$250,000 to woman who suffered sexual abuse while at NSW child remand centre in 1970s

Published 15 May 2017

This case involved the horrific abuse of our client who was made a ward of the state and transferred to a NSW remand centre in 1972. After already suffering from sexual, mental, and physical abuse at the hands of her mother’s former partner from the age of 11, she ran away from home. She was charged at Children’s Court on account of being uncontrollable and was sent to a remand centre in Western Sydney.

During her time at the remand centre, our client was sexually abused on many occasions by multiple people, including men, women, staff and other patients. As a result of this abuse, she suffered debilitating psychological injury and was ultimately diagnosed as an adult with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Recurrent Depressive Disorder, Anxiety and Panic Disorder, Chronic Pain Disorder, and Post Traumatic Personality Change.

After struggling to cope with the effect that this abuse has had on her for her entire life, this woman made the brave decision to contact us and share her story with the hopes of receiving some compensation to assist with the ongoing costs of treatment, such as visits with her psychiatrist. Ms Julie Baqleh, an accredited personal injury specialist, took carriage of the matter and determined that this woman’s claim had merit. Ms Baqleh commenced proceedings against the State of NSW, as our client was in the care of the State when she suffered from this abuse.

Mindful that reliving the memories of the abuse was traumatic for our client, Ms Baqleh organised a mediation the representatives of the State of NSW, with the hopes of settling the matter without having to put our client through the public and costly process of proceeding to hearing at court.  After lengthy negotiations, Ms Baqleh and one of our senior barristers managed to secure a settlement of $250,000 for our client.

Those subjected to child or sexual abuse often have difficulty in discussing their experiences and many times they wish to supress the horrific memories in the hopes of forgetting the pain. At Gerard Malouf and Partners, we understand how difficult it can be to disclose traumatic experiences such as these to a stranger. We assure all of our clients that our skilled and experienced team will act with the utmost compassion in our fight to achieve maximum justice for those affected by child abuse and sexual abuse.