More than just financial compensation says survivor

financial compensation

Financial compensation is just a starting point for a survivor of abuse at the Marylands School – he is calling for more.

Darryl Smith suffered at the hands of the John of God Brothers in Australia and New Zealand.

He has already undergone a redress settlement process in Australia and received compensation from the Queensland government and the John of God brothers.

Smith told the Otago Daily Times (ODT) that he believes Queensland has more support for survivors than New Zealand. He has presented his recommendations for a redress scheme to the Royal Commission, outlining what the New Zealand government’s response to the inquiry must include.

His recommendations call for mandatory participation by all faith-based institutions in the redress, independent management of the process, and a review of historical claims with adjustments to financial compensation where necessary.

The report noted that Smith views redress as encompassing more than just financial compensation, expressing his hope that New Zealand would follow Australia’s lead.

“Queensland has more support for survivors than in New Zealand.”

“The Royal Commission Act also shows survivors in Australia that the changes are there for the long haul. New Zealand also needs to commit to redress in legislation,” Smith said.

In New Zealand, the ACC Sensitive Claims Unit provides support for survivors of sexual abuse and assault.

It says that in response to the growing number of survivors accessing its services, it has increased the number of providers it works with and is also changing how it works to ensure it can better meet people’s needs.

The ACC reports that, in the last five years, the number of claims it has received from survivors of sexual abuse and assault has doubled.

“Greater public awareness of sexual violence and easier access to support services has contributed to this increase.

“Other influences include media coverage on sexual violence and the #MeToo movement. These and other societal trends and conversations are changing attitudes towards sexual violence” reports the ACC.

The Royal Commission’s findings have shed light on the extreme nature of the abuse at Marylands School.

“We are aware of no other circumstances or institution where the sexual abuse has been so extreme or has involved such a high proportion of perpetrators over the same extended period of time as that at Marylands School,” says Judge Coral Shaw, the Chair of the Royal Commission.

The report further concluded that social workers, police, the state, the brothers and the Catholic Church had failed the children, highlighting a systemic failure that resonates beyond the school itself.

On Friday CathNews reported a very strong statement by Archbishop Paul Martin, General Secretary of the New Zealand Bishops Conference

“The abuse described should never have happened.

“Nor should any abuse happen.

“I want to restate categorically that the bishops of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand have zero tolerance for abuse.

“No form of abuse, misconduct or inappropriate behaviour is acceptable in the Church community.

“The Church must continue to confront the difficult truths of the past, including the inexcusable abuse and suffering described in the case study report,” wrote Martin.

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Additional reading

News category: New Zealand.

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