Government amends redress scheme after survivor outcry

Child sexual abuse survivors will be able to decide whether to disclose the impact of their abuse to the institution involved.

Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher.

Social Services Minister Paul Fletcher says the government is listening to survivors. Source: AAP

Australians who experienced child sexual abuse while in the care of institutions will no longer be forced to disclose the impact of the abuse to the organisations involved in order to join a national redress scheme.

The federal government says it will "fine-tune" an application form for joining the scheme, so applicants can chose whether or not share an impact statement with the institution in which they were abused.

The change follows outcry from some survivors over having to share their personal experiences with their abusers.

"We are listening to those survivors and are responding," Social Services Minister Paul Fletcher said in a statement on Sunday.

Mr Fletcher said the government will work with the states and territories to secure their formal agreement for the change as soon as possible.

"We will talk to relevant parties as a matter of urgency to modify the form in a way that achieves the outcomes for survivors that the redress scheme was designed to deliver."

The to provide redress to about 60,000 people who were sexually abused as children while in the care of institutions, and will run for 10 years.

It provides access to counselling, a redress payment and a direct personal response such as an apology from an institution, if the survivor wants it.

So far only a handful of payments have been made under the scheme, from more than 1500 applications lodged.

2 min read
Published 14 October 2018 at 4:50pm
Source: SBS