6th May 2019 | Chad Van Estrop | Geelong Advertiser
CARE leavers sexually abused after fleeing orphanages, schools and other institutions are seething after a victim was denied a maximum payout via the National Redress Scheme.
Care Leavers Australasia Network joint founder Leonie Sheedy, who is based in Geelong, said an 82-year-old female member abused in and out institutional care in Victoria as a child was recently denied the maximum $150,000 payout under the scheme.
“The (Federal) Government is trying to minimise payments to these people … it’s penny pinching happening here,” Ms Sheedy said.
“The Federal Government is complicit in this injustice.”
She said the woman was denied the maximum payout because some of the abuse she was subjected to took place after she fled care due to other episodes of abuse.
“Children fled because they felt totally unsafe. Governments, churches and charities had a duty of care,” Ms Sheedy said. “The Royal Commission didn’t say ‘only come forward if a crime was committed to you inside an institution’.
“There’s so much wrong with the redress scheme; it’s not care-leaver focused or victim focused. It’s institution focused.
“A lot of care leavers are grateful (for their payouts) but they deserve to be properly compensated.”
In a statement a Department of Social Services spokeswoman said redress was only available for those sexually abused at an institution.
“Redress was established to provide survivors with an alternative to civil litigation. It includes support for people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse in the form of payment of up to $150,000 and to receive support through counselling services.”
The spokeswoman said 148 payments had been made under the scheme as of April 26. Applications can be made until June 30, 2027.
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