Compensation for Sexual Abuse
If you have been sexually abused, we understand that money will never undo the past. However we also understand that the right to seek financial compensation and damages can be a very important part of the healing process for victims of sexual abuse. That’s where our abuse lawyers can help.
Abuse lawyers with compassion
We appreciate that discussing these traumatic events can be very difficult, particularly when the sexual abuse occurred during childhood. Our abuse lawyers take pride in their ability to create a comfortable and respectful environment for our clients. We will foster a relationship with you based on trust and understanding.
If you have been sexually abused, no matter how long ago the sexual abuse took place, our team of dedicated, knowledgeable and compassionate lawyers are here to provide you with expert advice about your rights to compensation.
At Stacks Goudkamp our abuse lawyers are highly experienced in handling cases for victims of sexual abuse. We have successfully obtained compensation for the devastating impact sexual abuse has had on the lives of countless victims.
We are experienced in bringing claims for sexual abuse victims against individuals and institutions/organisations, including:
- Religious organisations including the Catholic Church (and their religious orders), the Uniting Church and the Anglican Church
- Government departments and facilities, such as the Department of Community Services and the Department of Corrective Services
- Educational institutions including public and private schools and boarding schools
- Health and other professionals, such as doctors, counsellors (psychiatrists and psychologists) and teachers
Before talking to our abuse lawyers, many of our adult clients who were subjected to sexual abuse during their childhood thought it was too late to make a claim for compensation.
The normal expiry date for personal injury claims is 3 years. However, if you were sexually abused as a child, there is no time limit to bring a compensation claim. This change in the law occurred in 2016 and is retrospective. This means that if you were sexually abused as a child, you are not time barred from bringing a claim no matter when the abuse occurred. The only condition is that you were abused before you turned eighteen.
The legislation that abolished the time limit for victims of childhood abuse also applies to previously time barred claims. As a result, if you have tried to claim compensation for childhood sexual abuse before but have been told by lawyers or a judge that you were out of time, you can bring your claim again. This does not at present allow victims who have settled their cases or been awarded compensation/damages by a Court to bring a further claim. Our lawyers are presently involved with the Law Society in making recommendations to change this area of the law. However it does remove the limitation period for unresolved cases, which was often a difficult hurdle to overcome.
As an alternative to a traditional compensation claim, a Redress Scheme for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse is expected to commence on 1 July 2018 for ten years.
Our abuse lawyers can advise you on the differences between applying to the Redress Scheme to a traditional compensation claim and assist you with your application.
It is also important to be aware that a claim may be possible under the NSW Victims Services compensation scheme, and/or special schemes, such as the “Towards Healing” process run by the Catholic Church.
Our abuse lawyers can provide you with expert advice about these options as well.
What should you do now?
We understand that it takes a tremendous amount of courage and strength for victims of sexual abuse to finally talk to someone, particularly a lawyer, about their experiences. We guarantee that our abuse lawyers will treat you with nothing but the utmost respect and compassion that you deserve. We will fight for you.
For information about our successful claims in this area, read our case studies page.
If you are ready to talk to someone about your options, contact us now to speak to one of our compassionate abuse lawyers for a confidential no obligation discussion.
Sexual Abuse Case Studies
PJM was made a ward of the State of NSW at the age of 18 months. PJM was removed from his parents’ care as a result of familial abuse and neglect.
PJM was moved between various State “Boys’ Homes” until the age of 15 years. During his time at one government run home he was the victim of repeated sexual, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of several employees of the home. PJM was too scared to notify other teachers, believing it would lead to more abuse. In addition to the horrific abuse, PJM was made to perform physical labour in and around the school, rather than being allowed to attend any lessons. He therefore left school being unable to read or write.
As a result of the physical and psychological trauma PJM sustained he was unable to hold down a job, nor build any meaningful relationships.
After hearing about the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, PJM contacted Stacks Goudkamp Lawyers for advice. Although it had been over 30 years since the abuse occurred, Stacks Goudkamp Lawyers were able to build a case against the State of NSW in negligence and reach an out of court settlement and, importantly closure for PJM.