The Diocese of Melbourne has put forward a plan to compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse, without requiring the victims to give up their rights to sue for damages.
The Diocese of Melbourne has put forward a plan to compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse, without requiring the victims to give up their rights to sue for damages. The Melbourne plan would offer victims pastoral support, medical and psychological support, financial assistance and would engage the victim in determining the right punishment to deal with offenders. Michael Shand QC, chancellor of Melbourne and author of the proposal told Fairfax media “the guiding principle must be fairness to the individual,” adding “the “key thing about this is that the interests of survivors and children are paramount.” Under the Melbourne plan, complaints would be evaluated by a state committee and, if considered to have merit, an investigator would undertake an in-depth review. Interim care would be offered to victims while the complaints were investigated and if found to be true, compensation and support would be offered. The scheme would be overseen by a separate board of directors made up of abuse survivors and institution and government representatives. Mr. Shand said a community-based state scheme would be better able to support abuse survivors, deal with perpetrators and lead to an institution taking responsibility. “I’m interested in changing the culture in institutions,” he said.