Sexual abuse in public schools has been a problem for a long time. Gerard Malouf and Partners has a lot of experience with sexual abuse in institutions like public schools and fighting for victims to get the compensation they deserve.
The history of sexual abuse in schools
The Prosecution Project, a legal information website, explains how the Australian government has recognised institutional abuse from as early as the 1880s when sexual relations between male schoolteachers and female students were criminalised. Of course, these laws were inadequate considering that male students are victims, too, but it shows how long the government has been aware of the potential for sexual abuse in school settings.
According to the Prosecution Project, Dr. John McGeorge, a prominent psychiatrist, wrote in 1947 to the NSW Department of Justice that people who abused children were “often in a position of trust [such as] a schoolteacher.”
A high profile case of child abuse in a public school
Today, there are better legal barriers in place for punishing sexual predators. In 2013, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was specifically created by the Australian government to investigate institutions like schools where this behaviour is rampant.
A former public school teacher – John Gregory Ferris – from Armidale was arrested after the Royal Commission referred him to the authorities. Ferris pleaded guilty to 16 offences, including indecent assault and kidnapping between the 1960s and ’70s.
Making a sexual abuse in public school claim
Your first step in all cases should be to report your complaint to the police for investigation. Then contact the sexual assault experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners who will help prepare the required documents that are submitted to the institution who has responsibility for compensation to you.
Then, you’ll be directed to write down a summary of the sexual abuse and the dates that it occurred. Evidence can come in the form of reports by health professionals, police officers and counsellors describing any physical or psychological harm suffered due to sexual abuse as a child, according to the Family Court of Australia.
A decision will be made anywhere between six and 12 months. Some cases will take longer depending on the nature of the application, though, the NSW Government says.
Gerard Malouf and Partners’ compensation lawyers are dedicated to getting justice for people who have recently suffered sexual abuse or experienced it in the past. We know it is difficult for victims to openly talk about their traumatic experience, but you can be rest assured that we pride ourselves on our compassion and ability to listen.