Victims of sexual assault or child sexual abuse live with what has happened to them for the rest of their lives. In some cases, they may be able to successfully file charges. However, these crimes often go unpunished because the victim is too afraid to come forward. Fortunately, even if it has been years since your assault, you may be able to file a claim to receive compensation or assistance from the government.
Filing Compensation Claims
The federal government has a program that provides monetary compensation and assistance for victims of violent crimes. The violent crimes include victims or their surviving relatives in the cases of homicide, domestic violence, and sexual assault. In most states or territories, sexual assault lawyers can help victims who were either adults or children at the time they were assaulted file claims.
If the victim was an adult at the time of his or her sexual assault, then he or she has up to 10 years from the date of the offence to file a claim. If the victim was under the age of 18, then there is no time limit to file a claim. However, there is documentation that needs to be present with the application.
What to Include
To help support your claim for compensation, you should include a police report or a report from a government agency and a medical, dental, or a counselling report to help prove your injuries. The injuries from an act of violence can be physical or they can be psychological but there needs to be some prove that they existed.
Possible Compensation Amounts
In New South Wales, if your application is approved, then you could receive compensation.
- Compensation will be $10,000 if you were a victim of sexual assault that had serious bodily injuries, if multiple offenders were involved, or an offensive weapon was used. Also, this award may be made if the offender had a pattern of sexual or indecent assault or attempted sexual assault that included violence.
- Awards of $5,000 may be made if you were the victim of a sexual assault, an attempted sexual assault that involved serious bodily injuries, grievous bodily harm. This also applies if there was a pattern of physical assault of a child.
- Victims of indecent assault, attempted sexual assault that included violence, robbery, or assault may receive $1,500.
If your application is approved and you receive a payment, the government may seek to recover the payment from the perpetrator if he or she was convicted of the crime. However, if there was no conviction, then the person who committed the crime may never be aware of any that compensation you receive.
Although it will not make up for the assault against you, receiving compensation can help you get back on your feet after recovering from a violent crime.