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National Redress Scheme

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The National Redress Scheme is...

The National Redress Scheme:

  • acknowledges that many children were sexually abused in Australian institutions
  • recognises the suffering they endured because of this abuse
  • holds institutions accountable for this abuse
  • helps people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse gain access to counselling, a direct personal response, and a redress payment.

The National Redress Scheme involves:

  • people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse and are eligible for redress
  • a commonwealth government-staffed team processing applications
  • support services — free, confidential emotional support and legal and financial counselling for people thinking about, or applying, to the scheme
  • participating institutions that have agreed to provide redress to people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse
  • independent decision makers who consider applications and make recommendations and conduct reviews.

Eligibility for redress

For an application for redress to be approved, there needs to be a “reasonable likelihood” that:

  • the applicant was sexually abused
    • when they were a child
    • before 1 July 2018
    • the abuse was of a kind assessed as having a monetary value under the National Redress Scheme Assessment Framework
  • the abuse relates to one or more institutions that are signatories to/participants of the National Redress Scheme
  • the applicant is an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

The National Redress Scheme will consider all relevant information available, including:

  • the information contained in the application form
  • any documentation an applicant provides in support of their application, for example, written testimony to past schemes or inquiries, including the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
  • the information relevant participating institution/s provide in response to a Request for Information from the national redress scheme, including any supporting documentation
  • any other information available including information held by the National Redress Scheme (for example, where the scheme has built up a picture of relevant information about the same institution during the relevant period, or the same abuser).

Reasonable likelihood

Reasonable likelihood “means the chance of the person being eligible is real and is not fanciful or remote and is more than merely plausible”.

It must be considered reasonably likely the applicant meets each of the scheme’s eligibility requirements, including that it is reasonably likely that a person experienced sexual abuse as a child, and that a participating institution is responsible for bringing an alleged abuser/s into contact with them.

Certain factors will inform the decision about whether or not the alleged abuse was reasonably likely, including (but not limited to):

  • the applicant states the abuse occurred
  • a participating institution/s indicates it should be treated as responsible for the applicant’s abuse
  • a report or complaint of the abuse occurred
  • the applicant has received a prior payment for the abuse from the institution
  • people with similar claims against an abuser or institution have been found eligible for redress.

In determining reasonable likelihood, the National Redress Scheme recognises that some people:

  • have never revealed their abuse, and disclosure to the scheme may be the first time they have done so
  • would be unable to establish their presence at the institution at the relevant time because
    • the institution’s records may have been destroyed
    • record-keeping practice may have been poor
    • the person may have attended institutional events where no attendance record would have been taken
  • do not have corroborating evidence of the abuse they suffered.

Contacting the National Redress Scheme

National Redress Scheme, phone line 1800 737 377 available 8am-5pm, Monday to Friday

W:  www.nationalredress.gov.au

Complaints or feedback, email: complaints@dss.gov.au