The Catholic Church recognises that it is important to acknowledge its responsibility in relation to the sexual abuse of children in its care.
If you or somebody that you know believe they were abused as a child, entitlement to redress may be available via three alternative avenues.
Additionally, a personal pastoral apology from the Diocese is available, if required.
A key recommendation from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was the establishment of a National Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.
Under this government operated scheme an application can be made for a monetary payment, counselling and psychological support and a personal response. The Catholic Church and other participating institutions will meet the costs of redress as determined by an independent assessor.
Redress is not compensation, rather it is a way of addressing the hurt and harm by providing support to help people move forward in a way that is right for them. Prior monetary awards do not prevent an applicant from accessing redress.
For a list of support services or how you can make an application, please visit the National Redress website or call 1800 737 377
Since 1996 Towards Healing has been a mechanism of the Catholic Church for assessing and responding to complaints of child abuse.
Whenever it is established, either by admission or by proof, that abuse did in fact take place, the Church authority shall listen to victims concerning their needs and ensure they are given such assistance as is demanded by justice and compassion.
To access further information on Towards Healing, please contact the Office of Professional Standards Victoria on (03) 5023 6790.
Survivors of child sexual abuse sometimes prefer to pursue a claim for damages through the legal process involving the Victorian Law Courts. Participants choosing to select this option are recommended to obtain their own legal representation.
Please note: a new National response protocol is effective from Monday February 1, 2021 which impacts on the above information.
For more details see: New Church protocol for published for responding to abuse