New Commonwealth Government Scheme Allows Child Sex Abuse Survivors to Seek Compensation
November 4, 2016

Survivors will be able to access a new government scheme.

COUNSELLING, individual payments and the opportunity for survivors to tell their story will be available under a new Commonwealth Government scheme to compensate survivors of child sex abuse.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter announced the Commonwealth Redress Scheme on Friday.

The scheme would invite state governments and institutions to “opt-in” to the scheme on the basis that the entity found to be responsible — whether it be church, institution, charity or government — would compensate the individual survivors.

Survivors could seek a maximum payment of $150,000 for the sexual abuse they suffered as children.

The Minister said a guiding principal would be to try to avoid survivors being re-traumatised by telling their stories as they applied to the scheme.

Friday’s announcement comes in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into institutional child sex abuse.

“Today’s announcement is delivering on the Coalition’s commitment to strive to ensure redress is provided for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse across Australia by the responsible institutions,” Mr Porter said.

Mr Porter said the Commonwealth Government would invite states and territories to join the scheme but did not have the power to compel other governments to participate.

South Australia had already indicated it did not intend to join, Mr Porter said.

“This is about institutions making amends and recognising the harm that has been caused to children in their care,” he said.

The scheme is expected to be established by 2018 and will last ten years.

After a decade, it will be subject to review.

The Commonwealth Government would also establish an independent advisory council to guide the implementation of the scheme.








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