For several years, the Catholic Church has supported the creation of an independent process that would allow survivors of child sexual abuse to seek redress.
One of the key recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was the establishment of a National Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.
Church leaders, including the Diocese of Ballarat, have confirmed their commitment to the Scheme.
The Commonwealth Government has established an independent agency to manage the Scheme. On 1 July 2018, the National Redress Scheme commenced, with survivors of child sexual abuse able to approach the Scheme at any time until 30 June 2027.
Under the Scheme, applications for redress are considered by independent assessors who decide on the appropriate levels of financial and other support, such as counselling services. The Catholic Church and other institutions participating in the Scheme will meet the costs of redress.
Church authorities, including the Diocese of Ballarat, will enter the Scheme when they are able to do so. Joining the Scheme is not an automatic process. It is necessary for an institution, such as the Diocese, to apply to the Scheme and for that application to be approved by the Commonwealth. Church authorities are working with Commonwealth officials to facilitate entry into the Scheme as soon as possible.
People wishing to access the Scheme can call 1800 737 377 or visit http://www.nationalredress.gov.au
Those who need immediate assistance can contact:
Lifeline 13 11 14
In an emergency, call 000