South Australians who experienced institutional child sexual abuse are now able to apply for therapeutic and financial support with the National Redress Scheme fully operational across the state.
People who experienced child sexual abuse in South Australian government institutions, as well as non-government that have declared their participation in the scheme, can now apply for redress.
Included in the Scheme is access to counselling and psychological support, a redress payment of up to $150,000 and the opportunity to receive a direct personal response from the institution responsible. If an offer of redress is received, any or all of these things can be accepted.
This can be a difficult process, as revisiting past events and trauma can be distressing. Support services are available through the national website, as is legal support.
The Scheme will operate for ten years and people who experienced abuse before the Scheme began on 1 July 2018 can access redress. They must also be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, who is aged 18 years or older, or will be by 30 June 2028.
South Australia is the last state to join the scheme, with concerns from the previous government that it may not harmonise with the state’s existing compensation scheme.
Under the previous ex-gratia Children in State Care Scheme in South Australia, people who experienced abuse could receive up to $50,000 in compensation. People who have already received ex-gratia payment under the state scheme may be eligible for further compensation under the National Scheme.
The National Redress Scheme was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The Royal Commission heard from thousands of people about the abuse they experienced as children.
Only institutions that have signed up to the redress scheme are able to provide redress payments. So far in South Australia, a wide range of institutions have already signed up to the scheme. More information on the institutions that have already signed up is available on the National Redress Scheme website.
For more information or to connect with a support service visit www.nationalredress.gov.au or call the National Redress Scheme on 1800 737 377.
Interested parties can download a fact sheet that also provides more information about accessing the Scheme in South Australia.