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Historical abuse victim receives compensation for abuse suffered in 1970’s at NSW school camp

Case Overview
  • In the early 1970’s, our client attended a school camp where he was groomed, sexually abused and berated. This had a tremendous impact on his ability to obtain and maintain employment throughout his life.
  • We organised a mediation between the parties to discuss whether the matter could be resolved without the need of going through to a Court hearing.
  • We were able to negotiate a settlement on behalf of our client whereby he did not have to go further to a Court hearing, we attained significant compensation for their claim.

In the early 1970s, our client attended a school camp where he was sexually abused and berated by other students whilst in the presence of class teachers. Our client reported the abuse at the time but was dismissed by a senior member of staff. Our client suffered bullying as a result of the abuse and turned to a class teacher for support who, under the guise of caring for him, groomed our client and sexually abused him.

The abuse our client has suffered has had a significant impact on him and has caused long term trauma and psychological scarring. As a result of the abuse, our client suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. The abuse caused him to withdraw from school and as a result, had a tremendous impact on his ability to obtain and maintain employment throughout his life. He has difficulty trusting people and turned to alcohol to help cope with the unwelcome memories of the abuse.

After struggling with the impact of the abuse for a large part of his life, our client bravely contacted Gerard Malouf and Partners to gain advice on his rights for a compensation claim in relation to the historical institutional abuse. Our experienced and caring historical child abuse solicitor, Richele Nelsen, took carriage of the matter and began to gather the evidence required to substantiate the claim and obtain maximum compensation.

Our Approach

Statements and medical evidence were obtained detailing the ongoing impact the abuse had had on our client’s life. The impacts stretched from not only his personal relationships but also his employment opportunities. A claim for compensation was brought seeking damages for the pain and suffering our client had endured, his treatment expenses and economic loss.

Once our evidence was gathered, we organised a mediation between the parties to discuss whether the matter could be resolved without the need of going through to a Court hearing. With the help of our expert barrister, we were able to negotiate a settlement on behalf of our client whereby he did not have to go further to a Court hearing.

Although the compensation for child abuse in no way made up for the tremendous impact the abuse had on our client, it did assist in providing him with closure and a sense of recognition by the school that their failure to adequately supervise and act on complaints was unacceptable.

The Result

We were able to negotiate a settlement on behalf of our client whereby he did not have to go further to a Court hearing. Achieving compensation, but more importantly, providing him with closure and a sense of recognition by the school's failures.

Richele Nelsen Compensation Lawyer

Richele Nelsen

Partner
The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence – Confucius
Frequently Asked Questions

More Information

Learning institutions serve as sanctuaries, where people of all ages can go to learn and discover new skills that can help them become more well-rounded individuals. Teachers and administrators play an important role in ensuring that this goal is achieved, and more often than not, they make all of us proud. Every day millions of parents trust their local schools with their children’s well-being. But what happens when the school falls short? From serious injury to child abuse and sexual abuse, incidents at school can have a lifelong impact. But when is the school itself liable?

What many victims may not realize is that a school can be held responsible even if they didn’t directly cause the injury — so long as their lack of reasonable preventative action contributed. Proving this, however, can be challenging.

Ultimately, if you, your child, or another loved one was harmed as a result of school negligence, you have options. The expert solicitors at Gerard Malouf & Partners can help.

 

Claims for compensation can be brought against both individuals and organisations. Examples of successful claims for victims of child abuse, sexual assault, physical and mental abuse that we have previously handled include:

  • Professionals who have held a position of trust such as doctors, teachers, psychologists and psychiatrists
  • The Department of Community Services in New South Wales and equivalent departments Australia-wide
  • Religious organisations including the Catholic Church
  • Actions against public and private schools, including boarding schools

 

A statute of limitations effectively sets a time limit on the start of legal proceedings. For offences that have a statute of limitations, claims have to be brought before the time limit expires.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual assault or physical or mental abuse as an adult, the statute of limitations is three years. If the victim was a child at the time of the offence there is no time limit.

 

The National Redress System was set up in the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (2013 to 2017). It is designed to offer support and financial compensation to victims. Claims can be made until June 2027.

 

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