Shine Lawyers has represented more than 50 former child sailors who were subjected to sexual and physical abuse at the former Naval training base HMAS Leeuwin from the 1960s to the 1980s. Some of the sailors involved were only 13 at the time.
In many cases, the abuse suffered by Junior Recruits at HMAS Leeuwin has led to years of psychological and physical health issues. The Defence Abuse Response Taskforce (DART) released a report in 2014 which confirmed the widespread nature and severity of the abuse at HMAS Leeuwin. It is likely that many more boys suffered abuse who did not come forward to DART.
Shine Lawyers has worked closely with the legal representatives of the Australian Defence Force to develop a collaborative, cost effective and empathetic process which provides compensation, as well as Direct Personal Responses (apologies and acknowledgement of the harm done). The psychological welfare of the abuse survivor is central to the process.
We have achieved significant successful outcomes for HMAS Leeuwin abuse survivors, and have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from those clients about the difference that the process has made to their lives.
Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse
The Commission will prepare its findings in due course, and it is likely that those findings will assist abuse survivors from HMAS Leeuwin in their efforts to obtain justice in the future.