Institutions should review all payments made to children in their care that had been sexually abused, according to the head of the Royal Commission examining the organisations’ responses, reports The Australian.
Judge Peter McClellan, who is chairing the Royal Commission, yesterday told a child protection workers’ conference that the question of whether a national redress scheme should be set up for abuse survivors was challenging, but some institutions had already taken 'significant' steps.
He pointed to a Salvation Army commitment to review all payments made to abuse victims to ensure they were fair, and a similar 'opinion' from Cardinal George Pell regarding people abused within the Sydney Archdiocese.
'I suspect, and the Commissioners are hopeful, that as a result of the Royal Commission’s focus on this issue other institutions will respond in a similar manner,' Justice McClellan said.
'It is apparent from the work we have already undertaken that designing a fair redress scheme, assuming that one should be created, raises significant and difficult questions.
'We are listening to people whose lives have been damaged and in some cases destroyed by the perverted actions of adults, people whom both they and their parents had a right to trust.'
Child abuse survivors have pushed for the Commission to recommend a national redress scheme, and the removal of legal barriers that prevent successful lawsuits against organisations where abuse occurred.
Justice McClellan gave the Melbourne Childaware conference updated statistics on the cases brought to the Commission, saying he had referred 141 matters to police.
Review payments to abuse victims: commissioner (The Australian)