Australian solicitor offers hope for UK sexual abuse survivors seeking justice

Open Letter to UK Survivors of Institutional Child Abuse

peter-kelso January 23, 2017 by Peter Kelso

Dear Survivors,

I have been following your country’s public inquiry into child sex abuse since it started in March 2015.

Unfortunately, it’s been a disaster from the beginning.

The Inquiry has now appointed its fourth Chairperson in less than two years. It seems no one genuinely wants the job – or their commitment to the cause has been luke-warm at best.

Your Prime Minister, when she was Home Secretary, brought in Judge Lowell Goddard from New Zealand, without thoroughly checking her credentials.

Goddard stayed for a year, collected a ‘million dollar’ salary package, was absent for a large portion of the time, then proceeded to resign.

As it turned out, Judge Goddard was simply out her depth and had lost the confidence of her staff. This should never have happened. This issue has not been dealt with appropriately, which, in turn, affects the very people the Inquiry is designed to protect.

It’s time for a change of attitude.

My name is Peter Kelso – I am an Australian solicitor specialising in institutional child abuse legal work. I am deeply passionate about achieving justice for victims of institutional child abuse and have dedicated my career to doing so.

I understand you because I spent 13 years in Government care as a Ward of the State in Sydney. I’ve lived in children’s homes and in foster care. I suffered abuse. I too am a survivor. I’ve been able to succeed in my endeavours in life, but I know many of you haven’t been given the opportunity to do so.

Now I am in a position to help those who can’t help themselves. Because of what I’ve been through, I carry out my work with a particular attitude. I take a full-blooded approach to churches, Governments and authorities. I know what justice looks like. It’s my pleasure to extract an apology and compensation from those responsible; from those who, in the past, thought no one was looking.

The times have changed. You will be believed. We are shining the light on those who’ve hidden their evil deeds in dark places. They are surrounded. Bishops and Government types are coming out with their hands up. There’s never been a better time to come forward.

I have been asked to act on behalf of survivors in the UK. I already have Australian clients who are residents in England. I have acted for them via telephone conferences and email. They have claims against Australian-based institutions like the Catholic Church and the State of New South Wales.

This has been successful so far, but I know there is still more I can do. I would welcome the opportunity to apply my skills against UK churches and institutions as well. Visiting the UK to see you is not a barrier for me.

If this interests you, simply complete our online enquiry form to register your details without any obligation on your part.

I’ll have a look at your case to see if I can help.

I urge you to take action and I look forward to hearing from you and being able to assist. Use the online form or simply email me directly on pkelso@kelsos.com.au if that suits you better.

Here on our website you will find plenty of interesting resources and case studies. There is also a short video of me telling my personal story.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Kelso

 

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