Abuse BrianAJackson

Schools and churches open to litigation

Queensland made history this month, passing a new bill that will allow victims of childhood sexual abuse to open new litigation against schools and churches which have previously given them unfair settlements.

Before these laws passed, victims of child sexual abuse could only take civil action within the 21-year age limit on claimants.

Attorney-General Yvette D'ath said the new laws will hopefully provide some catharsis for victims of sexual abuse.

"The statute of limitations created a small window that became the only chance for victims to lodge claims on reaching adulthood,” Ms D'Ath said.

"The stories that have been told have highlighted the long-term impact that this type of abuse has had on the wellbeing of victims.

"The courage of these people has meant that others will also, hopefully, find the courage to speak out and be heard and, importantly, seek support.”

There are hopes this law will extend to serious physical and emotional abuse suffered in institutions as it has in New South Wales.

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