NSW time limits will wipe sexual assault victims rights to comp - ALA

14th May 2013

“The Anglican Survey of Child Sexual Abuse by clergy in the Brisbane area showed an average time from abuse to first complaint of 19.5 years,” Australian Lawyers Alliance spokesman Dr Andrew Morrison SC said today.

“Such information shows how ludicrous and unfair NSW’s new Victim Rights and Support Bill 2013 is as it dramatically reduces a victim’s ability to seek compensation for abuse in the courts,” Dr Morrison.

“The new 10-year-time limit on claims for lump sum damages means the vast majority of child sexual assault victims, many of whom are only just now coming forward as part of the Royal Commission into Institutionalised Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, will be ineligible for compensation,” he said.

Dr Morrison said the Bill was being lauded for giving more generous financial assistance of up to $30,000 for loss of earnings under one of its new provisions, but this had a two-year time limit from the time of offence to claim for eligibility or, in the case of children, two years after becoming a legally recognised adult.

“Of the 21,000-odd claims still waiting to be processed by Victims Services, the vast majority relate to sexual assaults, child abuse, and domestic violence. So the large proportion of children and stay-at-home mums who fall into these categories, receive no added benefits.

"Certainly the overwhelming majority of child sexual abuse victims that I have seen over the years at the hands of predatory clergy would not be able to claim any form of compensation under the new NSW law,” Dr Morrison said.

The new Bill can be accessed here.

Tags: Compensation NSW Victims of crime Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse