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Institutional Sexual Abuse Claims

Overview

Childhood sexual assault claims

The damage done by sexual abuse can last well past the incidents themselves, causing victims mental distress for years to come. Victims of abuse of all forms, including sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse, deserve to have their voices heard.  

If you or a loved one was a victim of sexual abuse, contact Gerard Malouf & Partners and speak to one of our lawyers to understand if we can help you to get you proper redress through a institutional sexual abuse claim. 

Our team of solicitors and barristers have experience handling sexual abuse claims with the sensitivity and compassion they deserve. 

35
Years Experience
Winning successful cases for our clients.
98%
SUCCESS RATE

Winning Institutional Abuse Compensation Claims

35,000
CLAIMS WON

That translates to billions of dollars for our clients.

35
Years Experience
No Fee
IF You Don'T Win YOur Case
Unique
Service GuarAntee

Childhood sexual assault claims​

The Australian Government’s Institute of Health and Welfare defines sexual assault to include any non-consensual physical contact “of a sexual nature.” This includes both aggravated assaults, such as rape, and non-aggravated charges, such as indecent exposure or verbal threats. Any attempts at an assault are also unlawful, as is sexual activity of any kind with a person under the age of consent. The age of consent is at least 16 in all states and territories. In Tasmania and South Australia, the age of consent is 17.

Unfortunately, sexual abuse in Australia is far more common than many like to give credence to. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 80,000 Australians are victims of some form of sexual assault every year. Meanwhile, about 2.5 million Australian adults reported physical and/or sexual abuse before they were of the age to con, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Despite this, victims of sexual abuse often have a difficult time gaining justice for the crimes committed against them. Many cases of abuse, especially childhood sexual abuse, go unreported for years — if they are reported at all. Opening up an official complaint can be challenging for many victims and cause them to relive their trauma. In fact, according to the ABS, only about a third of sexual assault cases are reported to authorities in a given year.

At Gerard Malouf & Partners, we understand how difficult it is for victims of sexual assault and child abuse to walk through our doors, and we strive to make the compensation process as simple and painless as possible.

While the fight for justice may seem daunting, a compensation settlement can be an important part of the healing process for you or your loved ones.

YOUR RIGHTS

What compensation is available for victims of sexual abuse?

Victims of all kinds of sexual abuse can seek financial redress in civil court. A civil case can be decided either in mediation with the attorneys of the defendant or by a judge in the trial. Ultimately, financial compensation for sexual abuse victims in civil cases is typically based on four areas:

  • The cost of immediate physical or psychological treatment for the abuse.
  • Any ongoing medical costs, such as therapy or domestic care.
  • Loss of earnings or superannuation as a result of the incident. In the case of sexual abuse that can include the loss of productivity as a result of psychological damage.
  • Non-economic pain and loss damages for the psychological and emotional distress caused by the abuse.
 

The court may also be able to award victims an “aggravated and exemplary damages” payment in the most extreme circumstances. This is typically done if the court wishes to make an example of the defendant.

In addition to pursuing civil cases in court, Gerard Malouf & Partners can help clients to access government payout schemes meant for the victims of sexual abuse. The largest of these, the National Redress System, was established in 2017 to distribute payment to the victims of child sexual abuse. Claims can be made until June 2027, with payment amounts decided on an individual basis and ranging from $10,000 to $150,000.

While the National Redress System is a fantastic tool for the survivors of childhood sexual abuse, it should be noted that accepting a claim will prevent you from also pursuing a civil case, which could result in a larger payment.

Process

How do we prove sexual abuse?

While proving sexual abuse in court can be challenging, the level of evidence needed is lower in civil cases than criminal ones. While criminal cases have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, a civil case only requires that the balance of probabilities be in the claimant’s favour. Even if criminal action has failed, a civil case may still succeed.

Gathering evidence on your own, particularly given the traumatic nature of these cases, can be challenging. Our experienced team can do the work for you. You shouldn’t feel that you need to have done the work yourself before coming to speak to us.

Based on our extensive experience of handling and winning sexual abuse compensation claims evidence typically includes:

  • Proof of medical treatment costs (or counselling and/or physiotherapy)
  • Records of the victim and offender being in a given place when a sexual offence took place (e.g. enrollment in schools, residence at an aged care facility)
  • A victim’s signed statement of truth that their story is accurate
 

Many victims of sexual abuse who have taken years to fully come to terms with what happened to them may worry that their abuse occurred too long ago to seek compensation. This is typically not the case. In cases of childhood sexual assault, there is no statute of limitations in place for a compensation claim.

Not all cases are free of a timeline, however. For personal injury claims for sexual assault, a three-year statute of limitations for compensation does exist in most cases. An exception may be possible, depending on the specifics of you or your loved one’s case. Because civil cases can not be pursued while a defendant is involved in criminal proceedings, your case may be able to proceed whenever a criminal trial concludes, regardless of if it is after three years. This rule stands whether the defendant is found innocent or guilty in their criminal case.

A common misconception in sexual assault and child abuse cases is that a perpetrator has to face criminal charges before civil claims can be filed. This is not true. If you or a loved one is a sexual assault or child abuse survivor, you can sue for compensation even if no criminal charges have been filed.

Other mitigating situations that could have prevented a victim from coming forward early can also have an impact on a judgement. Overall, as times change, judges are more and more likely to be understanding of a delay. An experienced solicitor can help to determine if your case is able to proceed.

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Download our free guide to receiving maximum justice from your case

Download your guide today for free and make sure that you are aware of the facts and information you need to maximise your damages claim.

GErard Malouf & Partners

Proven solicitors and barristers

The team at Gerard Malouf and Partners has a track record of advocating for victims and winning them large settlements from both predators and the institutions that let them commit their acts.

In one recent case, from January 2020, we were able to secure a $435,000 settlement for a victim of childhood sexual abuse. Our client was groomed and then subjected to the abuse by the leader of a New South Wales youth group of which our client was a member in the 1980s. After years of suffering debilitating psychological injuries, our client made the brave decision to reach out to Gerard Malouf & Partners. One of our experienced child abuse solicitors began gathering evidence, including a report from a psychiatrist confirming the long-term damage done by the abuse and were ultimately able to get a settlement from the youth group in mediation.

In addition to providing for his finances, the settlement agreement gave our client tremendous peace of mind, as he felt that his hardship was being truly recognised.

In another of our cases, from April 2020, our client was abused at age 9 by her reverend and received a $250,000 settlement. The abuse caused a lifetime of feelings of guilt, blame and anxiety, negatively affecting her performance in school, work and her personal relationships. Notably, the abuse occurred on just one occasion, demonstrating the lifelong impact that any abuse can have. All forms of child sexual abuse, even in an isolated instance, are extremely serious and worthy of compensation.

We're here to help

Contact us for no-obligation legal advice about your claim.
Free Resources
Our Guide To Maximising Legal Claims​

Download your guide today for free and make sure that you are aware of the facts and information you need to maximise your damages claim.

“I really appreciate all the hard work you put in for me during my case. I only have the highest regard for you and your team!”


Our Client
Our Team

Meet the Child & Sexual Abuse Claims Team

Meet some of the diverse and dynamic compensation lawyers that support our clients with their institutional child & sexual abuse claims.

Richele Nelsen
Partner
Julie Baqleh
Partner
Pauline Yacoub
Solicitor

We're here to help maximise your compensation

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of our compensation experts, or make an enquiry online now.

Gerard Malouf
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Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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