Sexual and Institutional Abuse
Angela Sdrinis has acted for survivors of institutional and sexual abuse for over 25 years.
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 our vast experience, our team at Angela Sdrinis Legal 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 and our team have 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, the Harbour, Gill Memorial Home, Barrington, Indooroopilly, Hollywood
- Ballarat Orphanage (CAFS)
- Burwood Boys Home
- Christian Brothers Orphanages-St Vincent De Paul and St Augustine Boys’ Homes
- Christian Bros Schools
- Cottage by the Sea
- 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
- Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Church-Providence Children’s Home
- Lutheran Church-Lutheran Peace Memorial Home
- Uniting Church-Orana, Kilmany, Tally Ho and Dhurringile, Harrison House,
- Geelong and Western District Orphanage
- Anglican Church-St Paul’s, Andrew Kerr Memorial Home, the Mission of St James and St John, St Cuthbert’s, St Luke’s, Unit 64 and Blackburn Cottages
- Anglican Church-CEBS
- Melbourne Orphanage
- Burwood Boy’s Home
- Menzies Children’s Home
- Sutherland Children’s Home
- Gordon Homes
- Northcote Farm Training School
- Victorian Government -Turana/Royal Park, Baltara, Winlaton, Pirra, Miralee, Pleasant Creek, Sandhurst Training School, Hillside, Allambie, Ballarat Reception Centre, Ashendene, Miralee, Pirra, Sunshine Boys Hostel, Sutton Grange
- Berry Street
- Department of Defence-Balcombe Army Apprentice School, HMAS Leeuwin, Butterworth, Cadets
- Child Migrants
- Department of Education cases
- Private Schools including Geelong Grammar School, Preshil, Wesley, Geelong College, Ballarat Grammar
- Sutherland Children’s Home
- Legacy-Blamey House and Harelands
- Langi Kal Kal
- Lisa Lodge
- Antonian Children’s Home
- Seventh Day Adventists
- Jehovah’s Witnesses
- Marillac House (Daughters of Charity)
- Nazareth House
- Northcote Farm
- Melbourne City Mission
- South Eastern Christian Centre
- Resurrection House (Resurrection Sisters)
- St Anthony’s
- St Aidan’s
- St John of God
- St Joseph’s
- Sandhurst Boys Home
- Swan House
- Swinborn Lodge
- Victorian School for the Deaf
- Tasmanian Claims-Tasmanian Govt, Sunshine Home, Maylands, Barrington, Ashley, Wybra Hall, Kennerley Boys Home, Seamen’s Mission, Hutchins School, CEBS, Department of Education
- Sporting Clubs
- Entertainment industry
- Individual Clerics/Volunteers/Lay workers including Greek Orthodox, Catholic, Baptists, Anglicans, Lutherans, Uniting Church and its predecessors, Mormons etc
- Claims under the National Redress Scheme
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 survivor of child abuse will have spent decades trying to forget what happened 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 or a claim under the National Redress Scheme. 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. 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.
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.
Phone and Skype appointments available. The first consultation is free and all work is done on a “no win/no fee” basis*.