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Published: 24 November 2016
Author: Kate Malone

Tasmanian survivors of abuse now free from time restrictions when bringing civil claims

In positive news for Tasmanian survivors of abuse, the Tasmanian Government has announced it will abolish time restrictions for civil claims relating to childhood sexual and physical abuse.

This is in line with the recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The Government acknowledged that survivors of abuse rarely report the abuse they have suffered immediately after it has occurred. Survivors have reported this can be due to feelings of shame, embarrassment, guilt or fear that they will not be believed.

Subject to the approval of parliament, the changes are intended to apply retrospectively, which will assist survivors who are currently bringing a civil claim as well as survivors who were previously barred from bringing a civil claim.

A welcome and positive change

The changes remove a significant road block for Tasmanian survivors of abuse seeking compensation.

The Victorian Government led the way in relation to abolishing statute of limitations, having been the first State to remove time limitations in bringing civil claims for survivors of sexual and physical abuse in 2015.

Other States have been quick to follow with the New South Wales Government removing time limitations earlier this year and the Queensland Government removing time limitations earlier this month. Indications are also positive that the Western Australian Government will soon follow suit with legislation currently proceeding through Parliament. The South Australian, Northern Territory and ACT Governments are yet to join the party.

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