Posted on 20 Sep 2018
Leading legal advocates for abuse survivors Slater and Gordon have today welcomed legislation passed by the Queensland Government to join Australia’s National Redress Scheme.
When enacted, the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Commonwealth Powers Bill) will make it easier for victims – many of whom suffered abuse in institutions such as schools, prisons and hospitals – to seek support and receive redress and recognition through the national scheme.
Slater and Gordon Practice Group Leader Andrew Baker said the legislation would provide an easier avenue for survivors to receive support.
“Although it is still not yet a full implementation of all of the recommendations of the Royal Commission, the National Redress Scheme really does hold the promise of giving people who suffered sexual abuse in institutions such as public schools, hospitals and prisons an easier way to receive support and recognition,” Mr Baker said.
“Many of these survivors have suffered horrific abuse, which has left them with ongoing health issues – so it is critical for all governments to commit to implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission and make this process as easy as possible.
“In our decades of experience of acting for survivors, we have seen first-hand the importance of
providing individuals affected by child sexual abuse with a viable alternative to adversarial and confrontational litigation. The move by the Queensland Government today means many Queensland survivors are one step closer to justice.”
Slater and Gordon first brought action on behalf of abuse survivors more than 20 years ago but it was a long road before the commencement of the Royal Commission and the various legislative changes across the country were likely to give some solace to victims.
That case and the cases that followed however were ground-breaking and resulted in a groundswell of Australians coming forward to report and finally respond to long-standing and systemic cases of abuse.
It would also be crucial evidence for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The national scheme was established in the wake of 2015’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.