In our Submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry on the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2018, we raise our concern that the Bill (which has now become law) allows for the potential exclusion of a vulnerable victim cohort from access to the National Redress Scheme.
If a victim has been sentenced to imprisonment for five years or longer for an offence, a clause within the Bill enables their exclusion from access to compensation under the Scheme.
We know that a high proportion of individuals within the justice system have histories of childhood abuse. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abusehighlighted the stories of many survivors who found that the complex trauma and disadvantage resulting from their experience of abuse led to involvement with the justice system later in life.
The status of victim and offender are often intertwined, and it is only fair that allpeople have the right to access compensation, have support to rehabilitate, and have an opportunity to heal.
Jesuit Social Services calls for there to be no exclusions of individuals with criminal convictions from the National Redress Scheme.