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If you or someone you love is a survivor of childhood abuse, it can be hard to know where to turn. There are legal options available for survivors to take action, both in criminal and civil courts.

We have represented hundreds of survivors of childhood abuse in common law claims for compensation. While we know that no amount of money can take away the pain caused, but it can contribute in a meaningful way to supporting survivors navigate the lifelong impacts of childhood abuse.

Importantly, these claims are also about holding institutions to account. For many clients, the compensation is just part of their journey to justice, and there are other outcomes that can be sought by survivors.

What is non-financial compensation?

At resolution of our clients' civil claims, we can often negotiate different types of non-financial compensation with the institution in addition to a favourable financial settlement. 

Other types of non-financial compensation that we can request from the institution include:

An apology from the institution

The most common request we make is for the institution (such as a school, church or sporting group) to formally acknowledge and take responsibility for the abuse that happened while in their care. Often this is made by a senior representative of the institution, either in person, in writing, or both.

What we hear from our clients is that the acknowledgement of harm caused can be the beginning of healing and finding closure. 

Review of child safety policies

In addition to acknowledging responsibility, in some cases clients have requested that the institution outline steps they have or will take to protect children against future abuse.

For example, the institution can set out what changes and improvements have been made to their child safety policies. 

Removal of names “in honour”

In some cases, the perpetrators who committed the abuse against our clients are senior figures whose names appear in places like the wing of a building or on the name of an award.

When we negotiate a settlement for our clients, a request can be made to have a perpetrator’s name removed. Not only does this help our clients in their healing journey, but it can be a step towards justice in recognising that these perpetrators should not be celebrated.

For survivors, making a legal claim can be about much more than just financial compensation. It can be about accountability, recognition and demanding real change from institutions to ensure a better future for others. 

Our team of experienced abuse lawyers are here to help. You are not alone. 

If you or someone you love is a survivor of childhood abuse, we are here to support you and get the justice you deserve. 

It doesn't cost you anything to know where you stand 

Office locations

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We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Australian Capital Territory. If you need a lawyer in Canberra or elsewhere in Australian Capital Territory, please call us on 1800 675 346.

We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Tasmania. If you need a lawyer in Hobart, Launceston or elsewhere in Tasmania, please call us on 1800 675 346.