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Sexual and Institutional Abuse

Sexual and Institutional Abuse registration form

Angela Sdrinis has considerable experience in the area of institutional and sexual abuse for over 20 years and has pursued several hundred claims for victims of abuse including claims against individuals and institutions/organisations.  Angela Sdrinis also considerable experience in pursuing claims against the state of Victoria and other organisations for the abuse of children in care. She has been instrumental in developing a settlement protocol for dealing with these claims.

Claimants seeking compensation for historical abuse face several legal and other barriers.  Historical abuse claims are complex so if you have been a victim of childhood abuse, it is important that you seek legal advice from an expert in the area. Angela Sdrinis is one of the most experienced practitioners in the area of Sexual and Institutional Abuse in Australia and internationally. Because of her vast experience, Angela is readily able to advise on prospects of success in new claims after a first free, confidential consultation. More detailed advice can only be provided once documentary and other evidence has been obtained.

Angela has successfully pursued claims against dozens of institutions including the following:

  • Salvation Army-Bayswater Boys’ Homes (1,2 &3), Box Hill Boy’s Home, Camberwell Girl’s Home, East Kew Girl’s Home, Lyndon Lodge, Cardinia and Jacana.
  • Christian Brothers-St Vincent De Paul and St Augustine Boys’ Homes
  • Franciscan Friars-Morning Star
  • Sisters of Mercy-St Vincent De Paul Girl’s Home
  • Sisters of Nazareth-Nazareth House
  • Sisters of St Joseph-St Joseph’s Children’s Home
  • Good Shepherd Sisters-Abbotsford Convent
  • Catholic Church-Providence
  • Lutheran Church-Lutheran Peace Memorial Home
  • Uniting Church-Orana, Kilmany, Tally Ho and Dhurringhile
  • Anglican Church-St Paul’s, Andrew Kerr Memorial Home, the Mission of St James and St John, St Cuthberts, and Blackburn Cottages
  • Melbourne Orphanage
  • Glastonbury
  • Burwood Boy’s Home
  • Menzies Children’s Home
  • Sutherland Children’s Home
  • Gordon Boy’s Home
  • Northcote Farm Training School
  • Victorian Government-Turana, Baltara, Winlaton, Pirra, Miralee, Pleasant Creek, Sandhurst Training School, Hillside
  • Public and Private Schools
  • Sporting Clubs
  • Entertainment industry
  • Department of Defence

Pursuing your claim:

It can be a difficult decision to seek advice about childhood abuse. Childhood abuse usually leaves victims feeling powerless and ashamed. Often a victim of child abuse will have spent decades trying to forget what happened to them whilst at the same time, the legal process requires that you provide as much detail of your abuse and the surrounding circumstances as possible. Talking about events that you have tried very hard to forget can mean that coming forward can be extremely traumatic.

Many victims of abuse will never have previously disclosed to another person. At Angela Sdrinis Legal we are experienced in taking you through your story in a safe and confidential environment.  In addition, it can sometimes be easier to speak to a stranger rather than someone you know and love, particularly when the disclosure is made to someone who has the appropriate professional expertise and experience.

Once we have obtained an initial statement we will talk to you about your options with respect to your potential claim for compensation.  Before we can give you detailed advice it is important that we obtain your records. This can include wardship records if you were a ward of the state. If you were placed in an orphanage run by a Church or other non-government institution, these records will also be requested, although in all too many cases, Government and non Government institutions may have destroyed your documentation. If you were abused in a school, it will be necessary to obtain your school records. It may also be necessary to obtain medical records.  We will then obtain a further detailed statement from you. It may also be necessary to obtain statements from family, friends or other people who may have witnessed the abuse or to whom you disclosed the abuse.

Once all of this material has been collected we are able to give you specific advice regarding the type of claims that are open to you including out of court settlement processes or the issuing of legal proceedings including damages claims, VOCAT and Sentencing Act Applications. We can also help link you up with appropriate support groups. Some claims can be settled in approximately 12 months. Other claims, particularly where it becomes necessary to issue proceedings, can take much longer.

It is important that if you have been a victim of abuse, you report the crime to the police. The Royal Commision can also refer complaints to the police. If you have been abused by an individual, you should contact the Sexual Offences Child Investigation Team (SOCIT) police units. If you have been abused in an institutional setting you should report to the SANO taskforce.  Reporting historical Sexual and Institutional Abuse is now much easier since the Victorian Government established the Victoria Police SANO taskforce which deals exclusively with the investigation of Sexual and Institutional Abuse claims. 

Alternatively, if you make a claim on the State Government, part of the protocol allows you to give permission to the State to inform police of your allegations.  If you wish the State to refer your complaint to the police, you are under no obligation to provide a formal police statement and if you wish your complaint to be dealt with confidentially the SANO taskforce will respect your wish. The SANO task force is keen to hear from you even if you do not wish to proceed with a formal complaint or if your perpetrator is dead. It is still important that your allegations are reported to the police as this may provide important background material which may assist police in ultimately bringing a perpetrator, or someone who shielded them,  to justice. Further a successful conviction may assist in your potential claim for compensation. The Royal Commission can also refer complaints to the police.

Angela Sdrinis Legal pursues all matters on a strictly no win/ no fee basis* and this means that you are not required to contribute to or pay for any costs or disbursements (out of pocket) expenses associated with investigating and/or pursuing your claim. This means that if you do not get a successful result, there is no charge.

We act for people throughout Australia and internationally and appointments can be conducted by phone or by skype.

Confidentiality is assured. The first consultation is free.

Sexual and Institutional Abuse registration form

Links: 

Open Place               http://www.openplace.org.au

CLAN                         http://www.clan.org.au

SOCIT                       http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=36222

SANO                        http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=39881    

Broken Rites             http://www.brokenrites.org.au/drupal/

IGFA                          http://www.igfa.com.au

BRAVE HEARTS       http://www.bravehearts.org.au/?gclid=CP6Uk8qbsL8CFVYGvAodC4QAAA

ALLIANCE FOR FORGOTTEN AUSTRALIANS

                                  http://www.forgottenaustralians.org.au/

CASA                         http://www.casa.org.au/contacts/

SNAP                         http://www.snapnetwork.org/

ASCA                         http://www.asca.org.au/supportline

AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF FAMILY STUDIES-VICTIM SUPPORT

                                  http://www.aifs.gov.au/acssa/crisis.html

 

Phone and Skype appointments available. The first consultation is free and all work is done on a “no win/no fee” basis*.

*Conditions apply

Address:

247 Park Street, South Melbourne, Vic 3205
PO Box 42, South Melbourne,VIC 3205
Phone: (03) 9686 6610

Keep in Touch:

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