• Survivors of sexual abuse want proper compensation (NITV)Source: NITV
Survivors and supporters are saying they want immediate action in response to more than 13,000 allegations of abuse received by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse as it enters the second half of its five-year term.
By
Nevanka McKeon

Source:
NITV News
20 Jul 2015 - 6:36 PM  UPDATED 21 Jul 2015 - 9:38 AM

Approximately half of those allegations relate to faith-based institutions.

While the Royal Commission's chairman will soon report on whether it would recommend criminal liability for institutions, survivors are saying the time to act is now.

Leonie Sheedy, a survivor of child sexual abuse, says she wants immediate action on behalf of all those she represents as CEO of the advocacy and support group CLAN.

"I'd like the churches and charities to show their moral compass and start and go to the Prime Minister and say this is necessary now," Ms Sheedy said. "Not wait for the findings of the royal commission or the recommendations."

"I'd like the churches and charities to show their moral compass and start and go to the Prime Minister and say this is necessary now"

Ms Sheedy supported one of her elderly members at a private Commission hearing in Perth on Monday. She said the elderly lady had six months to live and time was running out for survivors like her. She added that compensation needed to happen immediately.

"She doesn't even have enough money for her funeral, there needs to be a funeral fund set up for these elderly people, they are not long livers because of the trauma and abuse," Ms Sheedy said.

One of the institutions being investigated for sexual abuse crimes is the Uniting Church. The Royal Commission revealed it had received 399 allegations.

Stuart McMillan, the president of Uniting Church Australia said: "Some might say that 399 is only 3 percent of the total number of the allegations and therefore that's a good statistic, but no statistic is a good statistic…no child should suffer abuse'

The Uniting Church said it understood the need for survivors to seek justice, whether it was the the right to receive an apology or compensation.

"Constructively as a church we're looking to meet those kinds of justice needs that individuals have," Mr McMillan said. "We haven't totally worked through what that means in terms of our structures and that's something we're doing, but we're also waiting on the August report that will come out from the Commission to see what the recommendations there might be."

Reverend Dennis Corowa, the chairperson of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Christian Congress, Uniting Church, said: "Probably more difficult for our people [is] to talk about the issues relating to family and to have the forthcoming information that's necessary to work towards the ongoing protection and address the issues that needs to be addressed of those who are hurting today."