Safeguarding Background

Survivor Support

sunset-1757593_1920-2“If anything else needs to be done to protect children then let it be done. I was frozen by fear and shame. It has to stop.” – Survivor, Royal Commission 2017

The Diocese of Broken Bay is committed to ensuring survivors can access support and that our response will provide the survivor with a sense of safe engagement. Additionally, the Diocese will comply with civil requirements to report allegations of abuse to police and other authorities such as the NSW Ombudsman.

The Catholic Church of Broken Bay accepts that it is her duty of care to provide effective redress for those who have suffered child sexual abuse by Church personnel and to receive justice. The Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay is providing three options of redress; Civil Claim, National Redress Scheme and the Catholic Church Response.

“…it is clear to us that the process for providing redress is fundamental for survivors. How they feel they were treated, and whether they were listened to, understood and respected are likely to have a significant impact on whether they consider they have received ‘justice’.” – Redress and Civil Litigation Report 2015

Options and support for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse

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General Enquiries:
P:
02 8379 1605 E: safeguarding@bbcatholic.org.au

Diocesan Safeguarding Director:
Ms Jodie Crisafulli P: 02 8379 1647 E: jodie.crisafulli@bbcatholic.org.au

Safeguarding Manager (Chancery):
Ms Melinda Rixon P: 02 8379 1651 E: melinda.rixon@bbcatholic.org.au

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If you or someone you know has experienced sexual abuse or been harmed or adversely affected by a cleric, or an employee or volunteer of the Diocese, it should be reported to the police. The police have the capability to fully investigate any claims of criminal abuse.

To contact the police in New South Wales, call 131 444 or visit your local police station.

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If you are considering, or wish to commence, a claim for compensation in court

If you are a person who has suffered child sexual abuse by Church personnel and are considering making a claim against the Diocese in relation to a claim of sexual abuse, we recommend obtaining legal advice about your options for compensation. Subject to the advice you receive, your lawyer may initiate contact with us directly in relation to the nature of your claim.

Who do I contact?
Knowmore is a free service offering legal advice and information to help you consider your options about compensation, redress and other legal issues related to abuse.

Knowmore
Website: www.knowmore.org.au
Email: info@knowmore.org.au
Phone: 1800 605 762

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The National Redress Scheme is in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and allows eligible survivors of institutional child sexual abuse to apply for redress in the form of monetary payments, counselling and support and direct personal responses from the responsible institution.

One of the key recommendations of the Royal Commission was that a National Redress Scheme be set up. This has been established as at 1 July 2018 and the Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay has applied to be a part of this Scheme. For further information about the Scheme, visit https://www.nationalredress.gov.au, Phone 1800 737 377.

Who can apply?
You can apply to the Scheme if:
• you experienced sexual abuse when you were a child (under 18 years of age) and
   • the abuse happened before 1 July 2018, and
   • an institution was responsible for bringing you into contact with the person who abused you, and
• you were born before 30 June 2010, and
• you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

For further information on eligibility under this Scheme, visit https://www.nationalredress.gov.au/applying/who-can-apply

What does the National Redress Scheme look like?
Applications for redress under the Scheme are considered by independent assessors who decide on the appropriate levels of financial and other support and as a Church Authority participating in the Scheme, we will meet the costs of redress that the Scheme determines.

The Scheme will offer a monetary payment up to $150,000, counselling and psychological support up to $5,000 and a direct personal response from the responsible institution/s, if you want that.

What is the payment for?
A payment under the Scheme will not include any amount for loss of income or pain and suffering. Its purpose is to recognise and acknowledge the impact of institutional child sexual abuse and related abuse on you.

At the end of the process you will be asked to sign a Statutory Release. By signing this release, you will not be able to continue or to commence any civil or common law proceedings against the responsible institution.

How to Apply?
If you decide to apply to access the Scheme, you can call 1800 737 377 or visit https://www.nationalredress.gov.au/applying/thinking-about-applying

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The Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay aims to be fair, reasonable and honest in its dealings with survivors of child sexual abuse. Respect and dignity will be afforded to survivors, their families and other third parties affected by the abuse. Every effort will be made to ensure survivors feel safe and secure.

Please contact the Diocese of Broken Bay to talk through how support can be provided. The support may involve conversation, counselling, spiritual guidance and prayer.

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The Royal Commission have listed support services.

Within the Church in Australia there are already a number of established services for victims and survivors of sexual abuse;

  • Towards Healing is the Church’s overarching response to dealing with sexual abuse in the Church
  • Catholic Social Services Australia is the national network of Catholic social services. The majority of their members provide counselling and support services
Support Groups and Services