Published: 05 March 2019
Author: Alyssa Lewis
Which types of organisations can be sued for sex abuse?
While the Catholic Church is currently in the spotlight for abuse crimes, the sexual abuse of children can occur in any number of settings and institutions. From the vantage point of our substantial sexual abuse legal practice, we have mounted common law damages claims against churches, foster care placements and governments.
A sexual abuse claim for common law damages requires you to establish that the relevant organisation was negligent in the care they provided to you and, as a result of that negligence, you have suffered an injury.
This, in turn, requires proving that the organisation knew or should have known you were at risk and that there was a failure to take reasonable care.
We see many clients who were Wards of the State and we also have many clients who have suffered abuse while not facing the special vulnerabilities that wards face.
Here are some of the settings in which we have won large sexual abuse compensation payments for our clients:
- Wards of the State
- schools — which includes public and private schools and independent schools
- residential institutions such as orphanages or youth training centres
- Churches of various denominations where someone has worked within a church or has come into contact with someone who worked for a Church (including priests and nuns who work at a school)
- Foster care placements or adoptions
- temporary hostels
- the Australian Defence Force
- members of cults
- extra-circular activities such as the scouts; and
- almost any other organisation that has had contact with children.
These are all organisations that can be the subject of a sexual or physical abuse claim.
Our Sexual and Institutional Abuse Department was established more than twenty years ago. We have fought for thousands of victims whom have suffered child abuse at many different organisations – many of which are household names.
Our experience tells us that for many survivors, there is no monetary value that can ever truly make up for what they have gone through. However, we believe that these institutions should be held accountable for the damage that they have done to survivors and their families, as well as society as a whole.
When you are ready, we will be able to take you through the process and will be with you every step of the way to ensure you get the best possible outcome.