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The prevalence of child abuse throughout Australian religious institutions is truly shocking. Countless children across the country were exposed to physical, psychological and sexual abuse in churches, religious schools, religious children’s homes, and charitable organisations.
The response to this abuse has been just as disgraceful, with church authorities often covering up clerical abuse to protect their own image, exposing further children to abuse and helping offenders to go unpunished. In recent decades, religious institutions have spent millions in legal fees trying to deny compensation to victims and protect their bottom line.
One of the worst offenders is the Catholic Church, where a shocking 7% of all priests were accused of abusing children between 1950-2010. In some Catholic orders, the numbers were as high as 15%, 20% and even 40%.
Other religious institutions such as the Christian Brothers, Anglican Church, Salvation Army and the Uniting Church all have similarly shameful histories.
Offenders include priests, religious brothers and sisters, teachers and other religious employees. You may not even need to go to court; there are options for abuse survivors both in and outside of court, and we can talk you through these options and choose what is right for you. We have almost 40 years of experience and can advise you on your legal options.
The first step is to contact our church abuse lawyers for an initial consultation. This can be done via our online form or by contacting us to request a phone call from our client intake team. Your confidential information will be treated with the utmost care and discretion.
Our solicitors will then review your information, and we will contact you for a free consultation to discuss how we can best assist you.
We will discuss all your options with you, which may include court action, alternative dispute resolution or the National Redress Scheme. It is critical you get the right advice, as each option comes with various risks and benefits. You may cost yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars by not properly considering all your options.
If, after talking to us, you wish to proceed, we operate on a no-win-no-fee agreement, which we will explain in detail to you. Put simply, if we don’t successfully get you compensation, you won’t pay any legal fees.
We have pursued clergy abuse cases all over Australia, including notorious institutions that the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse investigated:
These are but a few; there are many more.