The NSW Government has introduced a Bill that paves the way for it to join the National Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.
The scheme, which is due to begin on 1 July 2018, seeks to acknowledge the life-long impact of institutional child sexual abuse by providing eligible survivors with:
- a redress payment of up to $150,000
- access to counselling services
- a direct, personal response from the responsible institution.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has also signed an agreement that lays out the arrangements by which the National Redress Scheme will be governed by the Australian and state and territory governments.
The NSW Government has already:
- removed limitation periods for survivors to launch civil compensation claims
- improvedthe Model Litigation Policy
- provided a more compassionate approach to the management of civil child abuse claims
- introduced trained witness intermediaries to support child victims and witnesses of sexual abuse during criminal proceedings
- accepted the overwhelming majority of the recommendations in the Royal Commission’s Criminal Justice Report.
The NSW Government will formally respond to all of the Royal Commission’s recommendations in June 2018.
Attorney General Mark Speakman said NSW was one of the first states to commit to the redress scheme, and the introduction of the Bill is an important milestone for survivors.
“The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse opened our eyes to the prevalence of institutional child sexual abuse, the failure of institutions to respond and the lifelong impact of such abuse,” Mr Speakman said.
“No amount of money can undo the devastation caused by abuse, but we can show survivors we believe them and accept they were let down and betrayed by the system that should have kept them safe."
Further information about the Redress Scheme is available by calling the National Redress Information Line on 1800 146 713.
Where can you get help?
The NSW Government encourages survivors of child sexual or physical assault to access confidential counselling that is available through the Victims Support Scheme.
Other support services operate that 24/7 include: