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Issued: Sunday, 1 July 2018
NSW survivors of institutional child sexual abuse will be among the first in Australia to be able to seek redress under a new national scheme that begins today.
"The wait is finally over for thousands of survivors who can now seek redress that acknowledges their suffering and helps them in their journey towards recovery," Attorney General Mark Speakman said.
The National Redress Scheme will be administered by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services and will run for 10 years. Survivors can apply for redress by completing an application available in paper or online.
The scheme includes a payment of up to $150,000 and a direct personal response from participating institutions responsible for the abuse. NSW is leading the nation by providing survivors of child abuse in NSW institutions access to unlimited counselling and psychological support.
NSW was the first state to pass legislation required to enter the scheme, followed by Victoria while other states and territories are in the process of preparing the necessary laws. These laws enable non-government institutions in our State, including churches, charities, independent schools and other organisations to be able to participate.
"Because NSW has opted in, applications from survivors of abuse in NSW Government institutions can now be considered," Mr Speakman said.
"I commend the non-government institutions that have come on board and urge others to make a commitment so all survivors have access to the scheme."
Non-government institutions that have announced they will participate include the Catholic Church, Scouts Australia, the Salvation Army, YMCA Australia, the Uniting Church and the Anglican Church. Applications from survivors of abuse in non-government institutions will be considered when those institutions officially sign on to the scheme.
"Survivors have suffered enough and while it's not possible to undo the damage caused by institutional child sexual abuse, this is an opportunity to provide practical and compassionate assistance," Mr Speakman said.
Redress will be for child sexual abuse that occurred before the scheme's commencement, which is in line with the recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
For more information about the scheme, visit: www.nationalredress.gov.au.