Sexual assault is horrendous and it goes without saying that it will have a significant impact on victims as they go through their lives, and most likely on the families of those victims. Victims can now have the offenders or responsible organisations of the offenders held accountable – and that is a good thing. Whilst monetary compensation will never make up for what happened to the victims, if they are entitled to compensation they should receive it.
There are two important recent Court Proceedings in relation to people who were victims of sexual assault:-
- A person who was raped by a Catholic Priest in Victoria has settled a claim in the order of $3 million dollars. This was the first civil case in which the Church admitted liability for the actions of a paedophile cleric. It is expected to open the door for compensation claim from other victims of the same priest – and possibly other priests;
- In October 2019 the Supreme Court of NSW awarded a victim the sum of $3,510,513 for sexual abuse that occurred to a person from the age of 13 to 15. What was very significant in this case was the amount allowed by the Court for the Psychological injury to the victim.
It has been the experience of Peter Moore, Compensation Lawyer of Brazel Moore Compensation Lawyers that whilst the impact of the sexual assault is always there, it is very significant when the victim reaches mid life. Peter hears of a lot of people who are affected.
A lot of people have a claim against Child Welfare Authorities (many of whom were in foster care), Church and other organisations who have involvement with children (eg Scouts). From March 2016, there is no limitation period to take legal proceedings where the victim was under the age of 18 when the abuse took place. It does not even have to be sexual abuse, it can also be other forms of abuse such as physical abuse.
Everyone who has been abused deserves justice and if that is by claiming compensation, you should seek legal advice. If you would like to know where you stand, call Peter Moore, Lawyer specialising in Compensation on 4324 7699. It doesn’t cost you anything to find out if you have a claim!