Salvos, YMCA, Scouts and the Anglican Church commit to National Redress Scheme
The Turnbull government welcomes the commitment from the four NGOs
The National Redress Scheme has garnered further support from non-government organisations ahead of the Turnbull government passing legislation for establishment.
The Salvation Army, Scouts, YMCA and the Anglican Church have announced they will be contributing to the scheme that will provide counselling to the almost 60,000 survivors of institutionalised sexual abuse by religious establishments.
This announcement comes in the same week as the Catholic Church opted into the scheme, a significant move as almost 62 per cent of all survivors of sexual abuse in a religious group were from Catholic-managed institutions.
“While parliaments across Australia are yet to finalise their legislative work to enable the scheme, The Salvation Army will move to have its redress office operational as soon as the practice after July 1 2018,” the statement by the Salvation Army read.
The Salvation Army said they have worked constructively with a Federal government task force in response to a recommendation from the Royal Commission.
A joint statement from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Social Services Minister Dan Tehan said the government welcomed the announcement of four NGOs to the scheme, reporting that those who have signed up to the program have accepted the system failed to protect Australians who suffered abuse at religious institutions.
“Redress is not compensation, however it will acknowledge the harm and hurt suffered by the individual and ensure institutions take responsibility for the abuse that occurred on their watch, by their people,” the statement said.
YMCA Australia CEO, Melinda Crole, told the media: “We all share the responsibility for responding to survivors of child abuse, just as we all share the responsibility to make sure every child in Australia is safe and protected.
“We can’t change the past for survivors, but we can change their future. An effective redress scheme is critical for ensuring justice and healing the survivors.”
Every state and territory has committed to joining the scheme except Western Australia. The government and other NGOs are working constructively to change this.
YMCA said they were urging the WA government to formally declare opting into the Scheme to give survivors reassurance of a committed National Redress Scheme.
“The establishment of the National Redress Scheme is a critical recommendation from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse and we urge all non-government institutions across Australia to join with us and opt into the scheme.”
In a press conference, the Scouts said they were committed to the scheme and the needs of survivors, adding: “this has provided Australia with the necessary framework to recognise the impact these horrific crimes have had on far too many young people.”
Turnbull and Tehan said the Royal Commission put the “horrific” experiences of survivors on public record and now the Redress Scheme will officially acknowledge them and continue supporting those seeking counselling and support.
“Redress will be made to children who deserved to be safe, but whose lives were shockingly impacted by sexual abuse,” the statement said.
“We have to confront the truth that has been revealed, as difficult as that is, and the National Redress Scheme is part of the healing process.”