Published: 22 January 2020
Author: Amy Olver
My perpetrator has been convicted. Can I now sue?
The establishment of a specialist police taskforce ‘SANO’ specifically to target allegations of historical child abuse is leading to an increasing number of convictions against perpetrators for historical child abuse offences.
If the person who sexually or physically assaulted you has now been convicted, it can strengthen any Common Law claim you make for damages.
If a perpetrator is convicted of a crime against you, you may also be entitled to compensation by way of a Sentencing Act application.
Sentencing Act applications must be lodged within 12 months of the offender being convicted of the crime against you and therefore it is important that you seek advice regarding your compensation options at an early stage.
To be successful at obtaining compensation through a Sentencing Act application the offender must have financial resources. This can be in the form of money or other assets such as property. In many cases the police will restrain the assets following conviction which makes it easier for survivors to enforce any award of compensation made.
A Sentencing Act application does not prevent a survivor from bringing a Common Law claim against the individual or institutions involved in their care. In many cases, both are brought by survivors concurrently.
Our specialised Abuse Law team at RCT Law can help you to understand your potential rights. It is not necessary to wait until conviction to seek this advice. In many cases there are a number of steps that can be taken concurrently with the criminal process to ensure unnecessary delay.
If you would like advice about your potential rights call 1300 366 441.