In 2013, the Australian Government launched the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. This was the direct result of allegations that child abuse in the Catholic Church was being covered up and paedophile priests were being moved around Australia and overseas.
Church leaders were protecting their brand and ‘managing scandals’ rather than involving the police.
The Royal Commission heard thousands of horrendous stories of sexual abuse from survivors. Children were abused in more than 4,000 institutions across Australia. 41,770 calls were made and 25,774 emails and letters were received from children – now adults – who had been abused.
The final report was released in December 2017.
At the recommendation of the Commission, the Australian Government launched the National Redress Scheme on 1st July 2018.
The original goal of the National Redress Scheme was to:
Survivors of child sexual abuse all over Australia were pleased to know help and redress payments were coming soon. But things were not all what they seemed. For many survivors, the National Redress Scheme has brought false hope, frustration and disappointment.
The National Redress Scheme is all well and good in theory, but in practice, many survivors of child abuse have been robbed, re-traumatised and tossed aside in favour of the financial interests of the offending institution.
Survivors have been failed in a number of horrific ways:
The Scheme will not help unless you were sexually abused. Survivors of serious physical and
The Scheme has a “matrix” designed to low-ball survivors of abuse. Redress is capped at $150,000, but less than two out of ten applicants so far have been paid over $100,000. That’s far below the Commission’s recommendations and a slap in the face for most.
The National Redress Scheme is founded on greed and the Government’s willingness to put the Church, the institutions and the rich above the people. As of April 2020, the average redress is $82,289.
The scheme has received 6,716 applications. Around 3,800 applications are under review.
There have been 2,093 decisions and 1,751 payments totalling $136.8 million have been distributed.
There have been 370 offers of redress. Applicants have six months to consider.
There are 859 applications on hold. Around 526 are on hold because one or more institutions have not joined the National Redress Scheme. These institutions have until the 1st of July 2020 to join the Scheme.
If you are considering applying to the National Redress Scheme, we urge you to speak to a solicitor first.
You only have one chance to get your application right with the Scheme. Getting it wrong will result in tears and frustration.
At Kelso Lawyers, it is our passion to help survivors of child abuse to achieve the best possible result from their compensation claim. Founded in 1986 by Peter Kelso – a survivor of foster care abuse himself – our team is experienced, compassionate and ready to help survivors and to educate those who thought the Scheme was their only option.
Get in touch with the expert team from Kelso Lawyers today and learn what your options are. There is no obligation.
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The National Redress Scheme is only available for victims of sexual abuse