National Redress Scheme for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse
The National Redress Scheme will provide support to people who were sexually abused as children while in the care of an institution.
The establishment of a National Redress Scheme was recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The Scheme is one way Australian governments are working to acknowledge and help people who experienced child sexual abuse.
The Scheme will start on 1 July 2018, and will run for 10 years.
It is designed so that relevant organisations take responsibility to make amends for sexual abuse that happened to children they were looking after.
The Commonwealth Government is creating the Scheme, and it has promised to provide redress to people who were abused in places that were run by the Commonwealth. This includes places such as the Australian Defence Forces and cadet schools and onshore immigration detention.
So that redress can be provided to as many people as possible, organisations have been invited to join the Scheme, which is called ‘opting in’.
All state and territory governments have committed to join the Scheme, with Western Australia expected to formally announce its commitment to the Scheme shortly.
We are pleased that six major non-government institutions have committed to join the Scheme. The Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, the Salvation Army, YMCA Scouts Australia and the Uniting Church have all announced that they will join the Scheme and provide redress to people sexually abused as children in their care.
The Redress Scheme can provide three things:
- access to psychological counselling
- a direct personal response – such as an apology from the responsible institution for people who want it
- a monetary payment.
Payments will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, reflecting the severity and impact of the abuse experienced with a maximum of $150,000.
Redress is about acknowledging the harm caused and supporting people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse to move forward positively in the way that is best for them.
The National Redress Scheme is an alternative to getting compensation through the courts – you can do one or the other, but not both.
Who can apply?
A person can choose to apply to the National Redress Scheme if they:
- experienced institutional child sexual abuse before 1 July 2018, and
- are aged over 18 or will turn 18 before 30 June 2028, and
- are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and
- are applying for redress from an institution that has joined the National Redress Scheme, and
- apply between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2027.
A person cannot apply to the Scheme if:
- a court has already ruled that the relevant institution pay compensation or damages (although the person can apply in relation to other institutions).
There are also other circumstances which will mean that an application will be assessed differently. These circumstances include:
- where the person is currently under the age of 18
- where the person has been convicted of a crime and sentenced to 5 or more years in gaol; or
- where a person is currently in gaol.