Time limit on child abuse cases in South Australia ‘shameful’

The Australian

January 31, 2017

SA Bureau ChiefAdelaide


Pressure is mounting on the South Australian government to fall into line with the rest of the country and abolish time limits for compensation claims by survivors of child sexual abuse, which currently prevent most victims from bringing civil actions against perpetrators and institutions.

As legal experts and victim advocate groups say the Weatherill government should “hang its head in shame for dragging the chain”, the opposition is calling on Labor MPs to support legislation before parliament to remove any limitation period on institutional child sexual abuse claims, to align South Australia with other jurisdictions.

Actions for personal injury in most states must generally be commenced within three years of it happening, and this time limit had applied to victims of childhood sexual abuse in every state, despite experts saying it takes survivors an average of 20 years to speak up.

But following a national royal commission, which recommended all states remove the limitation period on claims for child sex abuse, Victoria, NSW and Queensland removed the time limits.

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