While nothing can take away the pain and trauma of suffering sexual or physical abuse, if you’ve been impacted, you may have the right to seek compensation to access the care and support you need.
There are a range of circumstances where abuse claims may occur
In recent years, there has been an increase in awareness of sexual and institutional abuse of children. Because of this, significant improvements are being made in situations where children might be at risk. While this is reassuring for current parents and guardians, it does not help people who have suffered sexual abuse in the past. No amount of money can repair the physical and psychological damage caused by years of abuse—however, it can assist with medical treatment costs and living costs for those who struggle to maintain full-time employment.
We have experience assisting people who have experienced sexual or physical abuse in a number of circumstances, including:
What to do if you, or a loved one, have experienced abuse
If you are a victim of abuse and have already made the courageous choice to report your incident, you may wish to consider your options to be compensated for the pain, suffering, and psychological impact.
Our experts at Slater and Gordon have many years of experience assisting people impacted by abuse. We understand the need to manage your claim with sensitivity and with minimal impact on you, and we also have a free social work service to assist you in dealing with this life-changing event.
Support for survivors of abuse
The compensation benefits you may be entitled to will vary based on the type of abuse you have experienced and the state where the abuse occurred.
In general, you may have a claim for:
- Compensation for pain and suffering, as well as loss of enjoyment of life caused by physical injury, psychological injury, or both;
- Loss of earnings if your ability to work is affected; and
- Past and future medical and related treatment and care expenses, including psycological care.
Free social work services
As a caring and community-minded firm, we've long recognised the value of providing free social work services to address these issues to help improve clients’ wellbeing. In fact, we were the first, and are still the only law firm in Australia to offer this service. We're here to help you in times of difficulty.
National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse
The Commonwealth Redress Scheme was introduced in the wake of 2014’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
What to expect
There are a number of stages you might go through during your case. Our expert and caring legal team will guide you through each of these stages.
We will give you information to help you decide on the best course of action for you and organise your free initial appointment**.
Attend your free initial appointment**
This gives you the opportunity to meet your legal team to find out more about your case and discuss your options so you can make the best decision for you.
We’ll prepare to take action
We’ll gather evidence, obtain reports, organise meetings and appointments, and more. This is how we prepare the strongest case possible.
Your case may settle out of court
We will endeavour to settle your case out of court to minimise the impact on you, while negotiating the optimal amount of compensation you can receive.
Most cases don’t reach this point, and settle at earlier stages. If your case does need to go to court however, you can be confident that our team will guide and support you every step of the way.
We understand that experiencing sexual or physical abuse can have a devastating impact on your financial position. We believe that people with valid claims should be able to have access to justice, regardless of their financial position. That's why we were one of the first law firms to operate on a No Win - No Fee* payment system.
This means that if your case is successful, you will receive compensation and we will charge a fee for the legal work we have done on your behalf. However, if your case is not successful and you do not receive compensation, then you will not pay any of our legal fees at all.
Importantly, our fees are not based on a percentage of the final compensation you receive. They are based on a set fee that will be explained to you in your free initial appointment**.
From time to time, you may incur additional costs throughout your case. For example, we may need to gain access to your medical records or obtain expert reports. This is called a disbursement. In your free initial appointment** we will give you an idea of whether there is likely to be any additional costs and funding options for these costs.
We’ve been supporting survivors of abuse for more than 20 years
Slater and Gordon have a long history of fighting on behalf of abuse survivors, having first bought action on behalf of former residents of Christian Brother’s boys homes in Western Australia more than 20 years ago. In more recent years, Slater and Gordon achieved a class action settlement against Fairbridge Farm School in Central Western New South Wales, the first of its kind in NSW and believed to be the largest for survivors of mass child abuse in Australian legal history.
We were also called upon to give evidence at the 2014 Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse based on our experience in dealing with the Church authorities in relation to historical abuse cases and the lack of proper acknowledgement of the abuse and harm the victims had suffered.
Our national team of experienced abuse claims lawyers are passionate about assisting clients to achieve justice and find closure. We will navigate you through the claims process with compassion and dedication. Get in touch today.