Government’s response further abuses child-sex victims

WA Today

March 29, 2015

Judy Courtin

I just received a text message from a man, now in his early 50s, who was anally raped by a “Christian” brother when he was 12 years old. He said: “I can’t go on any more. That’s me done”.

This very brave survivor, who has been facing his demons all these years, has also been fighting tirelessly for justice for all survivors of child sex crimes, especially for adequate financial support and redress. Like thousands of others, he has, at great personal risk, opened his heart and soul and told his story to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the responses by non-government organsiations into child sexual abuse and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Last week, on the first day of a three-day public hearing at the Royal Commission into redress schemes for victims of child sex crimes, many of this man’s hopes were dashed and he felt his years of dedicated work had come to nought.

In January, the Royal Commission published a consultation paper on possible types of redress schemes for child sexual assault victims. According to the commission and many other organisations, state and territory governments and victims and their families, the most effective and fair approach would be delivered by a national redress scheme that would be run by the federal government, but, on the whole, paid for by all government and non-government institutions where the crimes occurred. The Royal Commission also proposed that the federal government be a “funder of last resort” for those victims who would be sidelined and ignored because their school or institution doesn’t exist any more.

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