• Archives
  • Categories
  • Child sex abuse survivors angry at Federal Government’s opposition to redress scheme

    2018 - 09.22

    The Federal Government’s opposition to a national redress scheme for victims of child sexual abuse was an attempt to avoid paying compensation to victims and is akin to telling them “we don’t want you to recover”, abuse victims have told the Royal Commission.
    Nanjing Night Net

    “I think that what the government is saying to survivors is that they would prefer [them] to suffer in silence …” abuse victims advocate Nicky Davis told the Royal Commission into child sex abuse on Wednesday

    “They don’t want us to reveal their shortcomings, to make them face their financial responsibilities and that’s just not acceptable.”

    Ms Davis was one of a number of abuse survivors who expressed their anger at a Federal Government submission to the Commission as it examined the question of how to assist and compensate those who had experienced child sexual abuse.

    In a blunt two-page submission, the Australian Government solicitor said a national scheme would be too complex and require too much time and resources to establish.

    It rejected proposals that the government co-ordinate the scheme and provide financial compensation to abuse survivors if the institution responsible was unable to pay.

    “Institutions must accept the legal, financial and moral responsibility for failing to protect children,” the submission stated.

    “Such recommendations would send a clear message to those institutions that they have no choice, for the future, but to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of those children entrusted to their care.”

    It also rejected the proposal for counselling and support services for abuse victims, stating that existing services provided support for anyone who needed it.

    The chair of the Commission, Justice Peter McClellan expressed disappointment that a scheme which was “overwhelmingly supported by survivor advocacy and support groups and many institutions as being the most likely to ensure a just, fair and consistent outcome for all victims where they may have suffered abuse, is not presently supported by the Commonwealth”.

    All of the survivor support advocates who addressed the commission on Wednesday, and many of the institutional witnesses, indicated that they continued to support a national redress scheme.

    A number argued that abuse survivors should only be required to demonstrate that their stories were “plausible” in order to be eligible for compensation.

    Others asserted that any apology to survivors provided under the scheme needed to acknowledge that institutions and not just individuals were responsible for child sexual abuse.

    In a similar vein, the Coalition of Aboriginal Services said that any redress scheme needed to acknowledge not only the abuse inflicted on Aboriginal children but the fact that they were unjustly removed from their communities in the first place because they were indigenous.

    Maurice Ryan from the Northern Territory Stolen Generations Corporation said this racist policy of removal was still taking place.

    “I can tell you exactly what’s going to happen to the 600 children who are in custody today,” Mr Ryan said.

    “Some will be abused … they will lose their culture, they will lose their identity, they will lose their language, their law, their customs their family.”

    The hearing continues.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Comments are closed.