- Under the National Redress Scheme, survivors of child sexual abuse are entitled to payments of up to $150,000.
- Most survivors will receive much less than the maximum payment.
- Lawyers have a difficult task advising survivors about the alternatives to a redress offer.
The National Redress Scheme was established by the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Act 2018 (‘the Act’) which commenced on 1 July 2018. In his Second Reading Speech, Minister Dan Tehan said: ‘It will create a simple and supportive redress scheme. The establishment of the scheme is an acknowledgement … that sexual abuse suffered by children in institutional settings was wrong.’
The Scheme provides entitled survivors with three components of redress: (i) a redress payment of up to $150,000; (ii) a counselling and psychological component; and (iii) a direct personal response (s 16(1)).
In the September 2018 LSJ (p70-72), we addressed the opportunity for survivors to obtain a Direct Personal Response. This article focuses on the redress payment component of the Scheme.
Who is entitled to a redress payment?
The criteria for entitlement to financial redress is the same as that for a Direct Personal Response. To be eligible, a person must have been sexually abused as a child, prior to 1 July 2018 (s 6).
Entitlement requires that a survivor identifies a ‘responsible institution’. ‘Responsibility’ does not require common law responsibility. Rather, it requires that the institution is responsible for the abuser having ‘contact’ with the person (s 15). The institution must be part of the Scheme.