National Redress Scheme
The National Redress Scheme provides acknowledgement and support to people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse.
It was created in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which estimated that 60,000 people experienced institutional child sexual abuse in Australia.
The Scheme started on 1 July 2018 and will run for 10 years.
For more information, visit www.nationalredress.gov.au or;
call the National Redress Scheme line on 1800 737 377.
About the Scheme
- The National Redress Scheme provides redress through acknowledgement and support to people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse.
- The Scheme started on 1 July 2018 and will run for 10 years.
- The nature of child sexual abuse can make it hard for people to prove what happened to them.
- As recommended by the Royal Commission, the National Redress Scheme will assess applications based on a reasonable likelihood that the abuse happened.
- Redress is an alternative to seeking compensation through the courts. People can either accept an offer of redress through the National Redress Scheme, or seek compensation through the courts.
- The Royal Commission estimated that 60,000 people experienced institutional child sexual abuse in Australia.
How the Scheme came about
- The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse listened to thousands of people who experienced sexual abuse as children.
- The sexual abuse happened in orphanages, children’s homes, schools, churches and other religious organisations, sports clubs, hospitals, foster care and other institutions.
- The Royal Commission recommended that redress be given to people who experienced child sexual abuse. In response, the Australian Government set up the National Redress Scheme.
- Redress is provided by the institution responsible to acknowledge the damage done to people as children.
Institutions taking part
- Institutions responsible for child sexual abuse need to join the Scheme, so that people who were abused can access redress.
- All state and territory governments have agreed to join, and are passing state laws to make this commitment. Many non-government institutions have also said they will join.
- Each application can be processed once the relevant state government has passed adoption legislation to legally join the Scheme. In some states, that is expected to happen later this year (2018).
- The Australian Government is urging remaining institutions to join the Scheme soon.
- The website has a list of the institutions that are participating in the Scheme. The helpline can also tell people which institutions are included.
- The list will grow over time, as more institutions join.
- Visit www.nationalredress.gov.au or call 1800 737 377.
- Through the website, people can also subscribe to receive email updates about the Scheme, so they will know when new institutions join.
What you can apply for
- The National Redress Scheme can provide three things:
- access to counselling;
- a payment; and
- a direct personal response from the institution (eg an apology).
- Access to counselling will be provided in addition to the redress payment.
- Payments will be decided on an individual basis. They will range from less than $10,000 through to $150,000.
- The payments will be non-taxable. They are also exempt from Commonwealth debt recovery, exempt from income tests relevant to government payments, and exempt from creditors where a person is bankrupt.
- People who received a payment for child sexual abuse from a previous redress scheme, victims of crime scheme, or through a settlement can still apply for the National Redress Scheme. The value of any prior payment will be deducted from the amount that would otherwise be offered under the National Redress Scheme.
Who can apply
- You can apply to the National Redress Scheme if:
- you experienced sexual abuse when you were a child (under 18 years of age) and
- the abuse happened before 1 July 2018, and
- an institution was responsible for bringing you into contact with the person who abused you, and
- you were born before 30 June 2010, and
- you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
- Your application may be processed differently if you:
- were abused in an institution that hasn’t joined the National Redress Scheme;
- are under 18;
- have ever been sentenced to more than five years in gaol; or
- have already received a payment related to the abuse.
- You cannot apply if you:
- are in gaol (you can apply once you are released or earlier if there are exceptional circumstances);
- have already received a court-ordered payment from the institution; or
- have already applied for redress through the National Redress Scheme.
How to apply
- You can apply by filling in an online or paper form. You won’t be asked to tell your story in front of a person or panel.
- The form is available from the website or by calling the phone line.
- It will take a number of months for each application to be processed. Each person can then take up to six months to decide whether they will accept the offer of redress.
- Each application can be processed once the relevant state government has passed referral legislation to legally join the scheme.
Connecting with support
- Free, confidential support services have been set up to help people understand the scheme and provide support before, during and after the application process.
- Legal and financial support services are also available, to help people understand their options.
- To find a Redress Support Service near you visit www.nationalredress.gov.au or call 1800 737 377.