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The high-profile trial of Cardinal George Pell and his application for leave to appeal against the convictions being accepted by the High Court, as well as the Royal Commission in recent years, have shined a light on sex abuse in Australia.

Bravehearts Foundation provides advice and support to those affected by child sexual assault. They provide child protection training and education programs, specialist child sexual assault counselling and support services.

We have formed an alliance with Bravehearts Foundation who work very hard to prevent child sexual assault in our society. We have also linked up with Knowmore, who provide legal advice to abuse survivors by arming them with information about the justice and redress options available to them.

Slater and Gordon lawyers has been running educational workshops in Townsville and Cairns this month, in addition to other North Queensland communities with remote access over the coming months, helping survivors of abuse navigate and understand their entitlements under the Federal Government’s National Redress Scheme. This presents a great opportunity for survivors to ask questions and seek legal advice.

Knowmore encourage and help survivors to apply for redress or other forms of action by helping them lodge complaints with police, find old records and understand legal processes and connect with specialist counselling and support services.

It is so important for survivors of abuse to also understand the other options available to them. The ability for applications to be processed under the redress scheme are dependent on whether or not the institution where the abuse occurred has signed up to the scheme.

The National Redress Scheme set up for abuse survivors has been plagued by delays and many people do require support accessing it effectively and legal advice regarding whether or not it is the best option for them.

For some, it will be the best option for them. The scheme is a good option for survivors that may not have capacity to pursue a civil claim, for a number of reasons.

But to date, it has not always provided the quick access to justice and redress that survivors had hoped for. Recently, more institutions have joined the Scheme, which is good to hear as it means seeking redress is an option for them.

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