Why sexual abuse survivors should avoid the Redress Scheme

Content warning: Please be aware that this blog contains information regarding child sexual abuse.

We know that no amount of compensation can take away the pain and trauma for survivors of childhood abuse. Injuries are long-lasting, affecting many areas of survivors’ lives. However, we will fight for the compensation you deserve to support you in your healing.

If you’re a survivor, know that you’re not alone – we’re here to help. If you feel as though you would like to explore your options, this is what you need to know.

Beware of the National Redress Scheme

The National Redress Scheme was launched in 2018 following the findings and recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It was set up to provide redress to those who have suffered institutional child sexual abuse. The cap for this, however, is only $150,000, with average payouts at around $80,000.

But the meagre payout amount isn’t the only problem with the Redress Scheme, according to Arnold Thomas & Becker Lawyer Cameron Doig.

“The National Redress Scheme offers grossly inadequate and massively delayed compensation,” Cameron said. “Tragically a number of applicants have died before being compensated.”

“Litigation puts abuse survivors in the driver’s seat. Compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and financial loss gives claimants an opportunity to rebuild.”

Over the past two years, the average settlement achieved by Arnold Thomas & Becker for abuse survivors has been around $900,000 per claim. We have achieved multiple settlements of over $2M (and the highest individual claim settle has been $2.6M). These outcomes are life-changing.

It’s also crucial to know that once you accept a Redress payment, you will never be able to make a civil damages claim against that particular institution.

We strongly advise you to seek our free legal service about your rights to civil litigation prior to making a Redress Scheme claim – you could potentially receive in excess of $1 million in compensation if your claim is run by one of our experienced lawyers.

One of our recent clients, a victim of sexual abuse in a state hospital as a child many decades ago, was offered $100,000 by the Redress scheme, but our lawyers were able to secure him a $1 million compensation claim. And more often than not, our clients will receive far more compensation with the help of our expert team than they would have via the Redress Scheme.

“With an expert solicitor advocating for their interests, abuse survivors can hold these powerful institutions to account and recover substantial compensation running into the hundreds of thousands or even millions,” Cameron said.


Alarmingly, recent statistics from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse showed:

• Children were allegedly abused in over 4,000 institutions.
• Based on over 8,000 interviews, over 60% of victims were male.
• There are tens of thousands of victims in Australia, but as many as 60% never disclose their abuse. Survivors took an average 23.9 years to come forward.
• Over 56% of victims who came forward were over the age of 50.
• 22.6% of adults who disclosed their abuse thought they would never be believed.

How we can help

We feel it is important to educate survivors on their option to pursue a claim through a lawyer, so that they are fully aware of the compensation avenues available to them.

We are currently looking after over 700 sexual abuse claims. Our lawyers are here to listen to you in an empathetic and sensitive way, understanding that you have suffered trauma. For a confidential, no-obligation discussion with one of our lawyers, call us today on 1300 333 300.