More than 20 private schools told to sign up to a compensation scheme for child sexual abuse victims have been slammed by survivors and advocates.
More than 20 private schools told to sign up to a compensation scheme for child sexual abuse victims have been slammed by survivors and advocates.

Elite schools defy child abuse compo order

More than 20 Victorian private schools told to sign up to a compensation scheme for child sexual abuse victims still have not joined.

And several elite colleges are snubbing attempts to speed through applications, even though they have just 100 days before being named and shamed for dragging their feet.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended a National Redress Scheme be created to provide survivors an easier avenue for compensation.

More than 20 Victorian private schools told to sign up to a compensation scheme for child sexual abuse victims still haven’t joined. Picture: AAP
More than 20 Victorian private schools told to sign up to a compensation scheme for child sexual abuse victims still haven’t joined. Picture: AAP

It began operating in July 2018.

Victims can apply for up to $150,000 for abuse suffered, with 1112 settlements so far averaging about $81,000.

Delays and deliberate efforts to avoid joining the scheme have been slammed by survivors of abuse and advocates who say it has the potential to reopen wounds.

The Herald Sun has found several non-government organisations that weren't named by the royal commission but have been pressured to join the scheme - including Brighton Grammar School, Wesley College and Ivanhoe Grammar - recently started application processes.

There are already 162 organisations in the scheme, which has more than 6000 applications for redress.

Victims can still claim against non-signatories in court or through other legal processes, but the commission said this would be more painful and arduous.

 

Families and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston.
Families and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston.

All organisations the royal commission identified or which have applications in the system were told to join by June 30, although some - including Swimming Australia, some religious orders, Football NSW and Jehovah's Witnesses - have ignored this.

One victim, who was abused at Scotch College and has approached the affiliated Presbyterian Church for redress, said all culpable organisations should be forced to join.

"It's just dragged on, why is it taking so long?" he said.

The Presbyterian Church in Victoria lodged papers to join the scheme in February, saying it had set aside $1.6 million.

Abuse law expert at Shine Lawyers, Katrina Stouppos, said survivors who applied for redress 18 months ago were still waiting.

A federal inquiry into the scheme is to start on Thursday.

matthew.johnston@news.com.au



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