Knowmore legal service wins 2016 ALA Civil Justice Award
An organisation working day in and day out to provide independent, free legal advice and assistance to people who were victims of institutional child sexual abuse has been presented with the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) 2016 Civil Justice Award.
The knowmore legal service, which works with survivors of sexual abuse to empower them to find their long-silenced voices, was presented with the CJA during the Australian Lawyers Alliance national conference in Port Douglas.
ALA National President Tony Kenyon said that knowmore was an outstanding organisation which had made an immeasurable contribution to the fight against institutional child sexual abuse.
“The knowmore legal service is a truly deserving recipient of the Civil Justice Award,” Mr Kenyon said.
“knowmore works with survivors of sexual abuse to empower them to find their long-silenced voices and to help them bring the issue of institutional child sexual abuse to the forefront of public consciousness.
“knowmore is unique in that it is the first truly national community legal service. It brings together lawyers, counsellors, social workers and support staff to provide specialised help to survivors of sexual abuse.”
“knowmore’s dedicated team is instrumental in empowering survivors to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, helping them to navigate not only the legal system but supporting them emotionally to speak of the crimes against them,” Mr Kenyon said.
Mr Kenyon said that knowmore’s work was vital to help find justice and healing for those people who had been victims of institutional abuse.
“The Royal Commission hearings have lifted the veil on one of this country’s deepest, darkest and most shameful legacies which has left generations of Australian victims scarred, broken and hurting,” Mr Kenyon said.
“Many victims carried the pain and humiliation of their experiences with them for decades before finding it all too much and ending their lives.”
“For others who managed to hold on, the opportunity to finally speak about their horrific treatment as children at the hands of many officials at many different institutions was both a great relief and an exquisitely painful experience which reopened many old wounds,” Mr Kenyon said.
“It’s crucial we recognise the vital work knowmore does, so that the legal service can garner future high-level support to continue to fight for the preservation of the rights of its vulnerable clients.”