Are you a survivor of childhood sexual abuse?
If this happened in relation to a church, hospital, mission, detention centre, foster care, school, sports club, or other similar organisation, you may be eligible for the National Redress Scheme.
The PWDA Redress Team can help you apply.
We can also help other survivors.
In 2017, thousands of survivors spoke to a royal commission about their experiences of institutional child sexual abuse. Afterwards, the commission made some recommendations about what should be done. One of those recommendations was the National Redress Scheme.
The scheme is made up of three parts:
- A payment of up to $150,000.
- Access to counselling.
- An apology.
You can request any or all of these things.
The redress process can be hard, especially for people with disability. PWDA is a specialist advocacy organisation that provides free, confidential support. We can support you in learning more about the scheme and whether it is the best option for you. We can only act with your consent and you can withdraw that consent at any time.
Not all survivors are eligible for a redress payment. For some, there may be other, more suitable options. It is important to discuss this with a support service such as the PWDA Redress Team before you lodge your application.
Free, independent and confidential legal support is available through the knowmore legal service. You can call them on 1800 605 762 or visit their website: knowmore.org.au. Or you can contact us and we can support you to speak with knowmore.
Contact People with a Disability
Phone: 1800 422 015
PWDA recognises that not all victims of childhood sexual abuse will identify with the term “survivor”. The word survivor has been used here to refer to any individual who has experienced childhood sexual abuse within an institution.
WHO CAN APPLY?
You may be eligible if:
• you experienced sexual abuse when you were under 18 years old, and
• an institution was responsible for bringing you into contact with the person who abused you, and
• the abuse happened before July 1, 2018, and you were born before June 30, 2010.
The scheme can only help you if an institution responsible for the abuse has joined the scheme. Check here to find out if an institution has joined the scheme. If the institution you were looking for is not here, please contact us to talk about your options.
You can make an application for redress any time until 30 June 2027.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
Our advocates can provide you with practical and emotional support. We can inform you about your rights. We can support you through the entire application process.
These are some of the ways in which we can help:
- Telephone, online and, in some areas, face-to-face support*.
- We can link you with free legal support, so you can find out about all the options available.
- We can support you in filling out the application.
- We can support you in accessing other services you may need, like counselling, NDIS, financial counselling and Centrelink.
- If you choose to receive a Direct Personal Response, we can support you through that process.
* PWDA currently provides face-to-face support in the Greater Sydney region, Sutherland area, Newcastle, Queanbeyan, the Southern Tablelands and Southern Highlands.
Queensland-based Individual Advocates can support people in Logan, the Fraser Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Bundaberg, Mount Isa and Lower Gulf Communities.
PWDA also has the capacity to travel to some areas of regional NSW upon request, and currently have regular visits planned to Bathurst, Orange, Broken Hill, Dubbo and Tamworth.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I APPLY?
An Independent Decision maker will consider your application for redress. The assessment may take some time to complete. You may want to think about who could give you some support if you need it. This could be someone you already know. The PWDA Redress Team can also help you find someone.
If you are eligible, your payment could be up to $150,000. The amount will depend on a lot of things. For more information, go to the National Redress Scheme website. Or contact us directly on 1800 422 015 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have been given a payment for the abuse before, your redress payment may be lower.
If you get a payment:
• You won’t need to pay tax on it.
• It won’t count as income.
• It might count in an assets test for a government payment.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What kinds of institutions are covered by the redress scheme?
A: Schools, churches, hospitals, missions, sports clubs, other clubs (such as scouts), orphanages, children’s homes, detention centres and foster care.
Q: Are wards of the state covered by the redress scheme?
A: Yes. The scheme covers abuse that happened while you were under the care of an institution. For example, if you were a ward of the state.
Q: Does it matter where the abuse took place?
A: It doesn’t matter where the abuse took place. It could have happened in your home, or a park, or anywhere. The only stipulation is that the abuser was brought into contact with you through an institution (a priest visiting your home, for example, or a coach giving you a ride home after practice.)
Q: What if I have experienced abuse more than once?
A: Individuals can only make one redress application. If there have been several instances of abuse, or several institutions, they are all included in the one application.
Q: What if I have already received a payment?
A: You may not be eligible for another one or it may be reduced. However, you can still apply for counselling or a direct personal response.
Q: Will my information be kept safe?
A: There are strict rules about how information in your application can be used. People who use or share your information inappropriately can be fined or jailed.
If you need immediate support, or have found the content here distressing, please contact one of the numbers below:
1800 RESPECT, the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service (1800 737 732)
Lifeline (13 11 14)
Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467)
Mensline (1300 789 978)
QLife (1800 184 527) from 3pm – midnight every day.