Ballarat’s Children: ‘no more jumping through hoops’ for church sex victims

The Australian

October 31, 2016



A church lawyer tasked with helping victims of child-sex abuse in the country’s most scandal­-plagued Catholic diocese has ­declared they no longer have to jump through any “hoops” for ­assistance, as a veteran police ­detective described how victims earlier had been pursued by ­private investigators working for the church.

In an interview for The Australian’s podcast Ballarat’s Children, Michael Myers has vowed the Ballarat diocese is taking ­victims “at face value” to offer counselling and support amid mounting pressure for a national redress scheme.

“It is a big problem that’s going to last for a long time and we’re just working at it as best we can,” said Mr Myers, a local lawyer ­appointed in 2014 to steer the ­diocese’s professional standards.

“In the past 10 years there’s been about $150,000 paid in counselling fees, for example. And in addition to that the ­diocese has made payments for other support costs — for med­ical costs, some financial assistance … they don’t have to go through any hoops, they’ll get it from the diocese.”

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