Damage caused by childhood sexual abuse has effect throughout a person’s life.
Through efforts of many survivors, and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the extent of abuse by individuals entrusted with care of children, and in positions of power is becoming known.
We act for individuals who have suffered sexual and institutional abuse. We will:
We focus on providing constructive, compassionate advice and representation.
Common law proceedings are claims made by individuals (either alone, or where appropriate as part of a class action) in which they allege individuals and institutions owed a duty of care to protect from harm and failed to discharge that duty.
To succeed in civil proceedings, you must show that the individual or institution knew or ought to have known about the abuse or the potential for abuse and failed to take action to safeguard those in their care from harm. If you are successful, you will be awarded lump sum compensation for pain and suffering, past and future out-of-pocket expenses including counselling and medical expenses, loss of earnings and any care and assistance required as a result of physical or sexual abuse.
In light of the damning evidence before the Royal Commission many institutions are more likely to negotiate a settlement either in the context of proceedings being filed in Court or as a result of claims made directly against the institution.
For many years a problem in bringing claims for childhood abuse was that, subject to some exceptions, claims had to be commenced within 6 years of the damage occurring (known as the statute of limitations).
In March 2016, the NSW Parliament, following the recommendations of the Royal Commission, passed the Limitation Amendment (Child Abuse) Act 2016 which abolished limitation periods for claims relating to child abuse (defined as sexual abuse, serious physical abuse or other abuse connected with sexual abuse or serious physical abuse to a person under the age of 18 years). Other States have passed similar legislation and the Federal Government has announced that it will not rely on a limitation defence in proceedings brought against it. The law applies retrospectively which means it applies to all claims other than those claims that been settled or resolved. Further, if you previously made a claim which was dismissed or stayed because you were out of time your claim can be recommenced as long as there was no settlement.
Prior to releasing its final report the Royal Commission issued its report on Recommendations for Redress and Civil Litigation. The report recommended the establishment of a National Redress scheme.
On 4 November 2017, in response to the Recommendations Report, the Commonwealth announced the establishment of a Commonwealth Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse . The announcement indicates that the scheme:
In March 2017, more details of the proposed scheme were released in evidence to the Royal Commission. In that evidence, the Commonwealth confirmed that:
The scheme commenced operation on 1 July 2018. All States have now signed up for the scheme.
It is important to note that receiving compensation under the Redress Scheme is an alternative to a claim at common law – you cannot do both. It is therefore important to understand all available compensation options before making an application to the Redress Scheme.
Victims of child sexual abuse have a number of options for statutory compensation or access to redress schemes.
Segelov Taylor is accepting registrations from individuals who wish to seek compensation in relation to past abuse either by an application on the scheme, or otherwise. Please contact our office on 02 8880 0500, or email@example.com for more information.
Individuals who suffered abuse as a child may have rights for compensation and redress from a variety of sources, including:
The individual facts of each matter will determines which form(s) of compensation is most appropriate. Different issues, including time limits, apply to depending on the facts. Segelov Taylor Lawyers can provide expert assistance and guidance on options available for individuals. Some types of claim may be brought together, while others involve giving up other rights.
In certain circumstances, law reform has allowed abuse survivors to ask the Court to set aside an old, unfair agreement that they entered when their legal rights were compromised and to ask the Court for compensation.
This allows abuse survivors to have the potential to gain compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages and medical expenses. Segelov Taylor Lawyers can help you through this process to allow you to achieve real compensation.
Start the compensation process by arranging a free case assessment.
In the free initial case assessment we will obtain general information and provide preliminary advice on whether we believe you are likely to have a claim for compensation, the value of any claim and our costs in the event you were to instruct us.
The case assessment is usually via phone (we will call you at the arranged time) or by video conference (such as Zoom or Teams).
There is no cost associated with this case assessment, nor any obligation to instruct us in your matter.