MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The Australian Catholic Church has committed to taking part in a new national redress scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, two top religious groups said on Wednesday.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said if all states and institutions across Australia opt in the scheme could provide support to around 60,000 people.
The scheme will target people sexually abused as children while in the care of a Commonwealth institution and follows a nationwide inquiry that found widespread institutionalized child sexual abuse in Australia.
Redress is offered as an alternative to taking compensation through the courts. It can include access to psychological counseling, a direct personal response such as an apology from the responsible institution for people who want it, and a monetary payment. Payments are capped at A$150,000.