To seek justice for child sexual abuse is a deeply personal experience. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to the process. But depending on your circumstances, you have the option of making a claim under the National Redress Scheme or seeking compensation under the civil law.
Child sexual abuse is what happens when someone involves a child under the age of 18 in sexual activities that the child either does not understand or that are against community standards. If you or someone you know has been a victim of this, the National Redress Scheme might be the best option for you. Read on for more information and contact us if you have any further questions.
What is the National Redress Scheme?
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse lasted almost five years, wrapping up in December 2017. Over this time it held 57 public hearings for both allegations and proven instances of child sexual abuse in institutions. One impact of the Commission was the creation of the National Redress Scheme.
Under the redress scheme, survivors of abuse can receive the following from participating institutions:
- A redress payment of up to $150,000
- Access to counselling and psychological services or a payment of $5,000
- A direct response, like an apology, from the institution
If a particular institution is not listed as participating, the Scheme can look into whether another institution will take on responsibility.
Does it affect you?
The National Redress Scheme offers a simpler, less expensive process than going to court, with a lower standard of proof than civil law. On the flip side, the redress amount payable is often lower than common law. It is only available when institutions have agreed to take part in the scheme and it doesn't include physical or psychological abuse. Legal costs are paid by the survivor too.
Due to the work of the Royal Commission, many of the barriers that previously stopped abuse survivors from seeking justice through civil law have been removed. Civil law offers the best chance of optimal compensation, including lost earnings. But the standard of proof is higher than under Redress and reaching an outcome can take longer.
How can Shine Lawyers help?
Shine's expert sexual abuse lawyers can provide personalised legal advice. We can help you determine which avenue is right for you, whether that's civil law or the National Redress Scheme. We stand up for justice and help you right the wrongs in your life.
To find out more about the work of Shine Lawyers abuse law team visit https://www.shine.com.au/service/abuse-law.