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Free legal help about institutional child sexual abuse

knowmore is an independent service giving free legal advice to assist survivors of institutional child sexual abuse by providing them with information and advice about the justice or redress options that may be available to them.

This includes possible claims under institutional redress schemes and access to assistance or compensation through victims of crime schemes or common law and civil law rights and claims.  You do not have to have previously engaged with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to access this service.

Through this work it is our goal to help prevent child sexual abuse from occurring in institutions in the future.

On Monday 19 February 2018, in a joint media statement, the Hon Christian Porter, Attorney General and The Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Social Services announced further funding for knowmore to ensure survivors of abuse seeking to access redress are provided with quality, trauma informed advice on their legal options.  Joint Media Release 19 February 2018

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has come to an end

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse delivered its final report on 15 December 2017 and has ceased its operations from that date.  The Royal Commission’s website will continue to be  available to provide information only at https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/ where you can access its reports, case studies, transcripts and general information.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse operated from July 2013 to December 2017 and inquired into how allegations and incidents of child sexual abuse that occurred in an institutional context have been managed and responded to.  It investigated how institutions and governments can better protect children, how they can achieve best practice in reporting and responding to incidents and how to address the impact of child sexual abuse.  The Royal Commission made recommendations for changes to the law and about practices of the Institutions, which are summarised here.

Australian Government to establish a national redress scheme

On 4 November 2016 the Australian Government announced that it would be establishing a Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional childhood sexual abuse.  Funding for the scheme and legal and community support services for survivors that are currently provided through the Royal Commission, was confirmed in the 2017 Budget (Media Release – The Hon Christian Porter)

This follows the Royal Commission’s 2015 recommendation that the establishment of a single, national redress scheme was the most effective structure for ensuring justice for survivors.

On 26 October the Turnbull Government introduced to Parliament the Commonwealth Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2017.   (Media Release October 2017 – The Hon. Christian Porter)

The scheme will commence in 2018. A website and phone line will open beforehand to provide more information.  You can read more about the scheme at the Department of Social Services.

If you have questions about how the proposed scheme might impact you, including any current or future legal claims – please call knowmore or the lawyer who is handling your claim.

Information about the Redress Scheme 

Commonwealth, NSW, Victorian, ACT, Queensland, NT and Tasmanian governments to participate in the National Redress Scheme

On 9 March 2018 it was announced that the NSW and Victorian governments would join the National Redress Scheme.  This means that subject to the passage of legislation, around 15,000 people who were sexually abused as children while in the care of the New South Wales, Victorian and Commonwealth government institutions can apply for the Redress Scheme when it starts.

Media Release from the Prime Minister

On 19 March 2018 the ACT government announced it would join the National Redress Scheme allowing survivors of child sexual abuse in institutions working under the ACT government to apply to the scheme.

Media Release from ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr, MLA and Attorney General Gordon Ramsay, MLA

On 30 April 2018 the Queensland and Northern Territory governments announced they would  join the scheme taking Australia one step closer to a truly national scheme.

Joint Media Statement from the Premier, the Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk, the Deputy Premier, the Hon Jackie Trad and the Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women, the Hon Di Farmer

On 22 May 2018 the Tasmanian government announced its commitment to the National Redress Scheme.

Ministerial Statement from Elise Archer, Attorney-General of Tasmania

National Apology to Victims and survivors of child sexual abuse

On 9 March 2018 the Hon Christian Porter, Attorney General, announced that a Reference Group has been set up to facilitate the delivery of a National Apology to Victims and Survivors of child sexual abuse.

Media Release from the Attorney General

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Perth Office

knowmore's Perth office closed at the end of 2016.

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2017 NSW Justice Award

Prue Gregory, has been awarded the 2017 Justice Medal at the Justice Awards hosted by the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW at Parliament House. Presented by Attorney General Mark Speakman, Prue Gregory won the prestigious award for her outstanding work in providing legal assistance to disadvantaged people for more than 20 years, most recently in her role with knowmore.

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2016 Civil Justice Award

knowmore legal service is proud to have been awarded the 2016 Civil Justice Award. Click here for more.