Scouts apology meaningless if not matched by action for abuse survivors
5 October 2018
Lawyers for abuse survivors have today dismissed an apology from Scouts Australia to survivors of abuse, saying such efforts ring hollow given how Scouts NSW in particular continues to treat those seeking compensation for abuse and harm caused.
Maurice Blackburn NSW head of Abuse Law Danielle De Paoli said today’s apology from Scouts Australia was not being matched by genuine action and it was well past time for Scouts to show genuine commitment to doing the right thing for survivors.
“Apologies are nice and today’s apology from Scouts Australia is no doubt well meaning, but apologies are meaningless if they aren’t matched by action,” Ms De Paoli said.
“This has got to start with Scouts NSW, who in our experience are doing none of the things Scouts Australia say they stand for as an organisation when it comes to treatment of abuse survivors – in our view Scouts NSW stand out amongst institutional defendants for their appalling and heartless conduct towards survivors seeking compensation.
“The experience of many of our clients in matters against Scouts NSW has left them significantly re-traumatised, namely because of what they are put through and the aggressive and obstructionist approach taken.
“Scouts NSW also regularly delay and aggressively defend claims, as well as putting up in many instances paltry offers that are an insult to survivors.
“If Scouts Australia want to regain the trust of survivors then they need to do a lot more than issue hollow apologies that are not matched with action.
“This must include holding state branches such as NSW to account for their appalling treatment of survivors and making clear that such behaviour is unacceptable.
“Survivors have waited long enough for Scouts to do the right thing,” she said.