Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse was established in 2013 to investigate and report on the response of institutions to allegations and instances of child sexual abuse.
If you or someone you love has experienced sexual abuse as a child while in the care of an institution, you may be entitled to compensation.
The Royal Commission has updated its Redress Scheme
Click here to view Shine's Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs for the Commonwealth Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2017 and Commonwealth Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Consequential Amendments Bill 2017).
Since its foundation, the Royal Commission has received and responded to more than five thousand private submissions with victims of child sexual abuse in institutions such as schools, churches, clubs and government organisations.
These statements have revealed the widespread nature and extent of institutional child sexual abuse and highlighted the social stigmas and legal shortcomings that contribute to the historical lack of accountability for crimes of this nature in Australia.
Shine Lawyers’ contribution to the Royal Commission
The Abuse team at Shine Lawyers have been working with victims and the Royal Commission since its foundation. Through their committed partnerships, Shine Lawyers have sought justice for survivors of abuse in several institutions (including HMAS Leuwin, and within the Jehovah’s Witness organisation and Anglican Church), and have contributed to the introduction of significant legislative changes to prevent the incidence of child sexual abuse being turned away in the future.
Time limitations in abuse cases
Until recently, statutory time limits prevented victims of child sexual abuse in Queensland from seeking justice three years after their 21st birthday - despite the fact that it takes survivors an average of 20 years to process abuse and decide to speak up. Since uncovering the damaging effects of these statutory time limits on victims of child sexual abuse, the Royal Commission (with support from Shine Lawyers) has taken significant steps to abolish these limitations across Australia.
Time limitation laws relating to victims of child sexual abuse have also been abolished or amended in all states and territories within Australia. Further, in May 2016 Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, Attorney-General for Australia issued a direction which prevented Commonwealth agencies from pleading a defence to allegations of child sexual abuse based on the expiry of time limitations.
Redress schemes for abuse survivors
The Royal Commission (with submissions from Shine has also succeeded in implementing the Commonwealth Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. This scheme will allow victims access to a direct personal response, psychological counselling and financial compensation.
It is hoped that this scheme will not only provide support and assistance but also ensure that victims have a safe platform to submit their allegations, preventing allegations and instances of child sexual abuse from being ignored or suppressed by institutions. Applications can be made any time before 30 June 2027.
Royal Commission has changed our understanding
The Royal Commission has not only uncovered and sought justice for previously unrecognised instances of child sexual abuse, but it has also been instrumental in acknowledging and attempting to rectify legal limitations, and ‘changing the conversation’ around sexual abuse in Australia. Shine Lawyers are both shocked by the revelations of the Commission and incredibly proud of its achievements and our ability to contribute to them.
You may be entitled to claim compensation. Start the process with our simple and free online tool.
What we will ask:
Questions to help us understand your experience and how your life has been impacted. Your responses will help us define the best course of action for your claim.
What happens next:
Either book a no-obligation appointment with an abuse law expert right away or,
Speak with our team about your options
How Shine can help
We have helped thousands of Australians right wrong and access more than $1 billion per year in entitlements and compensation through our expert services.
95% of the cases we represent are settled without the stress of going to court.
We offer access to affordable legal advice including on a No Win, No Fee* basis and an obligation-free initial consultation so you can understand your rights and know where you stand.
We are ready to take action, supporting your choice not to be silenced and right wrong.
Survivors of abuse FAQs
Is there an abuse lawyer near me?
With more than 40 branches across Australia and 1000+ team members, location is no barrier when it comes to accessing Shine Lawyers' legal advice and support.
If you’d like to speak to our abuse law team in person, you can see our full list of locations here.
If you aren‘t able to find a location near you, we can easily arrange an obligation-free virtual appointment or discuss the option to meet at a location that’s comfortable and convenient for you. No matter where you are located, we will always provide the same, expert advice and manage your claim with the same level of quality and commitment.
Can I represent myself, or do I need an abuse lawyer?
It is possible to legally represent yourself when making a claim however, doing so successfully will likely require a thorough understanding of the law, your legal rights and entitlements, and a commitment to actively pursue the case to move it forward. Without an experienced abuse lawyer in your corner, it can be difficult to identify and highlight the strengths of your case. Without the right legal advice and support, you then may not receive the compensation you're entitled to. A lawyer can help you maximise your lump sum entitlements.
Why trust Shine to be my abuse lawyers?
At Shine Lawyers, we put your first. We’ve been standing up for the rights of everyday Australians for over 45 years. As one of Australia’s largest litigation law firms, we are here to help you get the justice you deserve.
Our empathy, understanding and expertise is why we’re ahead of the pack. We’ll stand with you and guide you through every step of the way.