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Institutional Child Sex Abuse Compensation

 

Legal Helpline: ☎ 1800 529 835

 

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is currently investigating how various organisations have handled reports of child sex abuse in Australian organisations including churches, orphanages, schools and sport clubs. The Commission will make recommendations as to laws, policies and practices aimed at preventing child abuse, or where it occurs, to respond to abuse claims in institutions.

The Commission does not have the power to provide compensation. If you are a child abuse victim, you should speak with a child sex abuse compensation solicitor for legal advice on how to claim compensation for child abuse. Our specialist solicitors handle compensation claims involving child abuse in institutions (not within families). Contact our service today for free and confidential legal assistance. Call our free helpline or complete the online contact form for legal assistance.

Child Sex Abuse Facts

Facts about child sex abuse:

  • 90% of perpetrators are male.
  • On average, abuse starts at age 9 for females and age 10 for males.
  • It takes on average 22 years for an abuse victim to disclose the abuse, with men taking longer than women.
  • One in three girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused in some way before the age of 18 years. (Australian Institute of Criminology, 1993)

Impact of abuse on victims

Children who are sexually abused usually suffer from short-term and long-term effects. The effects can be physical, emotional and social. Many victims will suffer from mental health issues as a result, such as psychiatric disorders, sleeping and eating disorders, lack of self-esteem, nightmares, mutilation, self-hatred, promiscuous behaviour, aggression, suicide. Long-term effects may include sexual difficulties, inability to form lasting relationships, marital problems and poor parenting skills. Parents, friends and family of the victim often suffer as an indirect result of child sexual abuse.

Offenders

Offenders are more likely to thrive in institutions with a culture that does not make the protection of children a high priority. Offenders will quite often manipulate people and processes. An offender will often "groom" a child by creating "special relationships" with child, spending more time with them alone or outside the work role.

Prevention

Pre-employment screening (including police checks) is very important to ensure that known child abusers are prevented from working with kids. Child safe practices and policies should be established in every institution that deals with children. Children (depending on their age) may need to be educated on how to recognise sexual abuse, how to avoid high risk situations and how to report child sexual abuse when it does occur.

Compensation Laws

Currently, the compensation laws in Australia vary according to which State the violent act occurred. There are victims of crime compensation schemes which are taxpayer funded, but these provide limited compensation. Criticism has also been made of the common law in that some organisations such as the Catholic Church currently have immunity against prosecution for civil claims for negligence in Australia and no responsibility for its clergy. Common practice has been to attempt to settle claims out-of-court. The Commission will be reviewing the adequacy of compensation for victims of child sex abuse and recommendations as to any necessary legislative changes.

For victims of institutional sex abuse, it is important that legal advice be sought from a specialist child sex abuse compensation lawyer. Whether your abuse occurred years ago or is a recent event, you may be entitled to compensation. Our solicitors understand how difficult it is for victims to come forward and disclose such private and sensitive information. Your privacy and confidentiality will be respected.

 

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