Child Sexual Abuse Victims Should Receive $4 Billion – Royal Commission
15 September 2015 at 12:22 pm
Charities, governments and churches will be expected to pay $4 billion to the victims of child sexual abuse under recommendations made by a Royal Commission.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released its report on redress and civil litigation this week.
Among the 99 recommendations, the Commission has proposed a single $4 billion national redress scheme established by the Australian Government with a minimum payment of $10,000, a maximum of $200,000 with an anticipated average payment of $65,000.
The Commission has estimated there are likely to be some 60,000 eligible survivors and the scheme should be up and running by July 2017.
“We became aware early on that redress was a matter of priority to survivors of child sexual abuse,” Royal Commission CEO, Philip Reed, said.
“Many people have been profoundly harmed by their abuse, their injuries are sometimes severe and can last a lifetime. Current and past systems have not provided justice for many.”
While the redress scheme would likely be funded by a combination of charities, churches and governments, victim support group Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN), said state governments should be responsible in cases where institutions no longer exist.
“(Due) to the states’ enhanced role in the care system, CLAN recommend that they take up the responsibility of being the funder of last resort as well as extra administrative costs,” CLAN said in its submission to the Royal Commission.
“It must be remembered that although many churches and charities ran Orphanages and Children’s Homes, they did so under the systems the state governments created.
“The state was responsible for licensing and inspecting these organisations and the Homes. They provided funding to many of these past providers and they also sent many state wards who were under their guardianship to be ‘cared’ for in these private Homes.
“The state governments need to take ownership of their entire role in the abuse and maltreatment that Care Leavers received, not just for the Homes that they ran.”
CEO of the Catholic Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council, Francis Sullivan, said the Church supported the recommendations and it was now time for governments to act.
“These redress recommendations are a huge leap forward for survivors of child sexual abuse,” Sullivan said.
“The ball is now well and truly in the Government’s court. Survivors now deserve a positive response from the Commonwealth and state governments and they need to see all governments move quickly to agree on a position and start the process of setting up the scheme.”
Head of Research at Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA), Dr Pam Stavropoulos, welcomed the Royal Commission’s report.
"ASCA is delighted that the Royal Commission report on redress and civil litigation has now been released and fully supports the recommendation for establishment of a single national redress scheme,” Dr Stavropoulos said.