The Victorian Labor Government’s new child abuse laws comes into effect today. The new law will provide greater access to justice for child abuse victims by removing time limitations that apply to civil claims for founded upon child abuse.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to provide a safe environment for children to develop, learn and play, especially organisations responsible for caring for children.” stated Victorian Attorney-General, Martin Pakula
The new law completely removes the limitation period for all relevant child abuse civil claims regardless of the time or context of the alleged abuse allowing victims to commence legal action regardless of when the abuse occurred.
Mr Pakula said ” Lifting time limitations for civil claims founded upon child abuse will give victims greater access to justice, allowing their suffering to be rightfully acknowledged and allowing those to blame to be held to account for the harm they’ve caused.”
The Labor Government is committed to implementing the recommendations of the Betrayal of Trust report from the Family and Community Development Committee of the Victorian Parliament Inquiry into The Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Non-Government Organisations.
The Government is also strengthening laws to protect children from sexual abuse. A new criminal offence for failing to protect a child under the age of 16 from a risk of sexual abuse comes into effect today.
The new law will require organisations responsible for supervising children to actively manage the risks of sexual offences being committed against children in their care and further protect them from harm.