*The contents in this blog relates to legislation in New South Wales.
William Skelland, 81, a former staff member at a Victorian boys’ home has been extradited from the United Kingdom to Melbourne to face 27 charges of historical child sexual abuse.
It is alleged that Skelland in his last Court appearance was said to have broken down and apologised for his actions. However, he has recently indicated through his legal counsel that he now wishes to fight some of the charges and test the recollection of the six complainants. In response, an advocate for the complainants, Ms Bakos is reported to have responded by saying “Doesn’t the literature tell you that most victims of such events don’t ever forget?“.
Whilst we hope that the complainants will receive justice in this matter, we note that many other survivors may feel as though they do not have the same opportunity to seek justice for the abuse they suffered. This may be the case for a number of reasons, including difficulties locating the perpetrator, the perpetrator being deceased or not wishing to make a report to the police.
Turner Freeman Lawyers have experience and success in representing survivors of child sexual abuse in civil claims for compensation through Australia. They have also been able to pursue civil claims in circumstances where the identity of the perpetrator is unknown, the perpetrator is deceased or where the matter has never been reported to the police.
We understand that incidents of child sexual abuse can cause significant and irreparable damage to the lives of survivors. Turner Freeman Lawyers offer a trauma-informed and culturally sensitive approach to survivors accessing the legal system. They recognise that compensation does not erase the trauma that has been suffered. However, it can allow a survivor the opportunity to be heard, changes to be made to the operation of unsafe institutions and for them to receive compensation that can be used to improve the quality of their life.
Turner Freeman Lawyers have often helped survivors secure compensation, funding for counselling and a personal apology from the institution as part of their outcome from the civil claims process.
Do you need help?
We recognise that survivors of childhood abuse are strong individuals who deserve the right to seek compensation for the harm they have suffered. We also understand that it can be difficult to know which pathway is the right one to choose. It is important to speak with a lawyer who is experienced in institutional abuse matters prior to accepting any offer of settlement.
Turner Freeman has a number of lawyers located throughout Australia with experience in institutional abuse. We invite survivors to contact our Sydney office on (02) 8222 3333 for a confidential and obligation free discussion to help inform them as to their rights and legal options.
You can also read this news article in 7NEWS: https://apple.news/A8YZnNY_pQUu61l5hn-89ow