Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has applauded the NSW Government’s decision to join a national redress scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.
Ms Cooke said survivors of child sexual abuse in NSW Government institutions will soon have access to a consistent and compassionate scheme designed to be responsive to their needs.
“It’s a national shame that so many children were sexually abused in environments where they should have been nurtured and protected,” Ms Cooke said.
“A redress scheme is vital to helping ensure survivors in Cootamundra electorate and in all communities across Australia are supported and treated with dignity.”
A single national redress scheme was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The scheme will provide survivors with a redress payment of up to $150,000, access to counselling and direct personal responses from institutions.
NSW and Victoria are the first states to opt into the scheme, vital to acknowledging the suffering of survivors of abuse and supporting them on their journey to recovery.
Attorney General Mark Speakman said NSW is a leader in child protection and supporting survivors of abuse.
“NSW has already removed the limitation period for survivors to launch civil claims for compensation. We have also improved our Model Litigation Policy which ensures a more compassionate approach to how civil child abuse claims are managed by NSW Government agencies,” Mr Speakman said.
“We were also the first state to introduce trained witness intermediaries to help child victims and witnesses of sexual abuse understand questions and convey their answers effectively in criminal proceedings. The Royal Commission has recommended this reform be introduced nationwide.”
The NSW Government will make its formal response to all Royal Commission recommendations in June.