More than 100 applications have been lodged by people on the basis they experienced child sexual abuse in South Australian institutions since the National Redress Scheme commenced operation.
The State Government joined the National Redress Scheme, which is managed by the Commonwealth, in February this year.
“Ideally, there would be no need for a scheme such as this – however regrettably, people in both non-government and state run institutions were abused as children,” Attorney-General Chapman said.
“While the Redress Scheme cannot undo the abuse these people endured, it can help them move forward, with the support, counselling and acknowledgement they need.
“The South Australian Government’s support for the scheme demonstrates our commitment to supporting those individuals who experienced unspeakable abuse.
“While the Commonwealth Scheme Operator assesses Redress applications against a legislated framework, we are playing our part by ensuring that we search through our available records quickly and provide as much relevant supporting information to the National Redress Scheme as we can find.
“By working cooperatively across State government agencies to piece this information together, we have been able to respond to the National Redress Scheme generally in advance of the 4 or 8 weeks provided by the law for this process, and thereby allow the Scheme Operator to finalise those applications as quickly as possible.”
Attorney-General Chapman said the National Redress Scheme was established as a result of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.
“The Royal Commission estimated as many as 60,000 people across Australia experienced child sexual abuse in a state-run or non-government institution,” Ms Chapman said.
Ms Chapman said South Australia’s participation in the National Redress Scheme meant that the existing State ex-gratia scheme, established following the Mullighan Inquiry, was being wound down.
“This program ceased accepting new applications in February this year.
“There are around 17 applications to be finalised under the State ex gratia scheme, which we expect to close off by the end of the year.”
To find out more about the National Redress Scheme visit www.nationalredress.gov.au. Information on support services for people who have experienced abuse can be found at https://www.nationalredress.gov.au/support/get-help-apply