantages of particular claim options which may be available to you.
- We will ensure that you follow the proper process to claim compensation, whether through application under the Redress Scheme, or by way of court proceedings.
- We will ensure that you are well aware of your rights and entitlements, including which of those may be exhausted, or extinguished, by taking particular steps in relation to your claim.
- We can act for you, on a no win, no fee basis* in relation to all of the above.
No child should experience abuse or be put at risk due to institutions breaching their duty of care. If you have suffered abuse, we recommend that you seek legal advice. Our team of expert lawyers would be pleased to meet with you to advise you about your options. You can either book an appointment online or call us on (02) 4050 0330 for an obligation-free consultation.
Our team of expert personal injury lawyers would be pleased to meet with you in a free consultation to discuss your potential claim and the limitation period that applies to you.
*“no win, no fee” is a special type of payment arrangement, granted on a case-by-case basis, whereby you are only required to pay our legal fees upon the successful resolution of your claim. Please contact us to find out more.