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Abuse Claims Against Schools
School abuse by teachers, other members of staff and peer on peer/student abuse is unfortunately common in Australia. Of all abuse survivors who had private sessions with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, almost one in three (31.8 per cent) told the Commissioners they were sexually abused in a school setting as children.
There are various options that are available to resolve claims involving schools, such as taking your matter to court, settling your matter out of court, pursuing a Redress Scheme claim, and other options such as victims of crime claims and Sentencing Act applications. Together we can discuss which option(s) are best suited to your needs.
In terms of claims involving government schools, the Department of Education and Training (DET) is party to the Common Guiding Principles in child sexual abuse claims. These principles provide guidance on how DET should ordinarily respond to civil claims involving allegations of child sexual abuse, including that the Department should be mindful of the potential for litigation to be a traumatic experience for claimants who have suffered sexual abuse.
The State of Victoria also follows Model Litigant Guidelines, which are policy guidelines that set standards for how the State should behave as a party to legal proceedings.
The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse included an entire volume relating to what it learned about institutional responses to child sexual abuse in government and non-government (Catholic or Independent) primary and secondary schools.
The report examines the nature and adequacy of institutional responses and contributing factors to child sexual abuse in schools as well as making recommendations to prevent child sexual abuse from occurring in schools and to help ensure effective responses to that abuse where it does occur.