Australia: abuse survivors committing serious crimes barred from accessing redress

“What I’m leading to here is the fact that I would have been all right in life if it hadn’t been for the sexual abuse committed against me, and rejections by the system, so how can you, Mr Turnbull, judge me as not being eligible for compensation on the grounds of criminality?” he wrote.

“I was a system-made problem.”

The exclusion of abuse survivors with serious criminal histories is one of the most contentious aspects of the proposed redress scheme. The proposal was not among the redress recommendations put forward by the child abuse royal commission, which handed down its final report in December.

A submission to the Senate inquiry from Penny Savidis, the head of institutional abuse at Ryan Carlisle Thomas lawyer, said the proposed exclusion of those with criminal convictions for sex crimes or any serious crime with a sentence of five years or more was “manifestly unjust”.

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