Abuse redress scheme comes under fire
The National Redress Scheme for victims of institutional child sex abuse has been labelled an “appalling document”
A scheme to help survivors of institutional child sex abuse has come under fire, having been described as “insensitive” at a hearing to examine its rollout.
The National Redress Scheme, which emerged out of the royal commission into abuse, fails to understand the intense and differing types of trauma suffered by victims, advocates said.
It was described as one person giving evidence before a parliamentary committee in Melbourne as an “appalling document”.
Care Leavers Australasia Network Vice President, Frank Golding, told the committee the scheme offers “nothing” for the majority of victims.
He said it could lead to victims being unwilling to come forward because of the difficult process involved to apply.
“It’s far from survivor-focused. It’s designed to suit government and institutions,” Golding said.
“It puts undue stress on survivors to articulate exactly what happened to them. It’s believed the ones who are best with words will get the best outcomes.”
Golding, along with two other witnesses, said the scheme was too focused on “penetrative abuse” and had failed to properly address other forms of abuse.
Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency Manager, Jeannie McIntyre, said parts of the scheme showed “blatant disregard” towards the work of the royal commission.
“We’re after a fairer scheme for all survivors of abuse,” McIntyre said.
The scheme was set-up in July to provide access to counselling services for victims, direct personal responses from the responsible institutions and trauma payments.
The payments range from less than $10,000 to $150,000.
Witnesses were critical that only victims who had suffered penetrative abuse would be eligible to receive the highest possible payment.
Applications for the scheme will stay open until June 2027.